Bro Ben Bassey, Mar 12
Understanding the things of the spirit may appear difficult to many. This is understandable, since the things of the spirit are not made available to the five senses.
Whereas spirituality as a general concept, has to do with the things of the spirit, true spirituality on the other hand, is more specific, and has to do with the words of God. In John 14:6, Jesus introduced himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. In John 6:63, Jesus explained the words of God are spirit: The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).
Hence, True Spirituality starts and ends with the word of God, which is Jesus. The word of God says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). Throughout the Bible, Jesus affirms that the word of God is truth: Sanctify them with your word, for your word is truth (John 17:17). Again, the Psalmist says: Thy word is true from the beginning (Ps 119:160).
The truth is vital to true spirituality because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth: “Howbelt when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Also, the apostles present the gospel as the truth, the truth of the gospel (Gal 2:14). Firm knowledge and practice of the truth is the basis for our total freedom. Jesus himself says: ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Again, same John, verse 36 says; And if the Son (Truth) shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. Jesus is the greatest emancipator of humanity that ever lived on earth. On the other hand, the devil plan is to put humanity in bondage, often using fear as one of his greatest weapon(s). Our level of freedom depends on our knowledge of the truth in the word of God, and to what extent we are able to practice it and live by it.
Salient Features of true spirituality amongst others include:
Believing in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19),
Being born of water and of the Holy Spirit(John 3:3-5). This is called spiritual rebirth or being born again
Believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God ( the Word of God), who “was made flesh” (Jn 1:14). Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus is come in flesh is anti-Christ spirit (1John 4:3)
Believe that the Word (Jesus) was with God in the beginning (John 1:1)
Be empowered through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8)
Be in friendship with the truth (Jesus):”Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14).
To appreciate that Grace and Truth came through Jesus (John 1:17), and that without the grace of God, we are nothing.
Be others centred (Rm 12:10), rather than self centred, by becoming “a living sacrifice” (Rm 12:1)
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (Matt 7:12)
Have ”thirst ”and ”hunger” for righteousness (Matt 5:6)
Be unique and be in oneness with the universe and its creator (John 10:30); ”I and my Father are one”
Be conscious of your possession in Christ Jesus: ”All things that the Father hath are mine” (John 16:15).
Desire and increasingly possess the ”fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22)
Surrender all to Christ ( including your life, finances, work, ministry, family etc)
Be totally committed to purity, holiness, righteousness, openness, honesty, transparency, sincerity, humility, diligence, peace and the fear of the Lord etc (Prov 9:10) .
To have the awareness that ”God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all”( 1 John 1:5)
Above all, to live in love with one another as ”God is love” (1John 4:8 & v16) etc
Ways of Attaining True spirituality
Regularly hearing and listening to the word of God because, ”faith cometh from hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rm 10:17).
Reading the word of God daily. This is important in knowing the word of God. The scripture says: ”And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statues, to do them” (Deut 17:19)
Studying the word of God. Studying entails, working at what we read with the purpose of understanding, retaining and utilizing the information. Brother Paul admonishes us: ”Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15)
Memorizing (God’s ) words, helps to store God words in your mind for future use. This has a way of transforming the person. The Psalmist says: ”Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee” (Ps 119:11)
Meditating on God word is to digest , thereby moving it from the level of your head to you heart, making it a permanent part of you. God instructed Joshua when he was called: ”This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8)
The three Broad Spiritual Forces
There are three broad spiritual forces operating in the universe.
There is the positive spiritual force of goodness, benevolence and unconditional love. This is God. God is Omnipotent (all powerful); Omnipresent (present every where at all times); and Omniscience all knowing). No other spiritual being in heaven and on earth has this unique attribute. The Devil is under the control of God.
There is the negative spiritual force of evil, badness, malevolent, represented by the Satan (Devil) and his agents. The third spiritual force, man, is supposed to be neutral but has his free will to cooperate either with God or Satan. If a man chooses to join and align with God, then ”goodness and mercy” will follow him (Psalm 23:6). If he chooses to cooperate with the devil, all the evil, destruction and shame of the devil will follow him. Unfortunate, a number of people sit on the fence spiritually, out of ignorance, hence suffer the consequence (Hosea 4:6)
God is truly represented by his words, and is totally and completely good, holy and pure. He is life (John1:4), perfect light and the Father of light: ”Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
On the other hand, the devil described as a thief by the word of God, has just one objective, his soul purpose is ”to steal, and to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10). The book of revelation tells us of how Satan rebelled against God out of pride and ego hence was cast down: ”And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev 12:9).
