Sunday, August 10, 2014

Explore Your Spirituality

The purpose of this article is not to persuade you to believe in God. It is to shed light on the difference between Religion and Spirituality, and hopefully be of some help to you in making your own decision about God. 

The aim of religion is to carefully instruct and encourage you to believe in specific doctrines, dogmas and traditions with regards to God. Deviation from these would subject you to prescribed penalties designed to keep you in compliance with those doctrines, dogmas and traditions.

Spirituality, on the other hand, encourages you to ask questions, evaluate the
answers to them, and draw your own conclusion based on what you've heard, read and experienced with regards to God, who is called the "Universal Consciousness" because he is present everywhere.

While religion can open the door to spirituality, spirituality is not necessarily a consequence of religion. Meaning, while religion in itself is not a hindrance to spirituality, it can become a hindrance to the extent that it imposes limitation on thinking outside the box regarding the question,"Does God Exist".

Nowhere is the push for thinking outside the box more telling than in the evolution of the human mind, and its increasing capacity to reason. This is the driving force behind the movement away from religion towards spirituality because the human mind is inquisitive, analytical and solution oriented, and does not uncritically submit itself to doctrines, dogmas and traditions written in stones. 

However, I have found that the pursuit of knowing whether God exists or not can go astray without a guiding light. Through the ages, God has revealed himself and his purpose for humankind to few chosen men and women. These revelations have been codified in the holy books of the major religions.

Since I was brought up as a Christian, the bible is my guiding light for finding the answer to the question, "Does God Exist". I should add that the bible is not the only book of God. It is one among many books of God. Which is to say, it is narrow minded to claim that one religion is better than another, or one holy book is truer than another.

For me as a Christian the bible is the true book of God. Just as for a Muslim the quran is the true book of God. Accepting this takes nothing away from my spirituality, and my pursuit to connect with God in spirit.

For me as a Christian, God's purpose for humankind is revealed in Matthew 7:21-23. The relevant question that arises from the quotation is, "What is the will of God". In Matthew 22:37-40, we read that God's will is that you "Treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated".

Practicing this spiritual principle makes the human soul receptive to the spirit of God. This has been known and taught in all the major religions for centuries. The problem is that the word "neighbors" has often been misunderstood to mean only those in your religion, fraternity or social group. Nothing could be more wrong.

Your neighbors include all people from all religions, fraternities and social groups. When we rise to this level of enlightenment, we are able to find solutions to problems that are mutually beneficial to all. In the process we also elevate ourselves spiritually to the level of God, and are enabled to connect with God in spirit.

The twin rewards from this spiritual enlightenment are peace with our neighbors, and the gift of God's wisdom and power to help us find practical solutions to the problems that torment our minds and bodies. To read more about God's wisdom and power click here. 

The Evolution Of My Thoughts On God And Religion
I was raised a Christian and carefully taught to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that nobody could connect spiritually with God and be saved except through Jesus Christ. Over the years, I inferred from this that all non Christians would not be saved. In my conversations and writings I have presented my belief as incontrovertible facts to anyone who cared to listen to me, or read my work.

As I matured spiritually, I began questioning the belief that God would save only Christians, and would destroy the rest of humanity because they did not accept Jesus Christ as the son of God. It also dawned on me that people in different parts of the world, influenced by elements unique to their environment would, as a matter of course, develop traditions and cultures different from those in my part of the world. This being true, it is obvious that there would be different religions in different parts of the world, each created by the unique traditions and cultures of its followers. 

Having realized this, it made no sense to me when a Christian says only Christians would be saved because the bible says so. Since followers of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto and other religions would also claim they are the only true believers who would be saved because their holy books say so. This argument on who is a true believer and who is not has driven followers of each religion to circle the wagons, accepting those within the circle as true believers, and those outside as infidels. The consequence has been intolerance, wars, mayhem and death, there in the pages of history for all to see.

Meanwhile, believers are asking, "Where is God?" Bad things are happening to good people. They lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance, they lose their homes, their lives fall apart before their eyes. They are involved in violent accidents, or struck down by degenerative diseases that leave them disabled. Their children are born with congenital diseases that deprive them of ever living a normal life, or are struck by a terminal disease like cancer that kills them even before they've had the chance to know what life is all about. 

Thinking about these life changing events believers ask, why me? They have become skeptical of God and his relevance in their everyday lives. They are not getting the answers they seek from God, and are venting their displeasure by walking away from organized religion in large numbers, raising the inescapable question, "Does God exist at all?"

I believe the Universal Consciousness (God) exists, on the strength of the argument that the earth and life could not have come from nothing. Even as I write this, I am challenged by the question: if there was nothing before God, isn't it conceivable that God came from nothing? And if this is true, am I not agreeing with Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss that life and the universe came from nothing? I would admit trying to answer this question logically is like entering a black hole where time stops, and light cannot survive.

All the same, while cosmologists work on their mathematical models to prove that everything came from nothing, I believe that in the beginning was the Universal Consciousness from whom came all there is. Your question would be, if so how did the Universal Consciousness come into existence? This question can neither be answered by the tools of science, nor by logic. It is a spiritual question answerable only by faith which is the tool of the spirit. And contrary to the popular notion, faith is not believing blindly. Faith is the pursuit of spiritual knowledge.

