There was a time (and for a long time) I would hear about being “in the Spirit.” I didn’t know what that meant. I would think about some spiritual plane, or a close feeling to God, or some intangible mysterious thing. When I found out what it means, I was somewhat embarrassed because of it’s simplicity.
The apostle John said “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10) when he saw the vision for the book of Revelation. For decades John had been an apostle of the Lamb, anointed by God, and a minister of the Word, but he did not consider that as being “in the Spirit.” Being “in the Spirit” is when the Spirit opens the spirit realm to us and we’re no longer confined to the physical realm. Being in the Spirit is seeing or knowing supernaturally things the Spirit of God reveals to us.
For instance, when Peter was on the housetop and saw a vision (Acts 10:9–17). Or when Paul cast out the spirit of divination (Acts 16: 16–18). Notice Paul didn’t cast out the spirit right away, but after many days. Why? Because he wasn’t in the Spirit and didn’t know that it was a demon that was possessing the woman. Of course, he knew there was demonic influence with the woman. But when he “turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her’” Paul was in the Spirit. Paul spoke to the spirit to leave. He didn’t speak to the woman. He spoke to the spirit, and it left the woman. He wasn’t guessing it was a spirit, as often times I’ve seen some do, and that’s why the spirit left. He knew she had a spirt. That’s how we know that Paul was “in the Spirit.” He saw the demonic spirit and spoke to it. Both of these men, Peter and Paul, were apostles of Christ, anointed by the Spirit, and preachers of the Word, but they weren’t “in the Spirit” until the Holy Spirit opened the spirit world to them.
Being in the Spirit isn’t the same as walking/living in the spirit. Living and walking in the Spirit is bearing the fruit of the spirit in our lives. Paul contrasts walking/living in the spirit with walking in the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:16–25). John, Paul, and Peter were walking in the spirit, but they didn’t consider that that same as being in the Spirit.
Being “in the Spirit” is when the Holy Spirit opens the spirit realm to us and we’re no longer confined to the physical realm. It’s the place of visions and revelations, and the manifestations/gifts of the Spirit.
Stay strong and prepared.