Barb and I were visiting her grandmother, who at nearly 90 years old lived in a nursing home, having moved there from the farm that had been in their family since the middle 1800's. She had reached the point she couldn't care for it and became confined to a wheelchair, so a nursing home in town near Barb's family was where she moved.
Barb and I were just teenagers at the time, but loved talking to her about the Lord and the farm and faith and her younger days, when her grandmother said something that has stayed with us all these years:
"Inside I still feel like that 17 year old girl running through the orchard on the farm, but this body has changed around me."
Man's unchanging spirit
Her grandmother's observation is one all adults can make. We have grown physically, mentally, and experientially through the years, but inside we still feel like we did years or even decades ago. Her grandmother at age 90 still felt like a teenager running through the family orchard as a 17 year old, but her body changed around her. Barb ran through that same orchard at about age 9 and has wonderful memories of 'the farm'. But today we would walk, not run through that orchard if it still existed (It doesn't).
For me I think back to being able to run up and down a basketball court for hours when I was 17, but I'm not able to jump as high nor change direction as quickly as I used to - and don't even ask me to dunk a basketball now. Inside I'm the same, but this body has changed around me.
This observation about the body changing around us while inside we are still the same person and feel inside as we did decades ago, shows us we don't need these earth-bodies to live. Our spirit man doesn't need the physical body to live, for if it did our spirit would age and grow old parallel to the reduced physical abilities that come with aging. If so, our spirit man would also endure things like failing spiritual eyesight and spiritual ability to hear the Lord, have less spiritual endurance and even less spiritual memory, so our spirit man would suffer the same fate - but it doesn't.
There is no escaping it; Our bodies are of the earth and age accordingly. But our spirits did not come from this earth, and therefore don't need the earth-body to live.
This observation that inside we are the same people we were when we were children, unchanged but for physical, mental, and experiential development, proves we are eternal. That we are unchanged over 20, 30, 40 and 50 years and more, scientifically speaking, we must therefore conclude we will continue to be the same 75, 100, 500, 1000, 10,000 years or more from now. The only thing that has changed is our experiences while in the physical world. Inside we remain the same.
Paul said it this way: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are renewed day by day....so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since that which is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18
Many Christian don't know how to identify nor live from their spirit
In fact, my series offered on the website (Knowing Your Spirit, Knowing Your God)is largely about identifying your spirit and how to have a relationship with the Father and Lord on a Holy Spirit to human spirit basis.
Mentioning in this space that inside we feel the same as we did decades ago, just our bodies have changed around us, that starts the process. A person looks down inside themselves to their 'core'.
You notice your spirit when you say something wrong and you feel grieved down inside you. Your mind notices that down inside you. It is where as is described in popular culture, a person feels dirty after a sexual encounter that in their mind they know was wrong. That dirty feeling, that grievance is your spirit.
When I sought the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and the initial evidence as seen in Acts of speaking in tongues, I so filled my head with books and the opinions of others I found it difficult to know where and what my spirit-man was. I was approaching the baptism with the Spirit intellectually, trying to find or initiate the words in my mind, and it was only our good friend, Janny, who taught me how to focus down inside in my spirit.
Paul said, "When I pray in tongues (an unlearned language) my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.."
Your spirit is that part of you that is eternal that your body has grown and changed and aged around. Your spirit is noticed when your mind shifts its attention down inside when you notice something you said 'grieved' you, where you sense a premonition about something bad about to happen, and where you sense a joy some morning and in your mind you wonder what your spirit man knows that is so good.
Consider your spirit man, which combined with your soul is eternal and doesn't need this earth-body to live. The Bible speaks of a day when believers will receive bodies made of heavenly material, bodies which will never age just like our spirit never ages...what a day...more next week, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org