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The Spirit, the Spiritual and Spirituality.
by Gerry Bloemendaal
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The Spirit, the Spiritual and Spirituality.

What is spirituality? In many ways it is hard to get a handle on it. We are used to solid physical objects, which help us to analysis and conclude things. Spirituality, however, is unidentifiable, non-physical and untouchable making it more difficult to define. We do know that spirituality comes from the word spirit. I could therefore sum up spirituality as: that which proceeds from the spirit. Yet what is it that flows from our spirit and what, if I may ask, is meant when we use the word spirit?

A lot of people talking about 'spirituality' are fed up with the Western way of solely focusing on physical things - ignoring anything that can't be touched, felt, or smelled. Instead they are looking for a way to tap into the 'unseen', 'unknown' and mysterious". Spiritualism is one form of such spiritual outlook, and is not difficult to find in our 21th Century. This form of supernatural thinking seeks to talk with the dead, predict the future, curse or bless and/or heal sick people.

Super stars, like Madonna, Britney Spears and others are into the Kabbalah, a Jewish religious cult full of do it yourself mysticism. Also the use of Ouija boards – a 'game' with which one can supposedly communicate with spirits. This kind of spiritual hocus pocus, is very dangerous and could be likened to Witchcraft and Voodoo, two other forms of spiritualism.

Indeed most people understand spirituality to mean some mystical power that can be swayed to work for you, as long as you do something for the spirit(s) in return. This outlook on spirituality is similar to the Eastern religion as it is in the faith of the native American Indians and the Australian Aborigines.
In other words spirituality is in and it is big. However this does not explain what spirituality is, it only shows that it is known across the planet – in fact that all cultures hold onto some kind of religious-spiritual belief.

In my opinion, the spirit should be understood existentially – this means in my books that the reality that you exist – is already spiritual. It has to do with self – indeed the core that is ourself - our 'I' am' or as the Bible calls it - our spirit, heart and soul. Our 'I am' is the home as well as the place where spiritual things live and come to life. I think that this is the key to understanding spirituality, it comes from ( the sense of) ourselves. We have an 'I am' – just as God has. Our God is completely non-physical yet He calls himself I AM who I AM. He presents the essence of His Holy Being as His name. He tells Moses at the burning bush - tell the Israelites, 'I AM' has sent you. Exodus 3:14.

Spirituality is what comes out of our spirit, it is our will, mind or intent – both to do good and to do evil. The Bible talks of wrong coming out of our hearts – indeed Jeremiah states that the heart is most deceitful and incurable. Jeremiah 17:9. Yet contradictory, we also worship God from the heart. Indeed our spirituality is severely stained by the fruit we ate in paradise – the fruit of right and wrong. Some examples of good and evil at work – as a youth worker, I have seen young people commit horrendous crimes. Such youngsters are outwardly tough and unapproachable – one side - yet on the another hand, they are often deeply hurt, confused, tied up and tearful individuals, wanting to be out but at loss of how they could change. We also have otherwise good Church going people compromising the faith by gossiping, being legalistic or hypocritical, such things are also steeped in ungodly spirituality. These split realities the Bible describes as - spiritual dualism – and it has our spiritual death as its devastating result.

The apostle Paul talks about this in the Book of Romans Chapter 8:6 “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Nowhere in the Bible is the distinction clearer between our human spirit and God's Spirit as we can read in Galatians 5:19-25.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

I wanted to dwell on this a bit more before I finish. Our God is spiritual - 2 Corinthians 3:17 – He also has an I AM – a sense of self from which spirituality flows. In particular from Him proceeds the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Truth. John 14:17. It is important to see that it is the Spirit of truth, bringing life and peace. The great part of Godly spirituality is that in it we find life, truth, love and fearlessness and this spells spiritual freedom and peace. Isn't it amazing? In our hearts where everything is dying because of sin, there is a new life, an existence which through faith in Jesus Christ – the truth of God's love made manifest – can turn us once more into true and everlasting spiritual beings. This is the new life that Christ wants to give us, a life which produces peace, love, joy and truth. A life which is not fuelled by the fall in paradise, neither a life which seeks to control spirituality, but a life of faith in Jesus Christ, which brings a new Spirit into our hearts from which the new us is born, a child of The Most High God.

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