Summary: What does a Spiritual Person look like? For you, who models what a spiritual person is: Mother Theresa? Billy Graham? Your grandma? Joel Osteen? Bono? This pastor? All kidding aside, each of these people - including yours truly - illustrates a type of
This week I read a story about a profoundly disabled little girl named Danielle and Bernie and Diane, the middle-aged couple who adopted her. Dani spent the first 7 years of her life in miserable squalor, surrounded by roaches and maggots. She has no mental or physical disabilities but she is very handicapped. Her birth mother, for reasons still not understood, abandoned her to a bedroom, and never taught her to walk, talk, eat, or care for herself. Neglect robbed this child’s brain of the opportunity to develop!
Bernie and Diane, who are not wealthy, saw a picture of little Dani and, led by God, opened their hearts and their home to her two years ago on Easter. This little girl, now 9, can walk, eat, and attend special school, but she still does not talk, and may never! Why did this couple take on such a huge challenge, such a demanding task?
They are spiritual people, who live not simply to experience pleasure, find the next best restaurant, avoid any kind of hard choice! They are responsive to the Spirit, ready to do what God asks them to do.
In a moment, we are going to explore this issue of spirituality. What does a spiritual person look like?
First, let’s review for a moment, where we’ve been in the series of messages about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In the first message, we considered that He is a Person,
knowable by us, living in us, and that makes us alive to God!
Last time I talked about three choices to be made by the individual who wants to overflow with the Spirit of God – Submission, Presentation, and Consecration.
You could have walked away thinking, “That’s a lot to ask.” It is!
There are substantial choices that we make as we walk with God. Jesus cautions us to ‘count the cost’ of discipleship. Let’s be radical here! The cost? Total loss! All things! Your life, your wife, your kids, your wealth, your privacy, your freedom, your fulfillment.... Totally abandoned to Him. There is a stinky form of Christianity that is quite popular here in America today that is completely culturally compromised.
It is a Christianity focused on individuality and self- satisfaction. The promise goes a little like this:
“Jesus is the ultimate motivational speaker who will juice your life and make you the happiest guy in your neighborhood!”
The theme song of these disciples is “It’s all about me, Jesus. And all this is for me!” What utter nonsense!
If our desire is to both know Him and please Him, to experience the amazing life in the Spirit - we will give ourselves without reservation to Him. And that leads us to this question:
What does a Spiritual Person look like?
For you, who models what a spiritual person is: Mother Theresa? Billy Graham? Your grandma? Joel Osteen? Bono? This pastor? All kidding aside, each of these people - including yours truly - illustrates a type of spirituality! But to make any one of those people the model of spirituality is a big mistake. Other than Jesus Christ, there is no single ideal! Truthfully, to set anyone up as your ideal is to create problems for yourself in becoming a truly spiritual man or woman! Yes, of course, we have mentors and those who lead us to know Him, but as we grow in Christ, we must realize that He made us to be unique beings. His expectations of us are not shaped by comparison but rather on how we respond to Him in the context of who we are:
the opportunities that belong to us,
the resources He has made available to us,
the experiences that have been a part of our lives!
“Each ONE will give account of HIMSELF to God,” the Bible says.
And yet, to ask the question - “What does a spiritual person look like?” - is not wrong.
Turn with me to this text. – Matthew 7: 1-2, 15-21 PB 1505
Here we find a juxtaposition of two ideas that appear, at least at first glance to be contradictory.
READ v. 1-2 “Don’t judge each other!”
“Don’t be quick to criticize, so ready to tear down, jumping to conclusions about others!”
And yet, there is this complementary word.
READ v. 15-21
There is fruit that is the observable evidence of God’s life in us!
If you were walk through a stand of trees and saw red apples growing on one of them, you would not need a degree in horticulture to know that you were gazing on an apple tree. Likewise, Jesus says that there will be visible qualities in the life of a person that will signal - here is a person is filled with the life of the Spirit of God!