What is spirituality and how do I know if God is speaking to me?
I’m trying to understand what sprituality means to me. I know there has to be some kind of spritual existence out there. When you become a christian how do you know when God is speaking to you and how do you know its real especially if you haven’t experienced before?
The problem with spirituality is that while we have a sense of it, we cannot directly percieve it, it is beyond time and space. This sense of the spiritual comes from our perception that there is more to life than what we see and experience. We have a sneaking suspicion that something more is out there. Spirituality has become the attempt to be part of this “other side”. So how do we find out about it?
I suppose there are two approaches to this. The first is to try to discover it for ourselves. This approach has been the purpose of much philosophical and religious debate and has resulted in many worldviews that contradict each other. The second is to find someone who has “been there” (so to speak), who can tell us about it.
The central teaching of Christianity is that God came from the “other side” and lived with us in order that we might know what the “other side” is like, or more importantly what He himself is like. This is who Jesus Christ is - God in the flesh living with us. So when the disciples asked Jesus to show them God, he answered them that if they had seen him they had seen God. That is if we want to know who God is, what he is like and so on then we need to get to know Jesus. Jesus is the one who has been there and can tell us what spirituality is all about.
You see we can’t find spirituality by observing laws and customs, or by some mystical process. People have tried to do that, but history proves them wrong. We discover true spirituality by coming to Jesus and discovering who he is and what he has to offer. For Jesus came not only to tell us about God but also to deal with the major issue that you and I cannot deal with: the separation that exists between God and us, which he calls “sin”. Through his death, Jesus opens the way for us to see the spiritual life. The life he offers is a gift, which cannot be earned. We have a choice to make. Do we accept his offer of real life and the unimaginable riches that come along with the gift, or do we walk away into the dark night, alone and without hope. The offer is a chance to become truely spiritual - that is truely in touch with the spiritual reality beyond this world.
Knowing God then is about knowing Jesus and this is a very “ordinary” thing to do. Getting to know Jesus is no different to getting to know anyone - we talk to them, listen to what they say and observe what they do. Over time we come to understand who they are and how they think. In the same way as we read the bible we read about who Jesus was, what he did and what he said. We get to know him and we get to know God. So let me encourage you to read the bible - perhaps starting in Mark’s gospel and ask yourself what does it say about Jesus.
Hope this helps.
Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au