How Rebirth Happens
A person’s spiritual rebirth is brought about by the Lord alone. The Divine Spirit works in unseen ways in the person and around him, using every means available. It is said very truly that a person becomes a son or daughter of God by spiritual rebirth, since his rebirth comes from what could be called an impregnation by the Divine, and the constant watching over or Providence of the Divine. The main influence in spiritual rebirth is the Divine Spirit, or Life, which a person is constantly receiving from the Lord. The Life which keeps him in existence physically also sustains him spiritually. It carries inside of it a re-creative power which tends to bring us into harmony with itself. It is a purposeful power, pressing into our inner being in the effort to rebuild our character and make it a true and fitting manifestation of its activity. It works quietly, respecting our freedom we aren’t conscious of it and its effect on us varies with our reaction to it.
Heredity and environment may be strong influences in the determination of human character, but the biggest determining factor is the ceaselessly active Spirit of the Lord.
There are other influences in our spiritual rebirth as well, which the Divine Spirit takes hold of and uses. I said before that a person is born with tendencies toward evil. These exist in his ego. But there are also good tendencies in everyone. These are not from the ego, but from the Lord. I am not talking about hereditary personality traits which seem to be good. If you look at it closely, you will see that this kind of good trait is motivated by the ego and made impure by self. It is just “natural goodness”, and it needs to be purified by the process of rebirth. In fact, every inherited trait needs to be refined before it can work in harmony with the Divine purpose. The ego can use good traits to achieve its own ends, and it is only when the ego is mastered that we can be sure the good things we do are genuine. There is nothing heavenly in good done for personal advantage and with the view of getting something out of it. This is true whether we’re going after reward in this world or reward in the afterlife.
We have to learn to do good from a heavenly motive to the honor of the Lord, where everything good comes from. The Lord uses His own goodness in us as a very powerful tool for our spiritual rebirth. Under its influence our natural emotions are refined, rearranged, and brought into harmony with the spirit of our regenerator. When the Divine Good comes into our desires, it gives them a new direction and a new motivation. It removes the stain of egoism.
You should realize that all genuine goodness in any human being is from the Lord, and is His. This realization comes to us with more and more force as we move along in the process of rebirth.