There are those who are rule followers. They don’t cut in line. They eat all their vegetables. They make their bed every morning. And then there are those who aren’t. They eat their dessert first. They cross the warning line to get a better view at the edge of a cliff. They secretly move the picture on the wall so it is crooked.
Which one are you? How do you approach life? A rule follower? A rule breaker? Or somewhere in between?
And how about with God? How do you approach your spiritual life with Him?
Do you see Him as a cosmic scorekeeper who constantly weighs your good deeds against your bad ones? You try to do as much good as you can, hoping it outweighs the areas where you fall short. You are focused on your performance with God.
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Or are you someone who is afraid of God and the punishment He may decide to lay on you for the mistakes you make? Your devotion to God is based on the time and energy you give Him in order to keep that punishment away as long as possible. You are focused on your rituals with God.
Maybe you view God as an impersonal force out in the universe. You are not sure how closeness with Him is achieved but finding spiritual activities to get you there feels right. You are focused on the best techniques to feel oneness with God.
Chip Ingram illustrates these different ways of approaching God and spirituality in his series, Momentum. He explores the question of how to move beyond performance and punishment and embrace a grace-filled, authentic spirituality. Chip says this true spirituality begins with an accurate picture of God. He is not a cosmic scorekeeper focused on punishing, nor is He some force out in the universe. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us fiercely and wants to give us good gifts.
1 John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
True spirituality begins with an accurate picture of God as our Heavenly Father, but it is built on the principle of relationship. God isn’t focused on what you do for Him, the rules you keep or don’t keep and He doesn’t want you to focus there either. He wants love to be what drives you. He wants to shower His love on you, and He wants you to love Him back.
Chip defines true spirituality as loving God and loving others from the heart. It’s not a checklist or a to-do list to accomplish, but an earnest desire to love God and the people He brings into your life.
You may be thinking, “Yes, loving Him and others seems a lot less burdensome – a lot less weighed down. But how do I do it? How do I truly love from the heart?”
The great thing is, God doesn’t just leave you wondering how to achieve this kind of spirituality. He gives the pathway to get there through the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12.
Chip outlines the Romans 12 path in his Momentum series. He shares how Paul starts points to surrender as the key to a loving relationship with God. Then Paul moves to your relationship with the world, addressing how not to conform but to think differently. Paul continues by showing how important it is to do life in community with other believers, and finally how to overcome evil with good when interacting with unbelievers.
Chip continues his Momentum series by showing how this Romans 12 pathway was lived out in the lives of Abraham, Daniel, Moses, Jonathan and David, and Joseph. These were real people who weren’t always perfect in living out true spirituality, but their hearts were focused on loving God and loving others. You aren’t going to be perfect at it either, but embracing the Romans 12 pathway will be life-changing. It will pave the way to the kind of love that builds a deep connection with your Heavenly Father and the people around you.
Don’t miss this inspiring teaching by Pastor Chip! The Momentum series will outline powerful first steps in your journey to living out true spirituality.
Edel is a busy mom of five very active kids, wife to one very adventurous husband, and caretaker of one very spoiled dog. When she is not homeschooling her kids or accomplishing the many drives on her carpool app, she enjoys workout classes, long walks, a good book, dinner out with friends, and lots of traveling. She and her family have ventured to 31 states in their RV with plans to visit all 50 states and recently they experienced an amazing family trip to Italy. Before writing for Living on the Edge, Edel enjoyed her position as a public school teacher and then principal of a Christian school. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and completed her Masters of Education at Harvard University.More Articles by Edel