contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

By My Spirit: A Case for Christian Mysticism

The Hidden Wonder V Arthur Täysikuu via Compfight

Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord.

God doesn’t generally speak to me through the current Christian literature and sermons. They tend to be formulaic, leading to a desired outcome.

Well, life doesn’t work that way. Life’s a mess. Jesus normally taught in parables, not processes.

Could you picture Jesus teaching: Five Steps to Abundant Life, or The Three Spiritual Laws to Being Born Again?

Our analytical approach to God stifles our spirituality.

It keeps us busy, running the Christian gerbil wheel, making us think we’re making progress.

Well, I’ve got news for you. God’s not interested in your progress. He wants to spend time with you. God wants to transform your whole glorious mess of a life. And it all begins with our spirit, not our soul.

God’s always after our spirit. It’s where we commune with God.

If we begin with our soul, we tend to become ritualistic, formulaic, and very religious…forms instead of substance. The ultimate soul worker is the ascetic.

I can remember working forty-eight hours a week, praying straight three hours every day, total fasting two days a week, reading my Bible an hour and a half a day, praying on an intercession team, throwing in three day total fasts, and seven day water fasts, all trying to get close to God. After a year and a half of this, God finally spoke to me. He simply said, “What are you doing?” I got the message.

Believers and churches are dying in the West because we’re trying to do in our soul what can only be done in our spirit.

Jesus puts it this way, “It’s the spirit that gives life, human effort doesn’t count. The words that I speak to you are spirit and life.”

When we are spirit-centered in Jesus, everything else begins to slowly fall into place. God starts growing his character in our lives, like a tree of life Jesus, growing within us. And this character?

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

All integration happens in our heart. Our spiritual life transforms our heart. It’s how we become whole-hearted, kind-hearted, and tender-hearted Believers.

It’s how we begin to live a full life, a whole life, an abundant life.

These things are like a spring, flowing into our soul, but they are not born there. They are born of God to us, and our soul flourishes.

 

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