Henri J. Nouwen writes in his book Making All Things New: An Invitation To The Spiritual Life “The Spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now. Therefore we need to begin with a careful look at the way we think, speak, feel, and act from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, and year to year.”
I love this quote from Nouwen because that is exactly what a life that is intertwined in a relationship with Christ looks like. A Spiritual life that is found in the day to day existence of reality. If you were to do a search of the Bible, you won’t find the words “spiritual life” because the Jews never viewed the spiritual life to be separate from life, it was life.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Our daily thoughts and actions are the arena where our faith is lived out. It is in that daily pursuit of Jesus where we will be transformed, in the way we think, speak, feel and act.
There is another aspect to that verse and that is the idea to put into practice the things they have seen Paul do. He tells the people at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:1) to imitate him as he imitates Christ. I can think back to the many times I would imitate my dad, just to be like him. The disciples of a rabbi sought to imitate their rabbi in order to be like him, wanting to have the same relationship with God that he did.
Why don’t we imitate those who have the kind of faith and relationship with Jesus that we wish we had?
Take a moment and think about someone you know who lives a life of faith. Get to know them, spend time with them, find out the things they do on a daily basis in their pursuit of Jesus. Imitate those things that they have put into practice.
What can you do today to take one step closer to Jesus?