No matter the season of life, we should never stop learning—and this is particularly true when it comes to the knowledge of God. It doesn’t matter how long we live, because there will always be more to learn about God.
Often, we become comfortable with one means of understanding God, forgetting to grow in our knowledge of Him. For this reason, I dwell on twelve facets of spirituality in Conformed to His Image—so titled because we are all called to become increasingly like Jesus. As we become more like Jesus, we will revisit the truths we know, deepening our spiritual intimacy with Christ.
Relational spirituality contains three main components:
- Loving God completely
- Loving others compassionately
- Loving ourselves correctly
To know God and become like Him is our mission. In His sovereignty, He has given us unique ways to participate in this overarching calling. We can leverage our spheres of influence for His glory by making Him know in whatever we do, no matter how mundane.
Paradigm spirituality is a reorientation of our perspective. We must cultivate an eternal perspective in a temporal arena.
We are pilgrims, sojourners, wayfarers. Our time here is brief and ephemeral, so we must develop a longing for heaven. Life is a journey, but where are we going? Where is our hope?
If we are defined by the media and the culture we are in, we will lose sight of our overarching mission. We must transfer our hope from this world to the next, learning the wisdom of treating things according to their true value. Treat the temporal as such, and the eternal as such. Cultivate your appetite for heaven now, for this earth is passing away.
Part of retaining a learning modality for the entirety of our lives involves engaging with the spiritual disciplines, particularly those God has revealed over the centuries. Time has tested the historic spiritual disciplines.
The things we do by practice and habituation will equip and empower us when we encounter trials of various kinds. These practices—such as silence, solitude, and study—should bring to mind our dependence on God. We cannot grow ourselves; instead, we must rely on His Spirit.
Exchanged Life Spirituality
This facet of spirituality involves reminding ourselves of our identity in Christ. No longer are we slaves to sin; we have been given new life in Jesus Christ. We are not of the line of Adam because we have been grafted into the family of Christ and adopted as children of God.
Jesus gave His life for you—He died for you and rose again so that you might live. Because of this, you can walk in His power, doing the good works set before you (Ephesians 2:10).
Why do you do what you do? Motivated spirituality looks at biblical motivators, such as fear, love, or longing for God. Each motivator has its place to drive us to Christ.
Devotional spirituality involves growing in intimacy with God, particularly through the reading of His Word.
Devotional reading is more than simply informational. It is also formational. It involves asking the right questions, moving the text from the mind to the heart. You’re not mastering the text—it is mastering and shaping you.
Every component of life is under the lordship of Christ. There is no sacred/secular dichotomy. You can and should worship God in every context, particularly through the skill and excellence with which you do every kind of work.
Stop seeing your clients simply as sources of income; instead, serve them to glorify God. Stop seeing doing the dishes as something mundane; instead, glorify God as you wash them. Everything matters, which is why Paul tells us, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
Process spirituality is all about process versus product, being versus doing. We need to practice the presence of God and let Him shape us in every area of our lives.
It doesn’t matter what tradition of Christianity you are in—you need the power of the Holy Spirit. As you obey Him, you will know Him better. His quiet voice sometimes interrupts your plans, and you need to view those times as an invitation to participate in His kingdom work.
Spiritual warfare is real, and not something to be ignored. We need to be on guard against demonic influence, defending ourselves with the Word of God.
This facet involves a lifestyle of evangelism and discipleship. We can turn objections into opportunities, pointing people to Christ when they come to us with difficult questions.
Encouragement, accountability, and worship are all parts of corporate spirituality. Community is crucial to the Christian walk. We are part of the body of Christ.
Bonus: Seeing God in Nature
Another way we know God more is by admiring His creation. His glory is on display on every order of magnitude. We must cultivate the seeing eye and practice praising Him for everything around us.
You and I are privileged to live in a time where we know more about nature than ever before. And the more we learn, the more we have reason to praise God.