Said George: “You know we are on a wrong track altogether. We must not think of the things we could do with, but only of the things that we can’t do without
.” (Three Men in a Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog
by Jerome K. Jerome)
To understand Paul’s take on the Holy Spirit, we first need a lesson in filters. In your car, an air-intake system feeds the engine’s compressors. That system takes in both air and everything floating in it—pollen, bugs, dirt, everything. That’s why we need an air filter. It prevents all those fragments from clogging the engine.
What works for car engines works for spiritual engines, too. We also have an intake system, complete with filters that decide what we take in and what we filter out. For instance, if I believe in reincarnation, then my experience of the natural world will filter through that belief. Childhood wounds will filter adult conversations and relationships. Our filters determine what gets to our “engines.”