Spiritual Build-Up

As part of taking care of our well-being, we need to be fit in all aspects: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and other things. As Christians, the spiritual aspect is part of those we need to consider on.

When it comes to being spiritually fit, we have to be watchful that our spirits are up for God, and we are on track with where He is leading us. And in building up our spiritual health, we keep ourselves molded and formed by Him until we become the desired finished product.

And there are ways on how we can build up our spirits. I've learned a few of them, so here are these:

1. Perspective
Our points of view of certain things will depend on how much we truly understand its concept. If we got it right, then it means we fully understood it, else we got it wrong.

And the way our perspectives are influenced is through the narratives. We always encounter these ones- with our family, friends and the people we communicate with. How we understand these stories will then shape our perspective of things and our personality.

So when it comes to understanding the Biblical narratives, how we understand these stories will then shape our perspective of things and most especially, our spiritual faith. If we can get our interpretations right, then we can get our perspectives clear and right. And our whole personality will change because of this fine perspective.

2. Practice
As much exercise is needed for one to gain physical muscle, so it is with our spiritual muscle. And there are many ways we can exercise it:

a) everyday living
How we respond to the different situations in life (driving a car, falling in love, talking to people around) will determine how much we have become as Christians.

b) prayer
This is a way of communicating to God for anything in concern. This is also a great measure if we have made Him our steering wheel or our spare tire. Have we made God a part of our everyday living? Or have we made God only on the part where times go rough?

c) sleep
This is one thing we take for granted. We exercise, eat right and all things yet we don't do this right. We get diseases as a result. This has to change. But aside from its physical importance, it has spiritual importance. It shows an act of surrender, and we surrender to God whatever things we're going through in life. There's nothing to worry, because He will take care of everything.

d) meditation
There should be a time where we spend with God in His presence with silence. Even for just 5 minutes, it is important. We would want to take His words into our hearts, and hear what He wants to say to us so that we can be sure of the direction He is leading.

e) awareness of creation
Beholding God's creation gives a different side on exercising spiritually. Seeing everything of it He has created gives a sense of wonder and delight. One can appreciate His majesty and brilliance. And it's not only within our surroundings, but also outside our universe. This is one of the ways where we can see and revere His goodness.

f) counting of blessings
Learning to count on the blessings God has given us goes to show that He has given us all that we need in whatever things we're going through right now. This is one of the ways where we can think about His generosity. This is one of His very nature, and He operates so because of His abundance.

g) praying Psalm 23
This is a common chapter in funerals. But it doesn't have to be only applied from there. It can be applied to us who are still living. We can read the chapter, and slowly dissect it on how it relates to us with what we're going through. Then, we can pray this in one of our prayer times. It can give a different perspective on who God is to us.  

h) Lectio Divina
It is a Latin term that means "divine reading". It is a way of reading the Scriptures where we gradually let go of out own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In here, we read His Word, reflect on it, respond based from our reflection, and rest on His Word.

3. Participating In Community
This is the reason why the church is there. The church is a community where we can encourage one another, strengthen one another, and most importantly, learn from one another. When it comes to our spiritual journey, they might have stories and thoughts in hand that can help us as well in our spiritual pursuit.

Proverbs 27:17 says,  "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” It is seen that there is mutual benefit when two iron blades are rubbed together. The edges become sharper, which make the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice.

If a knife is blunt, it still continues to be a knife, although it is less effective and less useful in service. But a knife that has been sharpened will also shine more because all the dullness has been rubbed off its surface.

It is the same with us. Man was not made to be alone. And no journey has been fulfilled alone, for there are companions along the way. We need these companions to sharpen one another. If we do this, we are pleasing the Lord for doing this.

4. Presence of the Holy Spirit
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is very important to us. He resides in our hearts forever and He seals us with our eternal state as children. He is our Helper, Comforter and Guide. He is also a giver of our spiritual gifts, and also a producer of fruit in our lives.

He also empowers us to step outside our comfort zones to do extraordinary acts of faith for God. He also fills us so that our minds are transformed to the mind of Christ as we engage in spiritual activities. When we walk in the Spirit, it leads to a sense of peace and joy as we partner with God in His glorious plans.

Therefore, we should not grieve the Spirit nor quench it. If we do so, it leads to a loss of filling by the Holy Spirit, which takes away our joy and peace. Though God will not take the Holy Spirit away from a disciple of Jesus Christ, the continual practice of sin and a lack of spiritual activities will lead to a life that is no different than the life of a non-believer.