Reviving our Faith

Spending Time alone with God

Exodus 33:7-11
Paul J. Bucknell

Note: 'The Needs of Our Spiritual Lives' is the second of five sections that compose this one longer article on Reviving Our Faith through God's Word which helps us understand what our spiritual lives need to properly grow. The purpose of this larger series, Renewing Our Lives and Minstries Through God's Word, is to revive your spiritual life through improving the quality of your personal devotional times. (Click to see this series' full 3-day ADT schedule.)

Spiritual Struggles | Spiritual Needs | Exciting Times | Faith & Desperation | Exercises

The Needs of our Spiritual Lives

The Essence of Life
We need, first of all, to recognize some basic things about spiritual life. 1 Peter 1:3 tells us, ““The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” At one point in our lives, we did not have spiritual life. But then after this special “caused to be born again” event, we find that we did have new life. Just like in our physical lives, at one point we were nonexistent and then at another we are born and alive.
The Spirit of God comes and does a special work that brings about that new life. Once this new life is born, it has a life of its own including a purpose and set of needs that seek fulfillment. Physically, we breathe and want to eat. Spiritually, we pray and love to read God’s Word. I remember after coming to know the Lord, as a young teen I absolutely loved that big King James Bible. All of the Lord’s children can look back at this new thirst for God’s Word.
This spiritual life has a determined nature to grow. We might cut back some growing plants like bushes or grass, but it isn’t long before that we had cut away has all grown back. Life is like that. Life innately seeks to grow. It will take in what it needs so that it might carry out its purpose. Spiritually, we need to take a look at both those needs and the purpose of our spiritual lives.
The Needs of Life
If we do not understand our spiritual lives, then we will not know when we are not getting the spiritual nutrients that we need. Is it right to expect a five-year-old to grow? Of course! But what if we added that he was not eating right, would this change our expectation? Sure. We sometimes see starved children looking much younger than their age. Our spiritual growth is designed to grow without limits. This is a good and healthy expectation. The problem is that we need to have those spiritual nutrients. Otherwise we will be much like that starved child. We have spiritual life, but in order to grow, we need those things that are needed for growth. Many of us have not thought about it.  
For example, as mentioned above, we can take a look at spiritual habits. We look and see if we or others are doing Christian things like going to church, praying or reading God’s Word. But we should not think the mere opportunity to be spiritually fed is the same as being spiritually fed. This is the problem with legalism. It misplaces the focus on the outward observations rather than what is happening inwardly.
See but don't eat. What good would it be to put a nice plate full of good food in front of you but you never were able to eat it? You were there. The good food was there. The problem is that the food never entered your system and therefore never rightly utilized.  The same thing happens spiritually. We read God’s Word. We pray. We go to church. We give money. But this is not the same as spiritual growth. They make the condition ready for growth, but without entering into those spiritual disciplines with faith, we do not gain from them. Legalism is the expectation and demand to carry out different activities but without regard to the real purpose or means those activities help.
Legalism makes one feel good just because he was near God’s Word. Instead of being spiritually nourished by God’s Word, he is content that he was near God’s Word. He pridefully walks away never realizing that he had never really ‘eaten’ any of God’s Word! No wonder legalism kills. We form wrong expectations for everyone and so everyone reinforces those wrong expectations on others. Soon, the whole community is focused on the wrong things and is spiritually dying. In these churches, only the new believers are able to bring renewal to the church, but soon they will join the rest in spiritual starvation.
The revival of our faith is not going to come from looking like we are enjoying a spiritual feast, but from actually enjoying one. This is true for pastors and Bible teachers as well as the other congregational members. Spiritual strength comes from spiritual food, while spiritual weakness come from the lack of spiritual food. The issue is not the trials that we face, but whether we are being spiritually nourished.
 I need to pause here for a moment. Some Christians might think that their pastor does not spiritually feed them. If this is true, it is a shame. Many preach stories rather than God’s Word. But we are fools to think a thirty minute message once a week is going to be our main diet for the week. Nature tells us to eat several times each day. We can get by with one portion, but I see that most people eat more than this. For many centuries Satan tried to keep God’s Word away from us. But now that many of us have God’s Word, He keeps us distracted from reading or at least rightly reading God’s Word. Each and every Christian needs to learn how to feed himself from God’s Word. Rightly feeding ourselves enables our spiritual life to keep growing. The pastor’s message is used in a special way to specially equip us.

We are now going to look at Exodus 33:7-11 and find four aspects needed to have exciting and effective spiritual devotions. Next >

Revive Your Faith Deepening Our Reflections  Tracing Our Life's Journey Pursuing Our God 

The Heart of Discipleship (Isaiah 50:4) The Heart of Discipleship ( Isaiah 50:5-9)

Exodus: Overview Christ in Exodus 3 Whys in Exodus

Titus: Overview Pastoral Overview Called into His Service (Titus 1:1-4) Church Planting (Titus 1:5-9)

   BFF Homepage  | Top | Back | Scripture Index | Topical Index | ADT
Click the CD for more informationClick Library to get articles, handouts and available slides.
Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell

NASB used