By Steve Wickham
Thus says the LORD: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
~Jeremiah 6:16a-c (NRSV)
Whoever would be indwelt by the Spirit must judge their life for any hidden iniquities.
~A.W. Tozer (modified for gender inclusivity))
The Holy Spirit – the Lord of true spirituality – is no coercer of souls. Though all the power in the universe is spoken forth by the Spirit, there is nothing gentler. And this Spirit is grieved far easier than any of us think.
Sharpening our spiritual game is as simple or hard as understanding, discerning, and obeying the gentle trickle of spiritual communication that can only be distinguished by a soul palpably surrendered in that moment.
We know by the way our consciences function, the moment’s guilt for those hidden things hidden from others but never from God, and how grieved we are (let alone the Holy Spirit) at such folly; we are deceived daily and only a surrendered heart can, again and again, save us.
LIFE AT THE CROSSROADS
The true spiritual life is an existence poised at the crossroads, not in indecision but for the spiritual rationale to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7).
The crossroad is spiritual position ‘A’, because it resolves to stay on the ancient path; one that, in terms of time and space, is so dynamic, the path is lost the moment we go alone. This crossroad is the spiritual reality of life; it situates itself in our present moments, as we walk along in our spiritual walk, because at any time, usually through the rising of the flesh, or complacency, fatigue or frustration, we turn to the left or right and away from the crossroad we go.
Life with God is life, constantly as it rests in the body, at the crossroads.
Sharpening our spiritual game is understanding life at the crossroad – with sight of both Spirit and flesh at our beckoning – is the cherished Presence of the Lord.
There, and there alone, with no desire and no thought for worldliness, the Spirit makes its home; our spiritual game, for that moment, is sharp.
JUDGING OUR LIVES
The truly spiritual person is mature enough to understand that spiritual vitality depends comprehensively on the ability to allow God to search them – “for any hidden iniquities.”
Repentance is central to spiritual sharpness; as left is to right, and north is to south, because we are sinful creatures, there is penitence required – the heart put right – for fellowship before God; and there is no spirituality without the Lord.
Judging our lives and confessing our sin is, and will always be, the absolute centre of spiritual sharpness.
The beauty of spirituality is the love of choice. God is both all-powerful and incomprehensibly gentle. Becoming spiritually sharp is a choice; only basic acts are required – yet, these are not easy, for we necessarily must swallow our pride.
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