We tend to fall in a category whereby we deem only certain persons to become spiritual giants, believing that anything above what we call normal is in actual fact beyond our reach. Surely it is only those who devote all their time to meditation & prayer who will get the breakthrough of Spiritual satisfaction. But, this is so far from what the Word says, for we are all afforded His love, understanding & heavenly benefits. We are supposed to be one with Him, in Him & through Him.
God really intended the discipline of the spiritual life to be available for every ordinary human being, people like us who work, look after siblings, gardening, house – keeping, growing up or maturing, etc., these are the quite natural order of things. Therefore, spiritual discipline is best exercised in our daily relationships of husbands & wives, brothers & sisters, neighbours & friends.
Where does it all start? Well to begin with it is:
- Laughter & joy; thus liberating ourselves from slavery of self – interest & fear of not gaining what it is worth. Think of what freedom comes to mind when you sing, dance & shout your praises & adoration to our God. Spirituality is enhanced when you crave to seek God’s grace & His presence and forget about the cares of the world.
The issue at hand is to practice spiritual discipline, by starting at the basic requirement of longing after God. The Psalmist in Psalms 42:1-2, writes, “As a heart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O’ God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42:7 mentions the words, “Deep calls unto deep.” What does this mean for us? Well perhaps you underwent something like the following without really understanding what is happening. You felt or heard in a sense a need for a deeper / closer call to a fuller life & living cycle; you have become aware of frothy biblical experiences and shallow teachings which merely pass over your head; now & again you suddenly catch glimpses or hints of a far more deeper understanding than you have had before. Normal church gatherings don’t necessarily feed your spirit; there is a lack of some spiritual ingredient, you find that you need a more deeper understanding to settle your spirit. Somewhere deep within you there is a longing for a more deeper serious relationship with God, but you seem out of reach.
There are somewhat difficulties to enter in this spiritual discipline. The first being the philosophic phase and the second is the practical phase. Let’s unfold the first difficulty of the philosophic phase:
- Being in a materialistic world, we as people are lead to believe what we don’t see is actually beyond our ability to reach or achieve. We are prejudiced into thinking materialistically & believing that non- seeing means it doesn’t really exist.
- Contrary to popular belief, meditation actually brings one to a closer encounter with God, but worldly people see it as manipulation by other spirits. We should be exploring the spiritual life with all rigour & determination, as the Word says.
Moving on to the second difficulty of practical phase:
- We simply do not know how to go about exploring the inward life or spiritually disciplined lifestyle. In the Biblical days it was general custom in the understanding & knowledge of what to do in the event of disciplines like prayer, fasting, worship & celebrations. For example how to prepare for a fast, how to break a fast or how to cater for or avoid dizziness while fasting – everybody knew what to do.
- One must however remember the outset practical disciplines need to match the inward spiritual disciplines, meaning that you need to change the inward attitude of your heart to achieve spiritual discipline. In James 1:17, we get an understanding of what’s required; we have one thing to do, namely, to experience a life of relationship & intimacy with God, “the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”.
Hold onto the next episode where we will discuss this aspect further as we attempt to seek spiritual discipline.
The Writer travels with you seeking this spiritual discipline!