How To Become Spiritual
Today we are going to talk about spiritual living, and how to become spiritual. I remember I once saw a movie starring Jennifer Lopez. Ms. Lopez’s character explained that she was more “spiritual” than “religious.” A lot of people want to be “spiritual”. I’m not really sure what they mean by that, and different people probably have different definitions of “spiritual.” The Bible, however, does talk about being “spiritual” and God teaches us how to truly be “spiritual.”
I want to be “spiritual” according to God’s definition of the word. I don’t want to be fake spiritual, which is what worldly “spiritual” people without God really are. Like you (I hope), I want to be everything God wants me to be. Recently I was reminded about the great importance the Bible places on spiritual living. We need to understand spiritual matters, and what it means to be Biblically spiritual, if we are to be successful Christians. I feel that God wants me to encourage people in this area as we enter 2021.
To put it simply, God wants all Christians to be spiritual and spiritually mature. Jesus tells us in John 4:24 that “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:17 that the person “that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
Human beings are, at their core, spirits. You are a spirit and you live in a body. You have a soul (mind, will and emotions) which creates a link between your spirit and your body. God is also a spirit. Yes, Jesus Christ will always have a glorified human body, but we don’t need to get into that today. Jesus tells us that God is a spirit because that is God’s core type of existence, and Jesus is emphasizing that we must connect with Him spiritually.
It’s true that God can connect with you naturally. God can speak into the natural realm so you can hear Him with your ears. God can work miracles around us and influence the natural world. He can do anything, He’s God. But God is a spirit, and we are His sons and daughters created in His image. Furthermore, God has put His Holy Spirit inside of us, literally fusing His Spirit with our spirits to make a new creation (“one spirit with Him”). So while God can do anything, what God wants is to have our spiritual connection be our primary connection and the source and foundation of our bond. This alone is extremely important and worthy of much time and study, but this is not our focus today. Today I want to focus on becoming more spiritual, and how your personal spirituality is crucial to obtaining all God wants you to have in life. Look at this verse!
(1 Corinthians 2:14-15 AMP) “But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].”
This very important verse, from (my opinion) one of the most important chapters in the Bible, tells us the importance of being spiritual. If we are not spiritual people, our bond with the Spirit of God won’t be correct. If we are not spiritual, we will not be able to understand all that God’s Spirit is trying to tell us. If we are spiritual, Biblically spiritual, then we will be able to receive “gifts and teachings and revelations” from God’s Spirit. If we are not spiritual, we will not be able to receive such things, at least not on any consistent basis. My brothers and sisters, this is extremely, extremely important.
So the question might be, what “gifts and teachings and revelations” is the Spirit of God trying to give us. The Bible talks in many places about all the Spirit of God wants to do for us, see especially Jesus’ teachings in John chapters 14-16. If we really understood all the Spirit of God wanted to do for us, our relationship with Him would be one of our top life priorities. Today let’s just focus on what 1 Corinthians chapter 2 says, because, at least to me, this is encouragement enough to prioritize being spiritual.
(1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV) “However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"-- the things God has prepared for those who love him-- these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”
(1 Corinthians 2:11-12 NIV) “For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
My friends, in my opinion these are some of the most important verses in the Bible. Look at what this is saying! Please read those verses again! God has prepared things for us. God has freely given things to us. BUT WE DON’T GET THEM NATURALLY. Our eyes don’t see them. Our ears don’t hear them. Our minds don’t just think them up. God reveals them to us by His Spirit!
God’s Spirit knows everything about God, including all God has given us and all God has prepared for us. This includes everything about you. This includes all of the good works God has planned for your life. This includes God helping you select the right spouse, the right job, the right everything! God knows what He has planned for your life, and God wants to reveal all of it to you. But God reveals these things by His Spirit.
This is why it’s so important to develop your spirituality and your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Yes, you might stumble into God’s plans for your life. You might get lucky here and there. God, in His infinite love and mercy, might work things out for you in the natural realm so you can get some of what He has for you. I know that’s what happened to me when I chose law school in Atlanta and when my wife and I first got together back in college. Praise God!
But today I’m talking about consistently receiving revelation of God’s plans for your life. I’m talking about knowing EVERYTHING God wants for you. I’m talking about living in 100% of God’s plans for your life. Remember the verse we read a few minutes ago. The natural, nonspiritual person cannot receive things from God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit operates on another frequency. He doesn’t speak through the natural order. God’s Spirit operates on a spiritual wavelength. And we must be tuned in!
