We all spend a great deal of time in our cars driving places our feet could rarely take us. I am no different. While on the road or highway I see a lot of bumper stickers. They are interesting, varied and revealing. They often make me think about what the person behind the wheel is like, what is important to them and what their worldview is. I saw one today that spawned a question within.
The one I saw read, “Donate Life.” Upon initial reflection I thought to myself, “What exactly does that mean?” Are they trying to say that we should donate our organs to someone who is dying and in need of a transplant? If so, then it was a little vague. But, then again, bumper stickers don’t afford one the space to be wordy.
Upon further reflection, my mind looked at it from a Heavenly perspective thanks to the Holy Spirit (Colossians 3:1-2). Not to be overly fastidious- my personal vocabulary word of the day to myself (it means picky) – but to be accurate and truthful, we simply cannot donate life. We can give away an organ which may, in turn, help save someone’s life but that’s different. And it is a noteworthy difference, for two reasons. One, whether we live or die in the process of harvesting and transplanting an organ, the recipient is not being given life. He or she is having his or her existing life extended.
Secondly, and of particular importance, is the fact that we have life but do not possess it; therefore, we cannot give it away. We have life because it was imparted to us. To possess implies or defines ownership. We do not own our lives. We do not have the capability in our nature to bring ourselves into existence, to sustain it indefinitely, or to ensure its continuation. We will all die at some point. If we truly had ultimate control over our lives and life was a part of our nature, we would not taste death.
Only one being has life, is life and can give it away- and take it away- and that is the one and only Living God: the God of the Bible, our Maker, the Creator of the universe and everything in it. If we recall the book of Genesis, God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth (chapter 2, verse 7a). For a moment, the first man had form but no life. The second part, or the continuation of that sentence, reveals that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Am I splitting hairs? No. Does it matter, really? Yes! Did God make rocks, the moon and minerals? Yes, he gave them form but they are lifeless just as we can make furniture, jewelry and clothing. We can manufacture them. We even have the ability to combine different inanimate parts or ingredients to make something else altogether and with another form. But, again, it is only substance. It lacks life.
The Word of God reveals early on that God spoke into existence and created “vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them.” Isn’t that what we do? Isn’t that the limit of our ability to create or to procreate? We can have intercourse, we can bear children from that act, but have we given them life? No. We have simply replicated, in a manner of speaking. We have life because God breathed into our forms the breath of life, as He does with our offspring. We cannot take credit for that. Many unfortunate women, including one of my sisters, have had miscarriages. These are painful reminders that we can bring forth the form or substance, but cannot give life itself. Why? Because we, ourselves, are not life.
The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who gives life. There are several verses which convey this truth:
Romans 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:13, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Galatians 6:8, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (death), but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Ezekiel 37:9-10, “Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath (Spirit), prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.’ “
In this last scripture from the book of the prophet Ezekiel, the word “breath” here is the Hebrew word RUAH, meaning the Holy Spirit or Breath of Life, which only comes from Jehovah God Himself. And, by the way, this is yet another proof that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One; not three beings as some opponents of Christianity readily and wrongly argue. The King James Bible offers a very accurate translation of the truth found in Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins.” So God, who is life, gives us eternal life through His Holy Spirit upon salvation in, of and through Jesus Christ. We have breath which makes us and keeps us alive physically and the same breath, or Spirit, is needed to bring our dead souls to life. He can give life because He IS life (Ruah). We cannot because we are not life. We need God. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).