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discipleship

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A spiritual person

What does it mean to be spiritual?

It ain't how the world defines it!

Is it a person who spends endless hours on their knees, contorting or flaggelating their bodies or performing some other physical pose to work towards emptying their inner self to gain some form of spiritual enlightenment?  No.

Is it someone who attends worship services and sings like an angel in songs of praise?  No.

Is it someone who gives lots of money for philanthropic causes to help others? No. 

Is it someone who studies the Bible and can quote from memory many important theological truths? No. 

So what does it mean to be spiritual, according to God's definition?  

The Bible tells us.  

Meditation at the sea shore with full moon

A spiritual person is one who is not "fleshly", meaning someone not living immature and guided by worldly passions. One who is not divisive in the Church as in this example below, putting preference of personalities as dividing walls in fellowship with one another in the family of God. When we let our flesh control what we say and how we live, and not the truths of Christ, denying self for Jesus's sake, and true love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are guided not by the Spirit, but by our sinful flesh. That is unspiritual.

 

Grown-ups in Christ, deny self and sacrificially give to others, even if they prefer something else in the flesh. That is a spiritual person! Walking obedient to Christ as the Holy Spirit leads us all to do.

 

Think about it. Do you demand your own comforts in most everything you do and places you go, thinking you "deserve it"; or are you dying to self daily laying down your feelings to show Gods love really lives in you?

Listen to how Apostle Paul defines being spiritual below. 

"Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.  I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife  among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?  For whenever someone says, “I’m with Paul,” and another, “I’m with Apollos,” are you not unspiritual people?" (1 Corinthians 3:1‭-‬4 HCSB Https://bible.com/bible/72/1co.3.1-4.HCSB)

A spiritual person according to God, (and His opinion is the only one that matters) is one who follows Christ, not living in childish devisive ways clinging to a particular pastor or Bible teacher as the guru of your faith. Jesus alone is the "guru" of your faith, follow him, and following him means growing up and denying self. 

 

JESUS said, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

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Before God blindly?

I am Gabriel!!! I stand in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you this good news!!  (Luke 1:19 exclamations mine)

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This is how I see it. I added the exclamations. This is from the story of Zechariah the priest getting the news of his 80 year old wife's pregnancy; their prayers for a son answered by God in such a dramatic way. Zechariah was standing before God's highest archangel and requesting a sign!?? Really? Haha. Wow. I hope when God speaks to me l can be more properly responsive. I mean he came and appeared before him fresh in the glory of God himself, the archangel Gabriel!

Just before, the text states that Zechariah "nearly peed himself" in fear, when Gabriel appeared in vs 12 (using modern day expressions)! Gabriel had to comfort him to not to be afraid, but that he came bearing good news, and then he told him that he and Elizabeth's prayers were about to be answered with the conception of John.

Just prior to all this the text narrates some about who Zechariah and Elizabeth were. It said they were righteous people before God, living blameless lives following God's commands. Wow. That's quite a statement of how great a man Zechariah really was! He was truly a man of faith, while most only were going through the motions of religion, he followed God out of love and obedient faith.  It had been hundreds of years of mostly silence to the people of Israel. Miracles were mostly stories of long ago history, so when Zachariah gets a visit from heaven's great angel Gabriel, he had trouble with what seems like simple faith. Zechariah sees and trembles and hears the from God his Holy Angel, and then dares ask for a sign to prove what he said was true? LOL. I can't help but laugh.

   We know how the story ends. This statement above is what Gabriel begins with by basically saying (my rendition): "I am Gabriel, " for crying out loud! Are you so blind and dim that you don't take my own appearing before you as enough of a sign?! Well since you apparently are so blind, I'll make you blind until your son is born! That will be your sign!" 

I chuckle at this story, but as I think it over I also freeze with some fear over my own frailties and inability to hear God and obey at first word from him. I too have stood in the presence of not just one of his holy Angels, but the presence of God through his indwelling Spirit! Yet I still get dim-witted and blind and allow myself to fall into sin from time to time. O how this grieves me and causes me to fall on my face in repentance and sadness!    My God who redeemed me and robed me his own glory and righteousness, the goodness of Christ, and who now lives in me through the Holy Spirit; How in my right and sane mind could I ever willfully sin?! How?! Like Paul sometimes, I must humble my heart and say, "O wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of this body of death? (Romans 7:24)

Within us all is a war raging! A war of love for God's law and glory, given by Holy Spirit transforming us from the inside out, the new man born of God, daily fighting the old man and law of sin and death! If you desire God, and truly want to be like Jesus, this battle will never stop raging...the day it does, you have turned around and are walking from God.

Fight my friends! Never give up! From Glory to Glory we shall overcome! We know when we fail our God, we have purification and restoration to keep in the war! All we need to do is repent and come to Jesus. (1Jhn 1:8-9) We too can rejoice like Paul and say as he did in Romans 7:25 ...

"Thanks be then to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Why? Because Jesus himself declared that even if we fall, Satan can never own us ever again and he will complete what he started in us(Phil1:6)! Hallelujah!

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” -John 10:27-30

Stay in the battle and see with clear eyes the glory of God working in you.

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Questions to ponder and comments from James 4:1-10

Do I ask God for my needs, or do I just fight it out of life myself?Do my prayers go unanswered? Do I ask God with correct motives, for his glory, or for my own pleasures? Am I really loyal to God? Do I realize the world is against God and is his enemy? Do I remember that being a friend and lover of the world is being an enemy of God? Do I dare ask God for things while still loving the world, and really expect him to bless my prayers; really? Do I think God's Word wasn't serious when it said, "The Spirit that God made to live in us wants us for himself alone?"

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It's time we examine our lives and come near to God in Christ Jesus. Change our laughing into crying, our happiness into sadness, humble ourselves in repentance in the Lord's presence. Then He will lift us up and give us life and honor. This is how we begin to see the power of God in our lives and our prayers get answered.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Ps 37:4 In delighting in him, our desires become God's desires.

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