Jun. 7, 2017

The Three R's of Spirituality

I fear we often make living a Christian life and following Christ’s teaching much more difficult than He ever intended. The story of faith is really quite simple: Believe in God. Believe God sent Jesus. Believe Jesus willingly went through the horrors of capital punishment despite being innocent to make a point. Believe He rose again offering eternal life for all who believe and get His point. Believe in the Holy Spirit as our guide on earth until we join them in Heaven. That’s the point.

Spirituality is nurtured in a variety of ways. I’ve realized the following three aspects of my faith must be present for Satan to be absent in my life.

Reading – I believe wholeheartedly that God sits in Heaven and says, “I didn’t say that.”  Paul must approach God often and say, “I promise I didn’t say that.”  All the while, Jesus laments, “Did they listen to anything I said?” It’s hard to live out our faith if we really have no clue what that faith is all about. God convicted me recently that I spend entirely too much time watching TV, taking naps, and posting on Facebook. Valuable time is sucked up that could be spent on my personal spiritual nourishment. The Bible puts it this way, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee,” Psalm 119:11 (KJV). Modern day translation as it speaks to me: “I’m going to fill myself with so much Truth that lies will not get past me. I am going to know You so well that no one can misrepresent You to me. I’m not going to debate Your word. I’m going to live it.”

Righting – I believe the number two problem with spirituality today is we are not humble enough. Let me rephrase that: God is convicting me that my attitude of pride is getting in the way of what He wants to say through me. As pride increases in our society, confession decreases. We are created to live in fellowship with the God of the Universe and each other. We’ve got to stop moving to our preferred corner and shutting everyone else out of our lives (ouch!). We’ve got to live out Mark 11:25, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Many of us forget that Jesus said this when He taught the lesson of the withered fig tree. We do not produce spiritual fruit, our church does not make a spiritual impact, and our words are meaningless if we are not willing to admit when we are wrong. (Another ouch!) Modern translation: Roni, if you are trying to come before My throne and get My attention, you’d better go work things out with your problem people. Until then, talk to The Hand because The Ears aren’t listening!

Righteousness – what is God saying to you? It isn’t necessarily going to be the exact same thing God says to me.  We have a very personal and individualized God. He tailors His message to our needs and those areas we where need to hear Him. The question shouldn’t be, “What church do you go to?” The question should be personalized, “What is God telling me to do for Him?”  It might not involve a building at all.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I walked through very angry years. I was rejected, belittled, minimized, and cast out by a church that I loved deeply and served fervently. I believe God had to shove me out of a building to get me out in the streets (well, on social media). Our country, in fact – our world, will change when we, as Christians, change.