By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘spirituality

I recently read a book written by Robert J. Wicks, “Prayerfulness, Awakening To The Fullness Of Life”.  He makes a list of ways we can mature spiritually and how to appreciate each day if we put these into practice in our daily lives.  I wanted to share them with you as they are exactly the things I want to achieve in my own life.

~  gain a clear awareness of what you are experiencing, thinking, or feeling without judging yourself or others;

~  develop a sense of intrigue about yourself and others without projection (blaming others), self-condemnation, discouragement, or expectations;

~  gain more interest in discovering the presence of grace—namely the wonderful gifts of God—rather than merely focusing on your own accomplishments;

~  gain an appeciation of being in the now and willingness to return to the present when you are drawn into the past or begin to be preoccupied by the future;

~  develop a spirit of “unlearning” and a willingness to see life differently that is inspired by the Lord’s call to “make all things new”;

~  gain a non ego-centered approach to life that recognizes it isn’t all about me;

~  gain a willingness to recognize, embrace, and flow with change;

~  gain a spirit of receiving life as it is without reaction or rejection;

~  develop a gratitude and an openness to being nourished by God in everyday life;

~  gain a focus on those activities that create well-being instead of suffering for others…and ourselves;

~  gain an appreciation of the beauty of patience and enjoying the process of life rather than solely looking forward to completions or successes;

~  develop an interest in letting go of the “secular training” we have received in grasping, being envious, angry, and unkind, and instead an openness to sharing without an expectation of getting anything in return, being intrigued by our responses so we can learn from them rather than responding by being defensive or self-indicating, and slowing down rather than straining toward goals (even perceived good ones);

~  gain an avoidance of comparing ourselves favorably or unfavorably with others;

~  develop a greater desire to be sensitive to how our words and actions affect others;

~  gain an openness to “spiritually touching” all of our denials, loneliness, shame, and negative feelings about ourselves with compassion, rather than running away from them;

~  allow information, negative and positive, familiar and unfamiliar, to flow to us without being obstructed or modified by our ego or fears;

~  develop an increased desire for transparency and being persons without guile in the way we live so we can help purify—rather than contaminate with our defensiveness—the spiritual atmosphere in which we and others live.

“Practicing, not just knowing about, these characteristcs results in your getting all out of the life that God gives you as a gift.  In addition, and of possibly even more importance, doing this will help you face life’s difficulties, gray periods, or sad experiences and deepen you in ways you may never have dreamed possible.  This will be a gift to those with whom you come into contact as well.”

This may seem like a long list but they are completely attainable by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.  So let’s pray for God to work in our lives to achieve these beautiful qualities every Christian should have and to grow spiritually mature as God’s Word tells us to do (Hebrews 5:12-14).

In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul tells the people to “work out their salvation.”

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”  Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)

What does he mean by this?  First of all, he is NOT saying we have to work for our salvation.  Too many people today believe that we have to work toward our salvation. Salvation is a gift and cannot be earned.   Our salvation can only come by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Paul is telling us to live a godly life because of our salvation.  In other words, to work at our salvation.  It’s an action thing.  Yes, if we are saved we will go to heaven.  But for some that’s all they want out of being saved.   That’s not what God wants though.  As a Christian, we are suppose to do what is pleasing to God.  We are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,

“…so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Colossians 1:10 (ESV)

We are to work out our salvation by:

— renewal and repentance, making a break with sin.

— making sure our hope is grounded in Christ, not on our own efforts.

— using all the ways God has given us to grow in our walk.  Such as reading our Bible, praying, serving, worshiping, giving and fasting.

— applying Christ-like behaviors, such as love, kindness, patience, compassion, faithfulness, generosity, endurance and using encouraging, kind words (change how we speak).

— changing how we allow the world to influence us, guarding our hearts.  For example–adjusting our friendships, places we go, things we watch and listen to and how we use our time.

This may sound like a lot of work but God gives us a certain amount of faith and grace each day.  He gives us this so we can start each day anew and to accomplish all these things for His glory.  If we have a bad day, don’t fret.  There is tomorrow and we start fresh in God’s sight.  God gives us the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him  (Phil 2:13). 

A little about name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.


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