God has given us so many good things. God has prepared so much for us. We must get in tune with the Holy Spirit so we can understand all of it. I’m not going to go all through the Greek here, but it is extremely fascinating. Bottom line, 1 Corinthians 2 explains that one of the major roles of the Holy Spirit is to reveal everything God has for our lives. However, the words used are that of revelation. The Holy Spirit reveals these things to us. The Holy Spirit gives us revelation of these things.
The Greek word for revelation literally means to take the cover off. This is a very important point, what God has for our lives is often, if not always, covered or hidden. God does this for a variety of reasons, but usually it is to protect us or the thing He has prepared for us. These things God has for us have been hidden back for us. There are hidden treasures and situations and good works for us. We must have revelation from God’s Spirit to see them and then obtain them.
Remember, God’s Spirit doesn’t communicate through the natural realm, at least not habitually. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into your heart (your thinking, soulish area). God communicates spiritually. I hope you see now how important your relationship with the Holy Spirit is. And remember the earlier verse, the natural, unspiritual man doesn’t receive from God’s Spirit. We must become spiritual people. We must get in tune with God’s Spirit.
Other times I have talked at length about how to hear from God. In short, there are a few communication methods God uses (examples – the voice of the Holy Spirit, the voice of your born again human spirit, the inward witness, dreams and visions, etc.). Listen to my podcast about those so you can get those into your spirit and soul and begin paying attention. Even though your brain is involved, these are all spiritual communication methods. Natural communication methods (God’s audible voice, other human voices) are not God’s primary methods to speak to His people.
So we need to learn how God speaks, how God reveals truths to His people, and we need to pay attention. But to begin operating in this area consistently we need to become spiritual. We need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit. We need to make sure that we are the people who can receive everything God’s Spirit wants to reveal to us.
So how do we become spiritual people? To be honest with you, I have seen these truths in the Word about becoming spiritual for some time, but I haven’t put them into practice appropriately. I don’t know about you, but 2021 is going to be my year. I didn’t have a terrible 2020, but in 2021 I’m going to take my relationship with God to the next level. I’m going to grow in my maturity and spirituality. I’m going to expand my fight for the Kingdome of God. I hope you feel the same way.
Let’s take a few minutes and learn some basics about becoming more spiritual, according to the Bible’s definition of spiritual. I believe there are a few keys, a few practices. If we will implement them in our lives, we will see our personal spirituality, and our relationships with the Holy Spirit, grow very quickly.
(Romans 12:2 NIV) “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
(Romans 8:5-7 NIV) “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.”
You have probably heard about renewing your mind before. A better translation of the Greek word for “renew” is “renovate”. Our minds must be renovated. Some of us lived many years in the world’s systems, dominated by the devil. We must change the way we think (really so we can think like God.) But what does it mean to renovate our minds? To be more specific, we must go from being carnally (or flesh) minded to spiritually minded.
The King James Translation has “the mind governed by the flesh” as “carnally minded” and “the mind governed by the spirit” as “spiritually minded.” The ideas are the same and both translations are fine, but I just want you to see these terms used. To be spiritually minded is to have a mind governed by the spirit, or perhaps a better way of saying it would be a mind that is submitted to the Spirit of God.
How can we become spiritually minded? We must choose to think about spiritual things. We must put spiritual things into our minds. We must purge our minds from worldly or sinful things. You get the idea. What do you think about? What are you putting into your mind? I can’t listen to secular music. I have to be careful about the movies and shows I watch. I must be careful about the people I spend time with. I MUST BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED. If I fill my mind with ungodly or worldly things, then I will be carnally minded. If I only focus on my job, my hobbies or even my family, I will be carnally minded. I must focus on God and what He tells me to think about.
Becoming spiritually minded is a deliberate decision we must make, where we daily choose to put our mind on spiritual things, and then keep our minds there. Sure, we have jobs and families and chores and those things are fine. But are we keeping our minds in line with the Word and teachings of God, or are we allowing our minds to be governed by worldly things? I highly encourage you to read “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. That is a very powerful book about getting control of your thoughts and becoming spiritually minded. It won’t be easy, and it will take some time. But becoming spiritually minded is a major key to becoming more spiritual.
Reading the Bible, praying, going to church, worshipping with Christian music, fellowshipping with your Christian brethren (not just hanging out with them, but spiritually growing with them), these are the things of the Spirit. These practices help us become spiritually minded.
(Romans 8:12-14 NIV) Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation--but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
God wants you to be led by His Spirit all of the time. God’s Spirit wants to lead us in our jobs, in our homes, in every aspect of our lives. If we will become spiritually minded, then our minds will be focused on, and open to, the things of the Spirit. You see, this is creating the bond between the natural and the spiritual realms in our lives. God is a spirit and wants to bond with us spiritually. So if we put our minds (part of the soul, where this bridge is created) on to spiritual matters, we will build the bridge between the natural and the spiritual.
As we put our minds on spiritual things, we are opening our minds to the Holy Spirit. As our minds become open to the Holy Spirit, we can start receiving revelation and direction from Him. He will start leading us, as God’s children, into all of our inheritance, into all God has for us.
But notice it says that we have an obligation to live according to the Spirit. When you become spiritually minded, that is life and peace. When you become spiritually minded, you will start living according to the directions of God’s Spirit (and God’s Word, which is always in perfect harmony with God’s Spirit). When you let the Spirit of God lead you, you will automatically start to put to death the sin in your life. Becoming spiritually minded is a great way to deal with any sins or weights in your life. The Spirit of God will naturally lead you away from them. You won’t want to pursue anything sinful, you won’t even be thinking about it anymore!
So far, in our quest to becoming spiritual, we have seen that we must become spiritually minded. You then have to let the Spirit of God, through its influence on your mind, change the way you live. You have probably heard the statement, “where the mind goes the man follows.” As far as I can tell that quote is attributed to Joyce Meyer. It’s her (very good) rendering of Proverbs 23:27 – “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If you become spiritually minded, you are going to become spiritual, and your life will show the influence of the Holy Spirit. It’s just that simple. It is automatic.
(Galatians 5:16-17 TCNT) “This is what I have to say--Let your steps be guided by the Spirit, and then you will never gratify the cravings of your earthly nature. For these cravings of our earthly nature conflict with the Spirit, and the Spirit with our earthly nature--they are two contrary principles--so that you cannot do what you wish.”
This verse from Galatians is often translated, “Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.” That’s a great way to put it, but I wanted you to see the other ideas in this passage from a clear translation. Simply put, if you are carnally minded, you are going to be thinking about worldly and fleshy things. That doesn’t automatically mean sinful, but it means you will be focused on your worldly life, and that is not where God wants our focus. However, if you become spiritually minded, your steps will be guided by the Spirit. When that happens, to a major degree, you are done with sin.
That group of concepts is what it means to “walk in the Spirit.” If you become spiritually minded, and you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your lives, then you will be walking in the Spirit. I don’t need to preach against sin. I don’t need to tell you to quit doing all those sinful things. Rather, I need to show you the importance of your relationship with the Holy Spirit, and then I need to teach you how to live in fellowship with Him.
Become spiritually minded. Allow your spiritual mind and God’s Spirit, to guide your actions. Now you are “walking in the Spirit.” If you start “walking in the Spirit”, you aren’t going to have any sin problems whatsoever. Furthermore, you are going to be tuned in to God’s Spirit like never before, and you will begin hearing from God and receiving revelation of everything God has for your life, directly from God’s Spirit to your spirit!
Please take the time to read all of Romans 8, 1 Corinthians 2 and Galatians 5. They are wonderful passages about the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Combine those with Jesus’ teachings in John 14-16 and now you have a huge understanding of our lives with the Holy Spirit.
Before we end our discussion today let me give you one more passage from Ephesians 5. This passage gives us another list of practices we can incorporate into our lives to improve our relationships with the Holy Spirit.
(Ephesians 5:18-21 KJV) “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
That passage kind of speaks for itself. We need to incorporate various practices in our lives to keep our minds on the things of the Spirit and to keep ourselves tuned into the Holy Spirit. It takes deliberate effort, but the rewards of spiritual living are immeasurable.
I realize we have covered a lot of ground today, so let me briefly sum this up. If you renovate your mind from carnal thinking to spiritual thinking (thinking in line with God and His Word) then you will become spiritually minded and begin living according to the directions of the Holy Spirit. As you become spiritually minded and as you start living according to the directions of the Holy Spirit, you will be “walking in the Spirit”. As you do this, sin will no longer be a problem, and you will begin doing that which pleases God. Furthermore, as you become spiritually minded and start walking in the Spirit, you will be tuned into the frequency of the Holy Spirit. You will then begin hearing Him clearly on a regular basis, and you will receive revelation of all God wants you to have and all God wants you to do. Now you are being led by the Spirit as one of God’s mature children. Now you are becoming a truly spiritual person. As you fellowship with, and listen to, God’s Spirit, you will step into all God has for your life.
May 2021 be your best year yet! I pray God’s blessings upon you and your family!