Spirituality is a practical affair. Does that sound like a strange statement? Often, when talking about spiritual things with people, someone will express to me the notion that they like spirituality and think it highly valuable, but he or she does not make it too much a priority since it is so lacking in practical application.
“Well, it’s nice and all to believe that stuff, but it doesn’t work in everyday life.” And so they go on, oblivious to the countless ways that God would have interacted with them in their “mundane” living had they simply recognized that ALL of life is spiritual.
Every moment of every day is God’s workshop as He sets His hand to craft something of beauty in our character, chiseling into our countenance features of courage, integrity, peace and a heart for loving service: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
Every moment of every day is God’s parlor as He invites us into the inner chambers of knowing Him personally through faith in His Son. “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the Cross” (Colossians 1:19-20 NIV).
Every moment of every day is God’s invitation to walk with Him along the path of life, participating in His redemptive work of unveiling His grace and love to a world that humanity has cracked and keeps on cracking.
What does it mean then to apply faith and God’s love in “practical ways”?
One way is to be attentive to the “spirituality of the average day” as we seek to recognize the presence and activity of God in the lives of others, ready to participate in His work of loving those about us.
If we pass by, for example, someone who is hungry or lonely, are we willing to dare believe that our infinitely powerful and loving Creator may have orchestrated our steps to intersect those of this person and that He would help him if our hearts would just yield to His loving authority? “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NAS).
Do we dare believe that He Who is graceful beyond measure is leading others also to faith in Him, even those who may or may not have obvious signs of spirituality upon them? Do we boldly trust that God’s Holy Spirit can be hiding in the life of a dirty and bitter man, “in the thick” of their pain and brokenness as He seeks to apply the only healing that can fix the hurting in his heart?
"Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him Who sent Me" (Mark 9:37 RSV).
When you join with God by allowing Him to live out His love and power through you, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The mundane becomes mystical. What a colossal adventure then if we would simply have eyes to see and ears to hear!
May this day be the day that you embark afresh on the great adventure of walking in faith with God. And if you have not yet entered into a love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ, He invites you right now to join Him in setting out on the greatest adventure of all!
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true. And we are in Him Who is true – even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20 NIV).
Thom, I thank God that He gave me the foresight to mark you as one of the authors I desired to have tracked. Especially so that I could now peruse your well thought-out and well developed article. (In the past six weeks, my times have been somewhat dictated by hurricanes--evacuation for three and I faced a possible evacuation for a fourth. Praise the Lord, He's giving us a breather.
Forgive me if I seem presumptious. I'm not, but you left off what was most needed for the Lord to reel in the unsaved hook, line, and sinker. The next to the last paragraph could have been continued by a short spelling out as to how to be saved and come into the love relationship with Jesus Christ once they were His. ABC's of salvation or something like that.
I am looking forward to reading more of the Lord's work through you. By the way, I think that is the final intent of Ephesian 2:10. If we are honed into the instruments He desires, He can accomplish much more through us that we could working under our own power. He wants our hands-off, dedicated availability. Bobbi
Wow, Bobbi! Having to deal with three (and possibly four) unwanted visitors like Jeanne must have surely been a trial! Perhaps fertile ground for more writing as well, I suspect!
Thank you for your feedback. In retrospect, I see with this as with many, many things, a failure on my part to say all the things I should have said. ;-)
I wrote this actually for printing by our local paper... it's a free feature for them and an enjoyable enterprise for me (with the primary goal for me being the sharing of God's love through Christ with the community). Other things I've done, it is hoped, have qualified to some extent the "how's" of salvation, but I sorrowfully agree that I should have said more on it this time. I'll give this article some thought and come back to your suggestion.
What a delightful article Thom! Yes indeed, when we join with God and allow His love and His power to flow through us by His life within; then the ordinary most surely becomes the extraordinary. For we truly do serve a great and mystical God. Blessings, Sharon