The Simple Guide to Becoming Spiritual

want to start this post by making it very clear, I completely believe in prayer, fasting, and Bible reading. As you read on I’m sure you will see this to be evident. While I believe in these things with all my heart, I’ve also begun to see the damage in the misunderstandings about them. Most have believed, for various reasons, that their spirituality is solely based upon these things, and if we aren’t praying, reading, and fasting in large amounts, we have not even begun to be spiritual. The truly sad thing about this misunderstanding, is that almost none of us, myself included, are nowhere near where we want to be in these areas. In fact, most of us are ashamed by the lack of time spent giving to them. So, knowing this to be true, it can easily be said that not many of us feel spiritual at all. In fact, we see ourselves as spiritual failures.

I would like to try to shed a little light on this subject, in hopes of giving you some encouragement, and relieving some of your fears and doubts. Here are three easy Biblical ways to understand spirituality.

1. Letting go of identity

When we enter into a relationship with God we must allow Him to be first, to have His will over our own. Jesus gave us this pattern to start out with in prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 KJV) I think the real question becomes, “how do I know what God wants from me?” While there isn’t one quick easy answer, there is one main request and theme that’s pushed throughout the entire New Testament. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38 KJV) Then we see Paul making this statement in Romans 10:16. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” And if we are to be sent, as mentioned in verse 15, than we need to be yielded to His requests.

2. God-given power to us

We must understand why God has given us power. The power of God begins with understanding His love and forgiveness toward us, and next with loving others. Peter, who denied Jesus three times while in His darkest hour, was approached by Jesus after the resurrection. He didn’t ask Peter if he had gotten his prayer life in better order. Instead He gave him a chance to be restored by asking three times, “Do you love me?”  When Peter responded yes to all three questions, Jesus then replied, “feed my sheep.” Understanding the love and forgiveness of God helps us to love and forgive others.  When we love Jesus, we will feed His sheep.

3. Prayer and Bible reading

Prayer and Bible reading start with a need. We can’t expect to pick up the Bible and read three chapters, or kneel down for two hours of prayer every day when we have no reason to. Don’t misunderstand me, there is always a reason to pray and read, but do you personally have a deep need within yourself that’s driving you to it? Most of us do not. So as a result, when we try to force ourselves, we only feel as if we are spinning our wheels, thus leaving us thinking, “what’s the point?”  The need is created within us when we start to see this world as Jesus did. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 KJV). A burden for the lost will drive you to your knees every time. You’ll see God’s Word as food that feeds you, so in turn, you’ll have food to feed others. You’ll gain a renewed hunger for prayer and Bible reading when you love as Christ loved.

Make no mistake, soul winning is one of those funny things. When you make up your mind to make it a life pattern, everything will change. God will put you in situations that will force you to show wisdom. Why? “…He that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30 KJV) God will also try to test you to keep you sharp, and on the proper path. Look at Abraham in Genesis 22. The chapter starts out by stating, “and God did tempt Abraham” and after the whole ordeal has played out, God says in verse 12, “now I know that you love me”.

I think it could all be summed up by saying, as you let your will go, you will see God’s will. As you see His will, you will feel His burden. As you feel His burden, you will want to do a work for Him. And as you do a work for Him, you will want to pray, read, and fast. And when you pray, read, and fast with this type of drive, you can’t help but  become spiritual.

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Failing While at Your Spiritual Best

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Have you ever wondered, while seeming to be at your spiritual peak, you can do some of the worst things and fall so easily? I feel this is something that has many of us perplexed and confused. While I don’t believe there is only one concrete answer, there are some things we can better understand that will help keep us on the right path, no matter where we seem to be right now in our walk with God.

Cloud Nine vs. Going Deep

There is a difference between being deep with God, and being on a momentary cloud nine. When you’re on cloud nine, commitments can be easily broken in a moment of weakness. For example, King David with Bathsheba (2Sam 11). King David was full of himself and his position as king rather than God and His commands. We christians can be the same way with religion rather than relationship. We must always strive to deepen the relationship, and that takes time and commitment. When we’ve gone deep with God nothing can pull us away. Job is a great example of this. While at his worst, his deep relationship with God pulled him through, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my own ways before him.” (Job 13:15 KJV)

The relationship must be personal

It’s impossible to cheat when you’re in love. It’s when the relationship has lost its value, or has never meant anything to begin with that you start to get the wrong ways of thinking, and allow yourself to do something harmful. Remember, “personal” means just between you and Him, no matter what anybody else does or thinks about what you’re doing. Friends and family may go astray, but is your commitment built on their relationship with God, or your own? We must do what we do out of love for Him, and then we’ll remain in His hand. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

While on top, it’s easy to get over-confident.

There’s no argument to be made against the power that comes from prayer, Bible reading, and fasting. They work! However, the question should be asked, “Have I reached this place due to only one good altar call, one good prayer meeting, or one good talk with my pastor or close friend, or is it because I’ve been making prayer and Bible reading a part of my daily walk?” No doubt, a good talk or prayer meeting can do wonders for us, but they are nothing more than a quick boost or pick-me-up, and should be seen as just that. It’s the time spent with God that makes us go deep with Him. While Job was at his physical worst, he spoke more times of the secrets of God than any time before. See Job 11:16; 14:13; 15:8; 15:11; 29:4; 40:13. Our confidence must be in the Word of God rather than a one time experience, or a string of bad days and events.

It’s not the mistakes that define us

Our attitude about our failures is what will make us or break us. If we decide to live under the weight of our mistake, we will become failures. If we get the attitude that says, “I’ve already done this bad thing and failed, so what’s it going to matter if I do this now?”, we will become failures. If you get the attitude, “This is just the way I am, get over it!” you will become a failure. If we want to be spiritually confident, we must love God’s word and what it stands for, and have a love for prayer and spending time with God. These things are built with time and love, never over-night.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 KJV)