The Universal Consciousness
You may have noticed I am calling God by the name Universal Consciousness. I am doing so because I don't want to be tied to any one religion, and secondly, the Universal Consciousness is no respecter of man or woman. He puts no person or group of persons above all others. The Universal Consciousness is absolute good, and he reveals his goodness through love made equally available to all who live by the universal divine law of good and evil which reads, "In everything you do, treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated". And as proof of it's universality, in one form or another this law is found in every major religion around the world. 

Living by the universal divine law of good and evil is the only means by which

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spiritual Exercise

Those who earnestly seek God through faith would be rewarded with the things they ask for in prayers (Hebrews 11:6). We will practice this spiritual principle to find if it works in the real world, and by extension find evidence that God truly exists.

To earnestly seek God, you should have faith, and faith comes by hearing and reading the message of the gospel, which is summarized in Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus replied, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." 

The practical application of these commandments is to treat your neighbors as you want to be treated. Since you cannot see God who is spirit, the only way you can demonstrate your love for God is to treat your neighbors as you want to be treated. This cannot be achieved without dedicated efforts, because you would be veciously attacked by the spiritual forces of evil to force you to go the other way.

When you resist the attacks of the Evil One, and continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, this would put you in the path of God's grace, and by his mercy give you faith to prepare your soul to receive the Holy Spirit. Upon receiving the Holy Spirit, which would be an actual spiritual event in your life, you would become three persons in one: body, soul and the Holy Spirit, as God is three persons in one: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, thus sharing the same spirit with God, and connecting directly with him in spirit.

Meantime, the spiritual forces of evil would continue putting temptation and problems in your life to discourage you from treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, for the purpose of weakening your faith and turning you away from God.

If your faith in God begins to shake and crack, it would seem to you that you are gaining nothing by treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. But if you stay the course, strengthened by the truth that it's not you who is acting, but the Holy Spirit who live in you, you would prevail over the spiritual forces of evil, as Job and Jesus prevailed over the Evil One.

Having prevailed over the spiritual forces of evil, and still connected with God in spirit, you can now put the spiritual principles of the gospel into practice to confront and defeat the demons in your life.

We've all encountered the demons of fear, lethargy and depression. These demons stop us in our tracks, and discourage us from taking action to rise from where we are to where we want to be. They come at us in such subtle ways that we are unable to see that we are being manipulated by something outside ourselves. 

If your life is being ruined by fear, lethargy or depression, as they are designed by the spiritual forces of evil to do, the first thing you should do is go see your doctor. Explain your problem to him or her. Where needed your doctor would recommend treatment for your problem. In addition to the medical treatment, I would recommend you undergo a spiritual treatment, so that you would cure your problem both in its physical and spiritual dimensions.

Relating to fear, lethargy and depression, your spiritual treatment begins with believing that the Holy Spirit lives in you, and it's not you who act, but the Holy Spirit who lives in you. With this in mind, you are not depending on your own strength to do the things you need to do to, but on the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you. Believng this to be true, whenever you are discouraged from taking action by fear, lethargy or depression, remind yourselve that it's not you who is acting, but the Holy Spirit who lives in you, then move foreward and act, and continue acting until your task is done.

Once you begin to act, and decide not to stop until your task is done, the Holy Spirit would strengthen you to do so. But remember the Holy Spirit would support you only when the things you do are legal, realistic and do no intentional harm to your neighbors. When you diligently perform this spiritual exercise you would get the desired result, if you don't, say so in your comment to me, so that I would assist in getting you the result you seek. Meantime, strengthen your faith at:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Must I Do To Receive Faith

This blog got its name from John 4:24 which reads, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Worshiping God in spirit presupposes you believe you are two persons in one: body and  soul, and you are seeking a union with the Holy Spirit to transform you into three persons in one, as God is three persons in one.

But first these questions. What must I do to invite the Holy Spirit to live in me? The second question is, how do I know the Holy Spirit is living in me?

You can invite the Holy Spirit to live in you by doing the will of God, as summarized by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Laws and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." 

On the second question. You would know the Holy Spirit is living in you when, regardless of all the spiritual and physical obstacles put in your path by the Evil One you succeed in demonstrating your love for God by treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. By this single act you have fulfilled the two greatest commandments which are: loving God and loving your neighbors.

Although the Holy Spirit connects you directly with God, you need faith to remain connected. By faith you would receive God's wisdom to see through the lies of the Evil One. You would also receive God's power to stand firm against the temptation of the Evil One, in order to continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated. In other words, when you stop treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, you give the Evil One access to infiltrate and control your mind toward evil.

You may ask, if everything depends on faith what must I do to receive faith? In Romans 10:17 we read, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing and [reading] the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." What is the message of Christ that summarizes the entire gospel? It is this: "To love God and love your neighbors". 

When you live by Christ's divine message, you would receive faith. The Holy Spirit will come and live in you. You would be connected directly with God and receive His wisdom and power. You would not be alone when the Evil One comes knocking at your door with temptations. And you would be empowered to continue treating your neighbors as you want to be treated, and as a result guarantee your happiness here on earth and your salvation in the after life. 

Explore Your Spirituality

The purpose of this article is not to persuade you to believe in God. It is to shed light on the difference between Religion and Spiritualit...