Life Is a Spiritual Practice


Today was an interesting day. Whether its the headache that comes and goes from my concussion or my parent’s stopping by In-N-Out and not getting me anything, or this awkward feeling that something is wrong, life never loses its share of surprises. The past week I’ve been out sick and restless and spent little of that time with God. I’ve been reflecting on several recent discoveries that people have brought to my attention (such as my deep-seated fear of people, or an appearance that my heart is not invested in some important parts of life). But you didn’t begin reading this to find out about my life, did you? Well keep reading if you like, or you can click off the page and go watch Dancing with the Stars, its your choice.

Because I have something to mention that involves your TV experience, family life, and your job (or lack of one), or rather, God has something to bring to light, I’m just showing you how its working in my flawed life. Our spiritual lives and our daily experiences aren’t as divided as we may think; rather, they are a result of where our heart is with God. Life is filled with moments that test, and grow our life with God, they are fixed for a purpose.

One of my main passions is Theology, it looks to me like a block of gold; sure, gold is heavy, but who couldn’t use a workout for such a high reward? But with gold, as with all earthly riches, we can be selfish and want to keep it for ourselves. The problem with that is 1. We are called to use our gifts for other people, not ourselves. 2. With all gifts (including gifts of knowledge), they are not an end in themselves, they are meant for people. Theology is important, its in the Bible: if you read and know Genesis 1:1 then congratulations: you’re a theologian.

Theology, when it leaves the pages of Scripture and categorized by theologians is meant (most of the time) for aiding our Bible reading; it helps us shape a God-centered worldview. Where we go wrong in this is when we begin shaping our worldview by using shadows  or reconstructions of the world than with the things that are a part of our lives on earth. Basically, you construct your idea of sin around imagining it, rather than looking around and examining your own life, and other parts of Scripture that paint it out. When we do this, we lose sight of reality.

That’s how we look at God and eternal life sometimes, isn’t it? When we read our Bible’s, we’re working it around our ideas of God and Jesus, but not the realities of His forgiveness and grace. The word “idealist” is how many Christians live their lives, because the main complaint about idealists is that they haven’t seen enough real life; they haven’t left their ideas, they never have been in a situation where what they’ve learned becomes what they’ve lived. And that is not what spiritual practices are: they are not there to fuel our ideas or feelings, they are there to glorify God with our lives. To find strength when overwhelmed, to seek the face and companionship of our Creator. Life is the practice, when you pray you are showing with your body (in closing your hands and setting your thoughts) and your soul (in submitting and trusting God) that you are dedicated to God. When you read your Bible you are taking time out of your day for something eternal, with a Bible that was written by human hands and carried down to yours.

The Bible mentions these things in several different ways:

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (everything, from attending Church to drinking a cup of water, is a spiritual practice and glorifying God)

Hebrews 5:14

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

(just as young babes need milk to grow before they get solid food, so as believers we grow from a basic awareness of spiritual things to mature believers by training our discernment: to apply the Bible to our lives and discover how to further please God.)

2 Peter 1:3-4

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

(when Peter said “life and godliness” this meant life and godliness. This includes our school, our job, our family, our responsibilites. Life is a spiritual practice, and God’s direction to help us in that practice comes from listening to His word).

What I’m saying here is, I forget that my life in all its areas is a part of my life in Christ. I hope this week you remember and seek to make every part of your life a practice and God-glorifying act and find joy in knowing that.

Until next time have a good week,

In Christ,

Austin Thompson

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