We Christians profess a relationship with a powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing God.? We profess that God loves us and will help us.? However, why do Christians seem to suffer just as much as the world around them?? Why do Christians seem to be so helpless in their lives and yet profess a heavenly Father who loves them?? Wouldn?t even a human father help his own children?
I believe that the problem is that Christians are not spiritual and yet they align themselves with a God who is spirit.? Christians tend to be ignorant about the ways of God and therefore do not experience the benefits of a caring and loving heavenly Father.
Psalm 103:1?5 (NKJV) ?  Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:  Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,  Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,  Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle?s.
Most Christians appear to not know the God that they profess to serve and put their faith in.? Most Christians go to church on Sundays and go through the motions of religion and know very little to nothing about the spiritual aspects of God?s kingdom.? Consider the typical church service in traditional churches.? There is a program that you follow from start to end.? There is no room for a spiritual interruption of the Holy Spirit because the church is following the script.? Church services are typically spectator sport.? Ultimately, there is very little to no spirituality in the life of a Christian.? They live like the world and look like the world with no good representation of a loving and caring heavenly Father.
In this article, I hope to show that the deficiency of spirituality in the Christian community is not only hurting us, but also hurting our witness to the world.? I hope to show that we need to be spiritual in our daily lives so that we can better interact with God, who is spirit, and operate in His Kingdom.? Christians need to be spiritual and operate spiritually.
The Problem is Religion
The biggest problem in the Christian community, in my opinion, is religion. Christians lack spirituality but are abundant and religion and religious activities. Jesus Christ did not die on the cross and rise from the dead so that we could have religion. He did not die on the cross and sacrifice his life for our salvation so that we could have Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, holiness, United Church of Christ, and so forth. However, Christians seemed to think that these denominations along with their various unscriptural dogma in doctrine are somehow what God desired for us.
Religion separates us, even from God. Religion sets up walls of rules and procedures so that we look at others who do not have the same walls and procedures and we say that they are not godly; they are not real Christians, so forth and so on.? Where did this come from?? Why do we have all of these religious sects or denominations?? I believe that we have all those because we humans like to muck things up.? We want to turn everything into religion and therefore, with regards to Christianity, forsake the concept of relationship with the professed loving and caring heavenly Father.
Now, of course, this is not applicable to all churches or all Christians. There are some churches that do promote a sense of spirituality in worship. ?They also promote the word of God and doing the word of God in normal everyday life.? However, those types of churches are few and far in between.
Carnal Mindset Versus Spiritual Mindset
Romans 8:1?2 (NKJV) ?  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:6 (NKJV) ?  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
To be carnally minded means that your mindset is on things of the flesh, i.e., non-spiritual.? Life for a carnally minded person is about pleasing the flesh. This is in contrast to the spiritually minded person who is one who is influenced by the Holy Spirit within them.? They have a mindset that is spiritual and not merely carnal.
Though Paul in the above passages of scripture, was referring to salvation, it still applies to those who are being saved.? Christians may be spiritual in one point, namely salvation, but their lives are otherwise carnal.? This doesn?t mean that they are living a sinful lifestyle.? It means that their lifestyle is not spiritual.
The Religious Construct of Christianity
Let me qualify what I meant when using the word ?Christianity.?? First of all, Christianity is not a religion, i.e., a set of rules to follow to win favors from a deity.? Christianity is a way and that way is Jesus Christ.? Religion is about what you have to do to be loved, accepted, or delivered by a deity. Christianity is about what Jesus Christ has already done for you.? God already loves you, which is why Jesus Christ was sacrificed for you while you were still in sin.
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) ?  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
So, most people see the religious construct of Christianity and rarely get a glimpse of what Christianity is all about.? For example, you would think that you could learn about Christianity by attending a local Christian church.? However, there is a high probability that you will experience religion and not Christianity. For one thing, the church may be part of a denomination that has its own rules and beliefs that may or may not be consistent with scripture.? You also will have to go through the program, which is not spiritual at all.
Many religious institutions, called churches, are community centers or social clubs that entertain people through a plethora of events and special services.? Again, nothing spiritual or even Christian for the most part. The problem here is that if a person is really trying to understand Christianity and is seeking Jesus Christ, they may get sidetracked into the depth of religion and lose their way.? In other words, religion can become a stumbling block to someone trying to learn the truth.
So, please understand that there is one true Christian faith but several religious constructs or variants of that faith.? These religious constructs do not promote spirituality or in many cases, the word of God.
Know the Word of God
It is very important that we pursue the word of God, i.e., the Bible.? Unfortunately, we do not learn this from religious institutions.? We don?t learn how to be spiritually minded in church.
John 6:63 (NKJV) ?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
We need to recognize that the word of God is spiritual and not merely dried ink on paper.? Being able to quote scripture is not enough.? Anyone can memorize scripture and quote it at different times.? However, do you believe what the scripture says?? Is that passage of scripture in your heart or just an item in your mind? The truth of the word of God is what will make the difference in your life and it is that word that we should pursue vehemently.
