In John 4:24 Jesus said, “God is Spirit.” Oh, that we would comprehend this truth in the twenty-first century! We live in a time when only the tangible, visible, programmable and comprehensible are regarded as truth. But the spirit component is mankind’s original code—the software. The mind and body are the hardware. The expressions of God and His attributes do not define His identity. Performance, actions and attributes are not the structure of God.

As humans, we can study plants, animals and our environment on a microscopic level. We can deconstruct all the things around us, determine their molecular patterns and create synthetic replicas. We know the structure of oxygen and can even produce artificial air. But before this was possible, did we claim that air did not exist? Of course not. We could sense air. We were aware of it. The same is true of the spiritual realm. We cannot discount something just because we cannot understand it.

We can experience the invisible God just as much as we experience the invisible, natural world. God has a relational identity. He relates intrinsically as part of the Trinity (the community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and extrinsically as the Father of humanity. In both settings, God is a relational being.

The human mind, however, can only partially understand the intrinsic relationship of the Trinity. We are so transactional in our current form that we cannot comprehend relationship for relationship’s sake. But Jesus’ life on earth gives us a window into what that looks like. The first time God validated Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17), He identified Him with a relational definition: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” God did not say Jesus was a healer, miracle worker, provider or even savior. He defined who Jesus was, not what He had come to do.

Humanity is the evidence of God’s extrinsic relational nature. The image of God in us shows that He desires a relationship. Only human beings can have a personal relationship with God, Himself. This shows His relational identity. God, who is Spirit, desires to have a relationship of love with us. Understanding that—not as a belief, but as an experiential reality—is a game-changer!