An object is a material phenomenon that is made of matter, for example, something you can touch or feel. Natural processes govern how that object will react in any given situation. However, there are many things in our lives that are not material, but merely ideas. You may well think of all sorts of things like a password which you did not write down, your opinion of something, a memory of an event, a short grocery list which you memorized, an imaginary friend, or even addition or subtraction in math!
Ideas such as messages are non-material. An idea can be communicated by all or some of the following material means: letters on a page, pictographs on rock, smoke signals, spoken sounds, Morse code, flag positions, or even body language. The non-material nature of an idea is evident in that it can be represented by several physical systems, and yet the symbol (such as a sentence on this page) is not the idea but only a physical representation. Non-material ideas can only come from a mind and they can only exist in a mind.
Many aspects of living creatures are non-material. The information exhibited by the genetic code and animal body plans, for example, come from ideas which are non-material. The essence of life is information, which is totally non-material. The Lord, our creator, had all these ideas before anything was created.