By “spiritual,” I mean a person who is led by God’s Spirit, functions in God’s gifts, and demonstrates God’s fruit. Such a person lives with God’s peace and contentment, and he/she ends up fulfilling God’s purposes for his/her life. A spiritual Christian is the opposite of a “carnal” or “casual” Christian – one whose faith in Christ is merely a “part” of his or her life rather than the focal point. If your approach to God is “me-centered,” here are a few steps that will get you moving away from casual carnality and in the direction of true, God-centered spirituality.
STEP #1: Make Jesus the CEO of your life.
Just as in a corporation, your soul often has competing agendas. One agenda is for career. One is for relationships. One is for popularity, sex, politics, you name it. Making Jesus CEO simply means that from this point on, God directs every area of your life. That doesn’t mean the other things are unimportant – it just means that you let God do with them what He wants.
STEP #2: Attend, and get involved in, a local Bible-teaching church.
It’s popular nowadays for people to talk about being “spiritual, but not religious,” or “spiritual, but not into organized religion.” I hate to burst your bubble, but this kind of talk is nonsense. One of the primary reasons we come to Christ is because we need the support of His family – the church. And there are others there that need our support as well. It’s great to read the Bible, pray, and never participate in any organized local church activities – but the problem is this: You don’t ever see people living the Christian life like that in Scripture. It’s always done in the context of local groups of Jesus-followers and community-servants called “churches.”
STEP #3: Study the Bible.
Listen to your pastor teach it on Sundays, study it in one of the church’s small groups or classes, and read it on your own. You can’t be a spirit-filled Christian when you don’t know what it means to be spirit-filled. And the only way to find that out is to make the Bible your #1 object of study.
STEP #4: Talk to, and listen to, God.
Yes, it’s called prayer – and you should do it often. You’d be amazed at how many people see themselves as “spiritual people,” but rarely pray. Jesus died on the Cross so that you could talk to God for yourself without an earthly intermediary. Don’t waste His investment.
STEP #5: Support your church financially.
Putting your money where your mouth is shows where your heart is. If you’re not committed to the work of God in your own church family, you’re probably not committed to God in any real sense. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” Some people ignore this step and justify it with “I give my time instead of my money – because we don’t have a lot of money right now.” Sorry, but that doesn’t work. Neither does it do anything at all to help your church stay open!
STEP #6: Bring others along with you.
Don’t be afraid to talk about God and invite people to your church and small group. God is either ding a great work in you or He isn’t. If He is, you should want others to experience that work for themselves. It’s time to decide if you are more interested in pleasing God by sharing Him? Or if you’re more interested in pleasing others by not.
Step #7: Get psycho about serving.
Do as much good as you can to every person you can for as long as you can. Always put others before yourself, and always give God the credit. He put us here to lay our lives down for others the same way He did for us. Becoming spiritual means that life is no longer about you – that’s why so many people opt for carnal and casual Christianity over spiritual Christianity. They can’t ever let go of what they love most – themselves.