“be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — EPH 5:18-20-NIV.
Genie and I have set the goal for ourselves of building a place where people can come on the internet to learn how to have a spiritual lifestyle, and how to enjoy doing so.
Spiritual lifestyle? What is that?
Well, it is first the recognition of who we really are and a fundamental understanding of why we exist. In order to have a good concept of who we, as humans, really are we must go beyond the childhood stories we all grew up with, beyond the concept that what we see around us happened by accident, and accept the fact that there is a life and intelligence in the universe’s make up far beyond anything which we, in our finite minds, can imagine.
We must recognize that we are, indeed, created to reflect that central power of the perfect love which assembled this cosmos. As such reflection we can be blessed (or made happy) by simply realizing that we can fit into this universe by recognizing how we are meant to be the reflections of the one who created us.
Confused? You needn’t be. It’s like when you look in a mirror and see your reflection looking back at you. When you see the reflected image you know it is but just a reflection of light, that it moves according to how you move. If you were not standing there in front of the mirror there would be no reflection of you. The same is true with our spiritual imagery of our creator, God.
Since we believe that our creator is agape love, and that all things exist due to this universal life force, then we must determine what it means to reflect that power in the physical universe since we are physical beings. Too many people never learn of, or accept the aspect of their lives which allows us to believe that we are more than physical objects which can think, more than animals, more than accidents. But once a person accepts these facts they find a beautiful multidimensional universe open before them which is not only awe inspiring but also exciting, beautiful, empowering and comforting.
But what do we do with this experience and knowledge of being spiritual beings? Knowing that we are more than just highly evolved animals on this unique planet in the Milky Way galaxy is quite an awe inspiring experience in itself. But what do you do with that knowledge?
Well after a person sets for a while in the amazement of what they had just learned of our true origins, they begin wanting to learn ways to apply this knowledge and live the life of a person who is more than just a physical animal. At that point we start seeking how to live a spiritual life.
So, what is a spiritual life?
Does one need to put on special clothing and go walking through the city streets praying loudly and proclaiming what they believe to be spiritual truths to everyone in the area? Not according to Jesus, the Christ. He said clearly that such action was the sign of a dangerous messenger when he said,
“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.”
Instead he said that when we pray we should do so privately, without great showmanship:
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
But there is more. Much more. Besides the skills of prayer taught by Jesus, and the need to meditate encouraged by Solomon in the book of Proverbs and by other esthetics throughout the world there is the need to learn to place our faith into action. Without action promoted by one’s faith a person’s recognition of their spiritual existence is essentially without effect. Thus Jesus gave his “Sermon on the Mount” message as found in the Bible’s book of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 with some detailed instructions on how to live in such a way as to show one’s spirituality. That is, how to live in a way as to reflect our Creator in a respectful way.
Now this set of instructions is more than just saying that a person should or should not do certain things as are recorded in the Ten Commandments by Moses or other religious leaders throughout the world. The sermon principles of spirituality given by Jesus in his mount sermon goes beyond the requirements of the law’s physical actions and shows that it is more the intent of the person doing these things than it is the action themselves. In example, in his mount sermon Jesus said:
“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
This, along with most of the other points made by Jesus in this teaching on the mount, emphasized the importance of how one’s thoughts are more important than actions in the application of proper spiritual application in one’s life. It therefore is clearly understood that a person can more easily control their actions outwardly (of not killing or injuring the person one is angry with) than to control one’s own thoughts of perhaps being angry with that person and yet to sway that anger and be able to show that other person love and respect regardless the circumstances. To do this one must obtain the ability to control one’s own emotions. And in order to control the emotional powers within us we must accept the guidance of the example of Jesus and the lifestyle he led.
People are living souls made up of two distinct parts: The first few chapters of Moses’ book of Geneses states is very clearly. God took the dust of the Earth and made us physical bodies, then he breathed into us the “breath of life,” and the combination of these caused man to become a living soul. Nothing so mysterious about this. People have done much the same thing with many of our creations like automobiles. People took earth elements (metals, plastics, etc.) and shaped them into the form of a car, truck, etc. then added fuel (gasoline) and the two together became a vehicle. The only difference in this concept is that the soul has a spirit which was placed within us which cannot be measured nor “scientifically” proven. I go into much detail about this soul creation concept in my book called Maintenance Manuel for the Soul which you can read free on our Website by clicking this link.
So back to the original question: How do we live a spiritual lifestyle? What is it? To put it simply, everyone lives a spiritual life of some sort every day they are breathing and moving on this planet with emotions of some sort surging through them minute by minute. And emotions are spirit. We are either happy, or sad; angry or thankful; loving or fearful. We often find ourselves feeling as though our emotions are somewhat out of control with little or nothing we can do to change our direction of how we feel or respond to life’s situations as they appear to us.
But, indeed, we do have a choice of response to the various life events as they occur. As shown by the Christ in his life here on Earth, we must first recognize the fact of who we are and then choose who we will both serve and allow to be our central guiding and controlling spirit. As I just mentioned, everyone at any moment is controlled by a spirit, an emotion or attitude. This can be an excellent spirit such as peace, hope or wisdom, or it could be a destructive spirit. This choice process can be out of control and chaotic, where a person’s spirit can change from good emotions to bad ones from day to day, hour to hour, or sometimes even minute by minute. In severe cases the person is given a psychological label and placed somewhere away from society for the “common good” of all concerned.
But to live a spiritual lifestyle we must first recognize that we do have a place within us, a spiritual control center, which must be occupied by some central spirit. Our choice.
Some people choose to have spirits of light be their guiding spirit while others choose spirits of darkness. In order to live a fulfilling lifestyle of peace, hope and love I believe it important to choose the spirit/s which are most closely related to the way the universe was created. That is, since the universe was obviously created on a balance with all living things on an equilibrium, the spirit we choose must be the one which created this universe in which we live. That being agape-love. How do we know this? How do we get acquainted with this spirit? Through the Spirit of Truth whom the Christ said he is in John 14:6. Thus, the only way to obtain a true spiritual lifestyle is through the seeking out and living of the Truth which Jesus, the Christ, lived his life to teach us.
So how do we express the God life available within us of agape love? That is what the message of the Christian New Testament which tells of the life of Jesus, the Christ, is all about. It is what my “Maintenance Manuel” and the uncountable books on Christian living is attempting to explain to us. To live with God, agape-love, in control means we see beyond the immediate circumstances which can be affecting our situations and are able to see the God-Spirit within other people – whether they know it is there or not. We are able to see this, and say “Namaste’” as the Orientals oft do, and act in a loving way toward that fellow human, even if they do not return such favor to us.
To live a spiritual life is, therefore, not to make an obvious show of being holy. It is not to wear special clothing nor to make long, well prepared public prayers for all to see and hear. It is not even going out on the street corner and shouting, “I am a believer!” – So what? How do you respond when you are under attack, just or unjust? What do you believe when you are ill, broke, or lonely? Are you able to still be happy for your fellow humans when they are experiencing happy events which seem to evade you? Are you still willing to reach out a hand of help to someone who in his or her previous breath was cursing you?
To live a spiritual life, we must study and instill within us the spirit we want most to control us and then to allow that spirit to motivate our every thought, our every move, our very selves. That is what this Web-site is about. We encourage you to read our literature, use these lessons to help you understand better how to live the Christ lifestyle. Follow Genie’s blog for her daily inspirational quotes to help you stay on track toward a spiritual lifestyle. Together we can get to our goal of bringing the light of God into view in this physical universe.