Five Basic Principles for a Spiritual Life

Published September 30, 2014 by

Working with God-Pt.II

One of the most challenging aspects of  living a spiritual life is moving from theory to demonstration.  It is a lovely feeling to lose oneself in the love of God, the presence and power of God at the very center of one’s own being.  How truly delightful to surrender all concern and responsibility for one’s own life and just leave it to God.  Is that what Jesus did?  I don’t think so!  Jesus taught and then He demonstrated the Law.

“God can only do for us that which He can do through us.”

Why must I take direct action to change my life?  Why must I be the one to practice the principles?  Isn’t it enough just to study and memorize this stuff and let God do the rest?  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  The hands on application of the Law makes it our own in ways that nothing else can.  I can read about ice skating and watch videos about ice skating, but until I put the skates on my feet and apply the theory to the action, I am no kind of ice skater.  Neither will I become a competent skater without practice.

So, too, is it with the Laws of God.  No half measures, no random obedience, no half-hearted attempts to live the truth.  The architect or contractor who shorts the laws of gravity and metal fatigue through the use of inadequate or weak structural supports in a building may well ‘get away with it’ in the short term, but ultimately, the laws of gravity will win.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.*

If I want to make bread, I assemble the ingredients and follow the recipe.  Yeast is the ingredient which causes the bread to rise.  If I forget the yeast, I have flat, unleavened bread.  Do I blame the yeast for letting me down?  Of course not!  I made a choice, however absent-minded, and ended up with less than desirable results.

Love is the leavening agent in my spiritual life–leave it out, and my life is flat and empty.  But not because love failed, but because I didn’t allow it to express through me as the gift of God.  Like manna in the wilderness, love cannot be saved for another day, nor hoarded for one’s personal pleasure or control.  Love is the gift of God, freely given, to all of creation.  Love is the Law, the central commandment of Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”**

Luke 6:38*

Matthew 22:37-40**

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