Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spiritual MOT questions

I have been reading about and challenged by Celtic spirituality in the excellent new book by James Emery White:

'Let's begin at the beginning, which is you don't actually have a spiritual life. You just have a life, and it's meant to be lived spiritually. This is the heart of the matter- are you in a relationship with God through Christ? One that is nurtured, cultivated and intimate? If you are not attending to yourself spiritually, your symptoms will become apparent:

  • If someone were to ask you where you are growing spiritually, or what new things you are discovering about God you would not have a ready answer. 
  • You do not feel close to God; he is more concept than friend, more idea than Father. You are comfortable talking about him as an idea or theological category, but not about your relationship with him
  • You do not often consider God's presence throughout the day
  • You have little or no reserves for crisis moments, such as failure, humiliation, suffering, the death of a loved one or loneliness.
  • You publicly worship God but cannot remember the last time you privately worshipped God
  • You do not feel particularly troubled or convicted by behaviours and attitudes that you know to be sin. You ask for forgiveness, but aren't particularly interested in repentance.
  • You would not be comfortable spending time alone with Christ in prayer, or waiting to speak yo you in a time of silence or solitude.
  • You cannot cite the last time you felt a specific prompting come to you from God to act in a counterintuitive way as a result of time spent alone with him. Much less the last time you obeyed a prompting. 
  • If someone were to ask you if you were more like Jesus today than you were a year ago your honest answer would be no.
I don't raise these questions to demean or demoralise, but to awaken you from any spiritual slumber you may have allowed yourself to drift into. Living on the surface of life is easy; days are easily filled with activity and noise, deadlines and duty. Your spirit is beneath the surface, and does not often cry out for attention. The ancient Celts knew that life has to be lived on both levels and they had to be brought into union with each other.'

This is an excellent spiritual MOT talk and if these questions resonate and challenge you why not book a day or half a days retreat time. Take your Bible, a journal, some other spiritual reading, listen to the talk, reflect and pray. 


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Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful