Aren’t all Christians spiritual? That seems like an odd question. Most would equate spirituality with Christianity, yet it’s possible to possess one and not the other. So what are the differences and what characteristics follow the spiritual Christian?
To be a spiritual Christian means to be lead and to live by the spirit of God. It means allowing God’s spirit, that is living inside you, to guide your decisions instead of relying mostly upon your logic and intellect. Galatians 5:16 says that if we are lead by the spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
It takes quieting our minds and stilling our hearts to a spiritual Christian. Too often we can’t hear God’s spirit leading us because our own thoughts and compulsive thinking gets in the way. We are constantly thinking about our past, our future, our worries and cares, and everything else in-between. Because of this, our thoughts often choke out or conflict with the Word of God.
Being a spiritual Christian requires spending time with God in solitude and silence. It was Jesus’s custom to go to a solitary place and pray or abide with God. The relationship built on abiding created a spiritual connection between God and Christ. Jesus said I and my Father are one. In fact, Jesus said, I only do and say and what the Father tells me. Their spiritual union created unity of thought and purpose.
Unfortunately, many Christians have never learned to nurture God’s spirit within them. They don’t trust what the spirit is saying, especially if it goes against natural or logical thinking. They don’t think God talks to them. They have more faith in the pastoral staff than in the Holy Spirit.
In many churches, Christians are not taught how to be spiritual. Instead we are given rules and formulas to live by. It is like going to a Christian seminar. We receive a one size fits all message. However, this does not compensate for our differences- differences in purpose, in personality, and in-style. It also does not account for our uniqueness.
Jesus told us that when it comes to God and being spiritual, that the spirit of God is already within us. He told us not to go on a mission to find God, because when we open our heart to Him, we already possess Him. Just as in the day of Pentecost, when we wait on God, He sends us the tools and the power we need to carry out His mission. In fact, 2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Therefore, being a spiritual Christian has more to do with building a genuine and personal relationship with God that is germinated in the soil of “being” and “abiding in Christ,” and as a result of this intimate fellowship, the direction, guidance, power, and instructions we need to fulfill God’s ongoing purpose in our lives will emerge.