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What is a spirit? This seems to be a question many people struggle with during their journey of life. While a lot of people firmly believe in the world of spirits and many religious folks worship beings considered to be spirits, most people still don’t have a clear answer to the question, “What is spirit?”     

There are Bible dictionaries, online articles, and even encyclopedias that focus on the idea of a spirit and usually, our understanding is shaped by some presence that can be felt without any physical manifestation. This is because a spirit happens to be outside any realm of understanding of our 5 senses.  

So exactly what is spirit?

A spirit is often considered to be a non-physical entity or a supernatural being that has the power to influence people’s will. This may be in the form of an anonymous force that is responsible for creating a particular atmosphere in the meeting of individuals or even in terms of the mood experienced by a person.

A spirit has the ability to inhabit various places, people, books, and memories. Although the idea of a spirit and soul sometimes overlap because both are considered to survive bodily death in certain religions, the 2 are actually not the same thing at all.  

What is spirit in comparison to a soul?

There are different functions served by a soul and a spirit, which can be explained as follows:

  • The Soul’s function

The soul represents our emotions, mind, and will. Not only does it relate to us as human beings, but it is also made use of to signal God. In Luke 1:46-47, Mary’s Song, “And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Glorification of God and an expression of our humanity can be seen through the soul where we can magnify His presence in the world. This isn’t enough to express God’s love though, and therefore the Spirit is needed. 

  • The Spirit’s function     

Going back to the lines quotes above, the spirit can be seen as the apt way to fully express and experience God’s love. The soul serves as a channel and has some restrictions as it expresses our humanity. If the body is the outer façade to the world and the soul its deeper layer, the spirit is at the core of the body. Only through the spirit can we magnify the grace of God and accept His power wholeheartedly.   

The spirit is a way to connect with God and receive him through the salvation made by Jesus Christ. These 3 parts: body, soul, and the spirit perform different functions. The body experiences physical stimuli like smell, touch, sight, taste, and sound. The soul ensures we feel and can magnify our emotions while the spirit is far deeper than that. The spirit expresses love and connection to Christ and when we die, Spirits are left to function in the spiritual realm. Here, they carry an immense amount of power and can exercise a strong influence on how people feel and behave. 

There are a few things that need to be considered when you are seeking answers to the question, “What is spirit?”

It is not matter

The earth is a realm of matter where we dwell as physical beings. Atoms make up the building blocks of all matter on the earth and these consist of protons, electrons, and neutrons. All such matter that exists on earth in the material world has a physical presence and can be detected with the help of physical means. This is not the case for a spirit. A spirit is incapable of being detected using physical means and therefore, does not belong to the realm of matter.

It isn’t energy either

All matter on earth has energy stored in it. This isn’t the case for a spirit. 

There’s something called the spirit realm

Spirits operate on a different realm altogether. There’s a spirit realm that exists, which is meant for spirits. According to the Bible, John 4:24, God is a spirit and as per Hebrews 1:13-14, even angels are spirits. Just like how everything that exists in the material realm consists of matter, everything in the spirit realm consists of spirits too.     

How do the different realms interact?

These 2 realms aren’t completely independent of each other. Several things take place in the material realm but none of these changes can impact what happens in the spirit realm. A touch, some movement, any kind of damage, or alteration of the composition of something in the material world will leave the spirit world untouched. 

A spirit cannot be impacted by walls, fire, elements or barriers of the material world that are made of matter. A spirit is also unaffected by cold temperatures that are close to zero cold of intergalactic space. Whether it’s the gravitational strength of black holes or the heat from fusion furnaces, the spirit can survive threats of the material world. 

While a spirit isn’t visible to humans, they can be seen by a human if they choose to take some physical form or otherwise, if the human is enabled by God to see them. The reverse is possible though. Spirits often have the power to influence activity that goes on in the material realm. Whether it’s a big or a small event, the activities of the material world can be affected by the work of a spirit, to either yield a positive or a negative outcome.    

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Good and evil spirits

“What is spirit?” isn’t the only question people have when it comes to a discussion on spirits and the spirit realm. People are also curious about the existence of good and evil spirits. According to Christian beliefs, good and evil spirits exist in the world. The Lord guides humans and leads through angels. This side represents the good spirits. Just like this, there are dark forces working in the opposite manner to guarantee our downfall and take us away from the truth of God. These are evil spirits.

We all are surrounded by angels and spirits from both sides, good and bad. They are responsible for having an influence on our actions and thoughts. Even though they surround us at all times, we aren’t aware of their presence due to their invisible nature. It’s possible for spirits to be:

  • Loving
  • Caring
  • Harmless
  • Fleeting
  • Discreet
  • Helping  
  • Dangerous
  • Powerful
  • Haunting
  • Hurting

Good spirits offer us a union with heaven but the evil spirits establish our union with hell. A person who has removed themselves from God’s grace can be impacted by spirits differently. A good spirit would disturb and shake them to result in feelings of discontent and remorse for the sinful life led. An evil spirit, by contrast, will confuse people even more and push them into darkness. Evil spirits feed off of people’s downfall.    

A good spirit will strengthen, motivate, and console people who want to live in God’s faith. Good spirits offer protection and can provide peace by getting rid of obstacles from our path. An evil spirit, on the other hand, will aim at derailing them so that they can stir up anxiety, confusion, sorrow, and create more obstacles. 

Evil spirits generally look for vulnerable people to influence and feed off. Healthy individuals who are secure about themselves and their beliefs can’t offer evil spirits any nourishment. An unhappy, chaotic individual serves as a good source of nourishment for evil spirits. 

Evil spirits may communicate with us through messages and influence our behaviors negatively by preying on our weaknesses. They can make up lies and convince us to think of the worst in others and ourselves just so that they can tailor outcomes in favor of what they want. Evil spirits aim to take people further away from God and destroy their lives.

Behaving under the influence of an evil spirit is sure to destroy us mentally, physically, and even emotionally. Although early influences may not seem so bad, over time, these evil spirits can completely change the course of our lives and put us in an unhappy place.       

One thing about spirits is that establishing a strong connection with God can be a powerful way to keep yourself surrounded by good spirits and ensure that you don’t fall under the influence of a bad spirit.  

Playing or experimenting with the spiritual realm is never a good idea, although many devices have been developed today to try to establish a connection with the earthly and spiritual realm. Experimenting in this manner can expose us to more negativity and give evil spirits and easy means of contacting us so that they can put their wicked plans into action. Having faith in God and working on establishing a closer connection to Him can help you stay protected from the dark plans of evil spirits. You must also work on building your emotional strength so that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable and exposed for evil spirits to draw their nourishment from you.