Focusing on the Spiritual

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A main key in attaining the highest level of spirituality or spiritual life is eliminating religious peripherals to focus on a deeper understanding of God’s person.

Those of us who are spiritually minded desire to go past all the peripherals and live at a depth of spiritual experience that few people ever attain, a level of spirituality that is fulfilling and brings wholeness.

To attain the highest level of spirituality, first become aware of what things are religious peripherals that may be keeping your focus from the depth you really desire.

Let me clarify before explaining this point that I am not minimizing the value of various religious ceremonies, traditions, rites, or liturgy in anyone’s religion. Depending on one’s personality, they can hold great value emotionally as well as aid in spiritual focus and sense of community. What is important here is to have a full realization that religious ceremonies or rites are not “in themselves” the focus of one’s spiritual experience. They are aids or tools. The actual focus is to know God’s person, to daily experience a progression of more deeply and intimately understanding the aspects of His personality. Just as we are spirits in physical bodies, with the spirit being the person that everyone else gets to know, so God is Spirit; your spiritual focus is to progressively grow in your understanding of His person through interactive communication with Him, the same as you grow in relationship with any other sentient person.

The Apostle Paul, well-known for authoring a large part of the New Testament, described this experience of not being distracted by the peripherals of one’s true spiritual focus.

Paul discusses his rich religious heritage which he says, by outward appearances, would give him great spiritual advantage (Philippians 3:4-7), “circumcised at eight days old, of the nation of Israel, a son of Hebrews, of the religious sect of the Pharisees, known for outstanding zeal, and by the standard of the Law of Moses-blameless.” Yet Paul states that these things, though they have value, are not to be one’s main focus in attaining the spirituality we each desire. Paul counts them all as loss compared to the pricelessness of growing in his understanding of God’s person.

This quote very effectively describes how to focus your spiritual passion on attaining an intimate knowledge of God’s person:

I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege – the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth and supreme advantage – of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly…For my determined purpose is that I may know Him – that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly. Phil. 3:8,10 Amplified


Notice the 2 steps Paul describes as necessary for true spiritual attainment:

1. Counting everything else as a loss when compared to progressively knowing God’s person.
2. Making it one’s determined purpose, a specifically focused driving purpose, to intimately know and understand God’s person.

Lastly, to implement this concept, realize that even in the spiritual realm, there is a difference between knowing “about” a person and actually “knowing” the person.

One can know about a famous person, all kinds of facts, dates, and experiences that person has had. But that kind of knowledge “about” someone lacks a true intimate knowledge of his or her person. On the other hand, those who daily interact with him or her on a personal level are the ones who progressively develop a true intimate knowledge and understanding of their personality.

Take this mental picture and apply it to your own spiritual experience. Ceremonies, rites, etc. are tools but do not let them become your main focus; if you do, your spiritual experience will lack the living, intimate depth that you desire and can receive. Make it your determined purpose to focus on “progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with God, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person.”

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