God is a Spirit of perfection. He is a Spirit of excellent. He is always positive, but perfectly positive, as there is nothing bad about it. However, he allows seemingly bad things to happen for a purpose. The word of God through prophet Isaiah says: ”I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isa 45:7).The word of God is God (John 1:1), and is always right (Psalm 33:4); God is pure( Prov 30:5); God is light (Psalm 119:105), the word of God is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1Cor 1:24) etc.
There is a spiritual warfare going on in the mind of man as Satan is always struggling gain control of the mind. However, if the man has fully surrendered to Jesus, he will need the grace of God to complete resist the devil and have control of his mind.
Man Exists as Trinity
Man as an example, exists as body, soul (mind) and spirit (1Thess 5:23). Also, virtually everything God created has a spiritual force behind it, be it good or bad. Man’s spirit being is very important to him because he created man primarily for his glory: ”Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isa 43:7). God breathed his Spirit into man and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7). God originally created man (exaltedly) in his own image and likeness (Gen 1:27). The image and nature of God include holiness, purity, truth, righteousness, honesty, humility, obedience etc Without spiritual training, nourishment, sensitivity and alertness, it is impossible to relate to God, because ”God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). Man is given the Will to choose
Man’s disconnection with God
The word of God enables us to know that the moment man disobeyed God by yielding to the deception, manipulation and seduction of the devil, man fell out of God’s original plan for him (Gen 3:6-24), This is how sin was introduced into the world. The word of God says it is our sin(s) that have separated us from God (Isa 59:1-2). Hence, following sinning, when Adam and Eve, heard the voice of God, they ran away from God and went into hiding (Gen 3:10). Without surrendering to Jesus, man spirit remains separated from God, hence spiritually death and functionally disconnected from God.
Man’s Reconnection with God
Only in Christ Jesus can a man be fully, truly and wholly reconnected to God. Jesus is the only source of our salvation and eternal life. The word of God says: ”Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Really, there is no salvation in any one else. I have read books on religion and spirituality, I have never come across where anyone else has said he can saved. Jesus himself declares: ”I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The bible says in him the dwelleth all fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9). God was pleased to have his fullness dwell in him (Col 1:19). Jesus ”is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb 1:3, NIV). All things were created by him and for him, whether in heaven and on earth (Col 1:16). The word of God says, God highly exalteth Jesus and gave ”him a name which is above every name” (Phil2:9)
Jesus came to redeem mankind and reconnect man to God through his redemption work. All we are required to do is believe with our heart, and not our mind: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rm 10:10). We need a new heart & spirit to be able believe (Ezek 36:26) as the old heart is stony and stubborn! The new heart and spirit is given to us when we surrender our lives to Jesus and accept him as our Lord and Savior. Only then do we become a new creation: ”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17). This process is of spiritual rebirth , often referred to us being ”born again” (John 3:3, & v5), is the only premise for us ”to become sons of God” (John 1:12). The spiritual rebirth, called baptism of the of the Holy Ghost is the source of empowerment for the believer to function effectively in the vineyard of God (Acts 1:8). This also referred to as anointing, usually observed externally as boldness , signs and wonders, as well as evidence of speaking ”with new tongues” ( Mark 16:17)
True spirituality is about practicing the Word of God
No matter how rich we are with the word of God, if we fail to obey it or put them into practice, it means nothing to God and nothing happens in our life. The word of God is not meant only to be quoted, preached or spoken. The devil can also quote the word of God copiously! It’s the actual obedience or practice of the word that reconnect the person to God and makes the person spiritual. Such a person becomes a friend of God. Jesus says: Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you (John 15:14). The word of God has been described as highly intelligent, penetrating, accurate, aggressive, sharp and powerful. It can penetrate into our bones, marrow and spirit: ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”( Heb 4:12). The word of God transform us (Rm 12:1-2).
Spirituality is good for every one as a means of maintaining mental health stability and true spirituality in Christ Jesus is desirable, especially with regard to our salvation and eternal life. Recent studies, even by non believers, have identified certain values which spirituality promotes including patience, perseverance, kindness, honesty, compassion, wisdom, hope, joy etc all of which help to maintain healthy mental health..
Christianity should be seen as a means of spiritual growth not to be practiced as a mere religion, because our Lord and saviour was not a religious person. Moreso, religion often brings about lack of respect for differences of belief and religion has been used as a social and political tool leading to intolerance and conflicts.
True spirituality is indeed a spiritual warfare, as the devil is constantly trying all tricks to take control of people mind. True spirituality uses the word of God in Christ Jesus. Indeed, the word of God is described as the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). The words of God are spirit and life (John 6:63). The words of God are quick and powerful (Heb 4:12).Without Jesus the Word of God (Rev 19:13), no man can obtain salvation and eternal life.