Here is what it means to me to be spiritual. I think of it in terms of it being given a gift. It means to have a personal relationship with God through Christ. He loves me. He wants me. It pleases Him for me to accept His gift of salvation and all the benefits of being His child. I have deep gratitude for His mercy and goodness towards me. Here are some of the benefits I have received:
The GIFT of being reconciled to God.
I am so aware that it is my sin that separated me from God. It took some time before I realised I was a sinner. I had no concept of own sinfulness. In my mind I was a good person, of good moral character. I hadn’t killed anyone, committed adultery and I tried to help people where I could, treating others as I would wish to be treated. How wrong I was! In comparison to other people, perhaps I was doing okay, in comparison to God’s idea of perfect holiness, I fell far short. It was this realisation that initially made me see my need of a Saviour. Jesus was God become flesh and had died for me, in my place, taking my punishment. Why? Because He loved me. I was dead in my trespasses and sins, but He gave me life. To be spiritual is to be forgiven and restored into right relationship with God.
The GIFT of being in communion with my Maker.
It is an amazing blessing in my life to be wanted and loved by God. That He is with me. I am with Him. he lives in me and I in Him. I am ever grateful for the school mum who witnessed to me of Christ’s salvation. She helped me see my need of Him. I had been on a spiritual search for years, seeking love, acceptance, the way to live. I found it all in Christ. I was raised in a home with a violent father, a neglectful mother and I was an only child. I don’t remember feeling lonely but there was always a feeling of disconnection and fear. I married young to a man who became an alcoholic. There was a lot of strife in our household and much debt and lack of all things. I was desperate. Life was very hard by the time that school mum shared the gospel with me. But, oh, when I made the decision to give my life to Christ everything changed within. He was with me now! I felt Him so close and I worshipped Him constantly. I could not get enough of reading the Bible and other Christian books and I was at church every time the doors were open. My circumstances were still dire, but for the first time in my life I was not ALONE. To be spiritual is to be one with God.
The GIFT of being guided.
As I continued to grow in grace and knowledge of God’s ways, my life slowly started changing as my mind was being renewed in the Word of God. As I read the Scriptures, it seemed God would help me to apply it to my life and gave me guidance and direction to overcome some of the problems in my life. When I followed His guidance good things happened. When I disobeyed the guidance I would fall. But God would always pick me up again. I was learning how to walk closely with Him. I was learning how to let go of control, due to fear, and allow Him to take over, one area of life at a time. And now 20 years later, I am still a learner in the school of the Spirit, but now I have the opportunity to share some things I have learned with others through teaching, mentoring and leadership development. To be spiritual is to be connected to divine guidance and walk in His providence, participating in His work in the world.
The GIFT of being empowered by the Spirit.
Growing up I always struggled with gaining my father’s approval. He was, and is, a very intelligent and skilled man. He always let me know that he would have preferred a son. My mother always told me that I was an accident and she did not have any more children because of how nasty my dad was. I tried so hard in school to do well. I was a good student who obtained good grades, but no matter how good my grades were, they were not good enough for my dad. Over time I came to believe I wasn’t good enough. I struggled with fear and low self-confidence for most of my life. After I came to the Lord though, I began to identify various things I was especially gifted for. It seemed there were things I could do that came easily, almost without any effort at times. One big one was singing. Oh how I loved praising the Saviour! I soon joined the music team at my local church and now I am the Music Director and play keyboard and guitar as well. other areas of service are teaching, preaching, encouraging others and writing. to be spiritual means to be anointed be the Holy Spirit to love and serve others with gladness and to have grace to overcome challenges and limitations.
The GIFT of being loved and accepted.
It was hard at first to receive and experience the fact that I was loved by God. As I was. Before I changed. Before I ever did anything for Him. He loved me for me. I am loved as I am on the way to where I am going. I had no problem understanding I loved Him. But Him love me? No way. I felt I had to change first. I tried to earn His love by being a ‘good girl’. Working hard in ministry. Doing my best. Nowadays when I catch myself in performance mode I am able to come aside with God, reflect and gain perspective from Him. Knowing I am loved and accepted and owning that truth means that I can do good works in His kingdom because I want to, because I get to, not because I have to. To be spiritual is to be connected to love. God is love.
The GIFT of knowing the truth and being made free.
God’s Word has been such a lifesaver for me. It’s timeless wisdom and comfort never gets old. God’s truth has brought stability into my life and my emotions. I never have to wonder what I should do in any situation for the Bible has wise instruction and godly counsel for me whenever I need it. I have developed a daily discipline of reading God’s Word and I attend bible studies and love to hear the Word preached with power and authority. I do believe that over time the truth of the Word has liberated me in many areas, helped me to be a better wife, mother homemaker, get out of debt and break out of many limiting beliefs including overcoming fear. I am a much bolder person since becoming a Christian. I still feel fear but I am much more confident in God to step out in faith. To be spiritual is to be a keeper and proclaimer of truth.
The GIFT of everlasting life.
Everyone wants to know the meaning of life and what happens when we die. I was no exception. I believed in Heaven and hell, but had no idea of how one came to be in these places. My main theory was that, on a scale of justice, when God judged us, he would place all my good deeds on one side and my bad on the other and as long as my good deeds outweighed the bad I presumed I was going to Heaven when I died. I don’t know where I picked up this idea, but I know it is a common assumption. When I first began to understand my sinfulness and God’s requirement for holiness I began to see I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. Certainly undeserving of a place in Heaven. But of course the good news is that Jesus Christ died for our sin and His blood cleanses us white as snow. More than this His righteousness is imputed to me. Great news. I now have an assurance that I have a place in Heaven, not on the basis of anything I have done, but due to everything Christ has done for me. How wonderful! To be spiritual is to know you abide in Christ and have an eternal hope of glory.
Spend some time in quiet reflection today enjoying the goodness and fullness of what Christ has done for you. Be thankful and praise His Name. May God delight you with His love this day. Amen.