And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezek. 36:27)
Expanded Passage: Ezekiel 36:25–27
Dr. Alfred Lanning’s monologue on the evolution of robots in the movie I, Robot is regarded as a brilliant theological treatise on free will. In it, he soliloquizes that there have always been “ghosts in the machine,” which have grouped together to form “unexpected protocols.” Asserting that these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of the soul, Lanning asks, rhetorically, when will what is perceptual ever become consciousness? When will what is different lead to the search for truth? When will personality simulation become the moat of the soul?
What Dr. Lanning was soliloquizing about, and ultimately failing to come to terms with, is what theology calls the spirit. God promised to put within his people a new spirit, which must be understood as being entirely different from the spirit of rebellion and unfaithfulness, which they had hitherto exhibited. But God’s promise to “put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees” was hardly a robotic phenomenon designed to override free will. Rather, God would himself indwell his people, prompting and directing them to walk in obedience to him.
God longs to fill you with his Spirit. He is not interested in fashioning you into some programmable entity, but his very own child who chooses to yield to his Spirit.
Let God’s Spirit fill you and move you.
Theodore Griffin is a Wesleyan pastor and a doctor of ministry student. He and his wife, Randy, have two adult children and are the proud grandparents of a ten-month-old grandson.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.