Proverbs 3:5?6 (NKJV) ?  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Psalm 32:8?9 (NKJV) ?  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.  Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
We need to learn to trust God and that can only happen if we first, know what He said through His word and then do what He said.? Another important thing to know is that you are not a puppet to God.? God will not pull your strings to do things for you or make you do things.? He will instruct you so that you would know how to make the right decisions.? We wouldn?t need wisdom if God did everything for us.
One of the reasons that we suffer like the world is because we are ignorant of God?s ways.? Now, this is not to say that I have a complete understanding of how all of this works.? No.? I am still learning myself.? I am still pursuing the truth.? However, an epiphany that I had recently is that Christians are not spiritual, and we should be.? We do not pursue God, but rather religion.
There are men and women who go to seminary not to improve a skill, acquire knowledge that they think they will need for pastoring a church or doing a particular ministry.? No. Some people go to seminary so that they can get a job as a pastor or the like.? Many people think that a minister with degrees is somehow more qualified than those who do not have degrees.? That is not necessarily true, especially in this information age.
I have known ministers that were powerful men and women of God.? They knew the word and you knew that the word was deep in their heart because whenever these ministers talked, the word of God would always come gushing out.? I am reminded of Reverend Mattie Waters, Pastor Effie Blumentoe, and Pastor Gary Whetstone.? Whenever I talked to these ministers, the word of God would come spewing out of their mouth.? You could learn a lot just by shutting up and listening to them.? These are the types of ministers that could teach you how to be spiritual, as they did for me.? These are the types of ministers that could point you to the answers contained in the word of God.? Unfortunately, those types of ministers are far and few in between.
I would encourage you to read your Bible and start stepping out in faith as your confidence and belief levels dictate.? I surely encourage you to find a fellowship (not necessarily a church) so that you can be around like-minded Christians pursuing God and not stuck in religion.
Be spiritually minded by following the Spirit of God that is already in you.? Be Spiritually minded by consuming the word of God, which is spirit.
Filter Through the Word of God
I have noticed something very interesting about those who are seeking the truth.? Those who are seeking the truth about God and life are in danger of losing their way.? They realize that the answers they are looking for are not going to come from the church, i.e., religious institutions.? The clergy has not provided adequate answers to their questions about God, life, health, wealth, the Bible, etc. These seekers may find themselves in other areas looking for answers and that is where the trouble comes.
It is easy to find what appears to be answers or a path to answers that seekers are pursuing in this information age.? We can google anything to find answers to questions.? However, these paths may lead to other religions such as Buddhism, New Age, and more.? I have encountered this myself.? While watching YouTube videos about faith and the like, I encountered spiritual oriented teachings that were not Christian but appeared to have the answers that I was looking for about a particular topic.? Before long, the person would teach about something that deep inside of me, I knew was not consistent with the Christian way.
What is very dangerous about this is that other religions and philosophies may have a measure of truth (or agreement) with Christian teachings, so it appears that they may be ok. For example, I started watching videos on YouTube about healing, which, through YouTube algorithm led to videos about the law of attraction and other similar topics.? I even encountered videos on astral projection.? They were not consistent with Christian teachings, but they were not totally off base either.? I was able to discern this because I have spent many years, most of my life, consuming the word of God. All of the things I saw was filtered through the word of God.? So, even though something was not totally off base, I was able to determine that it was something that Jesus did not stress or teach, even though it may be something that had occurred in his ministry.
The takeaway here is to filter everything you encounter through the word of God.? This means that you have to read your Bible and understand it.? Don?t start going down a path unless you have discerned whether that path will lead you astray or closer to an understanding of God?s kingdom and the answers you seek.
Christians, for the most part, are carnally minded.? We are more in tune with the flesh and the things pertaining to it than we are of the Spirit and the things pertaining to it. ?We wouldn?t think twice to go to a doctor when we are sick when the Bible says to call the elders.? We wouldn?t think twice to go to a bank when we need money when the Bible instructs us to trust God.? This is not to say that we should never go to a doctor or refrain from going to a bank for a loan.? However, we should learn to do things from a spiritual perspective instead of a carnal one.
We need to spend more time reading the Bible and building a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ on our own instead of through a pastor or religious leader.? We should be sure to test through scripture, what the religious leaders tell us instead of just blindly following what they say if they are saying anything at all.? A lot of times a minster preaches, but when you break it down, they are not saying anything at all, but rather merely appealing to your emotions by telling stories.
Romans 8:11 (NKJV) ?  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Receive life from the Spirit of God that is within you.? Live by that Spirit and have life and peace.? Know that life is more than what you can experience from your senses.? There is an entire realm of reality in the spiritual realm that we have access to.? Follow the Holy Spirit as he leads you into all truth.