Living the Spiritual Life
Do you know what it means to live a spiritual life? Do you know how to tell if you are living one or not?
Over the years, I have talked with dozens of individuals who thought they were living spiritual lives. Although they claimed to be spiritual, many of them did not even believe in God, let alone Jesus. Even in the Church, we often experience a good deal of confusion regarding what is truly and deeply spiritual.
What Is Spirituality?
How would you describe spirituality? Some believe spirituality is the ability to control one’s emotions, be self-disciplined, fast and pray for extended periods of time, etc. Some suggest it is the ability to tap into a parallel dimension or have some type of esoteric experience, while others think spirituality is the ability to pray for people and see their lives changed or their bodies healed.
In my view, true spirituality is rather simple. It means living a life that allows me to bear more than just a few of the nine spiritual fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22–23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Bearing the fruit of the Spirit in your life is important, but a question immediately arises: How do you begin to walk this road? It is one thing to read Galatians 5:22–23 and agree with it; it is quite another to know how to apply it.
How do you begin to live a life that actually produces spiritual fruit? A life that reveals God’s nature and character to the earth? A life that allows you to put to use what is available and waiting in Heaven for you?
The typical answer usually includes prayer, fasting, and spending time with God. Obviously, each of these things is very good, and they truly will accelerate your spiritual growth. But what happens when your fast is over? What do you do when the emotions of the mountaintop experience begin to fade? How do you continue to live a spiritual life, day in and day out, in the midst of routine?
The Secret to Spirituality
Living a spiritual life must include more than simply doing spiritual things. It must go beyond self-discipline and spiritual exercises because true spirituality isn’t something you “do.” Instead, to live a truly spiritual life, you engage the One who created you to be a spiritual being. You have to get to know your Father, and that means knowing His ways.
You and I dwell in the midst of an invisible spiritual system that is constantly at work, moving and shifting all around us. As you recognize the reality of this system, your spiritual growth will greatly accelerate. Understanding God’s ways is vital if you truly desire to become spiritual. When you do not understand the ways of God, you will often find yourself fighting against the very thing God desires to accomplish.
So the key to living a spiritual life and seeing the fruit of the Spirit manifested in your heart is this: You understand God’s ways.
Why He Does What He Does
As I consider the ways of God, my heart is drawn to Moses’ conversation with Him in Exodus 33:12–13:
Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.”
Moses wanted to know God as God knew him, and he understood that the only way to know God was to know His ways—why He does what He does.
God is not separate from His ways. So when you know your Friend, you know the what and the why of spirituality. When you know His ways, You know Him, and when you know Him, you are living a spiritual life.
That is what makes living a spiritual life so important. That is why you want to know what spirituality really is! When you understand the ways of God, you will be able to see His heart. You will be able to see your life from His perspective and, therefore, walk in incredible hope. The fruit of the Spirit will abound in your daily life, and people will be able to look at you and see your Father in powerful ways.