Contemplative Monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Tapping Into Your Spiritual Life


All Scripture is to bring us to Jesus who ushers us into the presence of God whereby, we are transformed.

If rule keeping could have gotten us there, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus. As it is, with Jesus, God puts a new heart and a new spirit within us.

I like to look at it like this: we have the seed of the Tree of Life being planted in the garden of our heart. Jesus is the tree of life.  The Holy Spirit nourishes the seed in our garden, to sprout and grow and bear fruit within us. This whole process is spiritual and beyond our soul’s ability to comprehend, or to enter into because we blew it, eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, duality. It’s in our genetics. We need God’s transformation. So God is making it right here within us, if we can discern, die to our soul’s leadership, and enter in.

Here are a few Scriptures to help jog your deep thinking:

Again, because we don’t differentiate between our soul and our spirit, we are generally so busy in the labyrinth of our soul, we’re too busy to begin to even think of God. We serve God with our soul and we waste away and we don’t even know why.

It behooves us to learn to discern between our spirit and our soul, so that with our new heart, and our new spirit, we can restore our own spirit to its rightful place in our lives. Instead of being a soul-empowered person, we become a life-giving spirit, bearing Jesus.

Our analytical mind keeps us safely earthbound  within the counsels of our soul, while our intuitive heart calls us out into the realms of our spirit to soar.

Yes, we need both, but our spirit must lead the way, if we are to ever begin living a spiritual life.

Our spirit is our vehicle to entering into eternity and into the presence of God. From there it is through our spirit that the eternal life of God manifests, and works out into our lives.

This is ‘the Why’ behind Jesus’ words, “Abide in me     Apart from Jesus, our works are temporary, earthly, and need constant maintenance. But now we are citizens of heaven, spiritually empowered, we bring the life and even bear the presence of God. We bring heaven on earth. And as God is love, it is through God’s love that we live indeed.

As discernment is learned, here is some rough observations from my own spiritual practice.

Please Note: As the Psalmist tells us: the words of the Lord are refined seven times, so our words need to be refined again and again, hence ie ‘rough observations.’ ie we see and understand in part.

There are many ways we can learn to lean into, or to shift into our spirit. I know of 85 Christian spiritual practices and I’m sure there’s a lot more. I would, however, like us to focus on what I believe is the most natural and easiest way: our breath.

Spirit is our breath, our life, our life-force, our energy, essence, being, or our presence. We are all Human Beings. There are a lot of ways to describe our spirit, but the Scripture, both Hebrew and Greek, and most cultures agree on the meaning. For example, it’s qi in Chinese culture.

Through Breath Meditation, we can actually move our consciousness from our body into our spirit, avoiding the endless chatter of our mind altogether. This takes some time to develop, as our old self-tends to rise up and take dominance. But dying to our old self, ie our fallen self, is critical to living to our new self, our whole self in God. It’s why the Apostle Paul said, I die daily. It’s the first step in any good spiritual practice. It’s what confession is about. It’s getting ourselves out of the way. In Eastern practices, they call it, emptying ourselves of ourselves. But however we frame it, ‘the old man must die’, to use King James terminology.

Note: This breath practice is to activate our spirit, not necessarily to bring us into God’s presence, though that can happen it’s not the focus for now.

Tapping into Wholeness

As our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, we’ve become a sacred place in this world. Instead of going to a Holy Place, we’ve become a Holy Place. Selah: Live as the temple of God you are. This is apart from gathering together. ie the Body of Christ. Here we’re looking at the spiritual reality, ‘we’ve moved from going to a sacred place, to becoming one’, you are entering into your inner room, (your spirit) and closing the door (on your soul).

Now, the heart of who you really are is your breath, your spirit. And here we are, in our spirit, with God’s ‘gift’ transforming us, the Holy Spirit. Awakening our spirit is critical to living a spiritual life.  Awake O Sleeper! Arise from the dead Paul encourages us.

The Divine Exchange

As To Spiritual States and Stages

Wrapping it up, here are a few more insights to help you deepen your understanding of what goes on in spiritual practice.

There are different spiritual states and stages and they are as varied and as unique as we are. God meets us exactly where we are in our spiritual journey. You don’t have to work it up. We’re not talking about ‘soul states’, but spiritual ones. Most of us are familiar with only a few of them.

This reminds me of the Brownsville Revival. For me, when I walked in, it was like walking in a cloud, vast, thick, and transcendent. People didn’t want to leave and would sit into the wee hours of the morning, smiling in grateful wonder and peace. It’s like soaking in the presence of God. God was doing some deep healing in those moments.

But these are ‘spiritual states’ we move into and out of. They eventually fade away into distant memories. ‘States’ aren’t permanent, though their transformation can be.

Now please get this: When a ‘spiritual state’ becomes integrated into our lives, it becomes ‘a stage’, a platform from which we live and dwell in. And isn’t that what God intended for us from the beginning, to dwell with him in abundant life forever?

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