3 Ways to Heighten Your Spirituality and Grow in Faith

Some things are so obvious that we do not notice them, we do not appreciate their presence. As the old saying goes, Familiarity breeds contempt.

The sun which gives us light and heat, the air we freely breathe, the water we drink—these and many more do not move most of us to say “Thank you” to the One who is their ultimate source. We take them for granted.

In the same way in matters that pertain to our spiritual growth we do not see the obvious. We invent ways and means which only complicate our path to spiritual maturity and fruitfulness.

Attempts to Heighten One’s Spirituality

There was a time in Church history, and this spanned many centuries, not just years, when monks and nuns flagellated themselves, whipped their backs with knotted cords, purportedly to perform penance for sins and imperfections, and to control their bodily desires. That was one of their ways to heighten their spirituality and grow in faith.

Again there were centuries when people in hordes undertook pilgrimages, also to heighten their spirituality and grow in faith. Today there are still pockets of these pilgrimages.

Whipping our backs and going on pilgrimages are complicated ways to heighten our spirituality and grow in faith.

Most of those who travel on the road of spirituality miss the obvious. They tend to complicate matters.

Go to the Sources of Your Spirituality

The first way is obviously to go to the sources of one’s spirituality and drink, as it were, from these sources. This means that you read your Sacred Scriptures. If you are a Christian, read your Bible. If you are a Muslim, read your Qur’an. If you are a Hindu, read your Bhagavad Gita. If you are a Buddhist, read your Tripitaka. Whatever is your religion or faith, read its sacred writings.

This is very basic and yet we need to be constantly reminded of this. The reason is because we can be easily misled to read other than these sources, and forget these sources altogether.

Every reform and revival movement in the Christian Church has always pointed the way back to the Bible. And every Christian group that sprouts has always claimed the Bible as its ultimate authority. A similar phenomenon has also happened among the other great religions of the world. They always go back to their sacred written sources.

The first way, therefore, to heighten your spirituality and grow in faith is to keep on reading the written sources of your spirituality: the Bible, or the Qur’an, or the Bhagavad Gita, or the Tripitaka, or other such sources. Reading these once in a while will not benefit you. You need to do this daily, just as you feed your body daily. You may read some pages, some paragraphs, some sentences. It does not matter, as long as you read a portion of such sacred writings.

This is so obvious as the first requirement for a heightened spirituality that very many people miss it. They think that it is so basic that after some kind of enlightenment they can proceed to more sophisticated ways of heightening their spirituality, like reading the latest book on spirituality, or performing some newly found unique bodily postures, mental exercises, ritualistic offerings, etc.

The truth is that the Spirit will always lead the sincere seeker to his writings, the sources of our spiritual life, the Word of God.

Let the Sources Transform You

The second way to heighten your spirituality is also obvious. It is to allow what you read in the sources of your spirituality to sink deeper into your life and transform you.

Reading the Bible or other sacred books will not benefit you if you read it just for the sake of reading it, to get information or even insights for a better life. You need to be quiet and still and let what you read penetrate your mind and heart. Just as what you eat needs to be digested to be of some benefit to your body, so also you need to digest, as it were, the Word of God to get the full benefit of it.

To do this you need a quiet place where you can be alone with your God. It does not matter whether it is in a desert far away from civilization or on top of a condominium in the midst of a bustling city, in a bedroom or a garden beside your house, in a Christian chapel or a Muslim prayer room in a mall. What is important is that you are alone and in a quiet place. If you own your office time you can hang a notice on the door knob of your office, with a sign that you cannot be disturbed because you have a very special visitor.

The purpose of going into such a quiet solitary place is for the Word of God, what you read in the sacred books, to sink into your life and transform you into this Word of God. Just as physical food is transformed into you, the reverse process takes place in the spiritual life. As the Word of God enters your life, it transforms you into itself, so that you become a word of God for others.

You start by thanking your God for the opportunity to be with him alone. Then you think about you have read in the sources of your faith. Then when you can no longer think about you read, you just stay there no longer thinking about anything. In this way what you read will penetrate more and more your heart.

How long do you do this? Twenty minutes per day would be the minimum to achieve some immediate palpable effect. But you can extend it to one or two or more hours if you have time.

The Third and Final Step

And the third way is perhaps the most obvious of all the ways although most people seem not to like it. Adam and Eve, or whoever were the first human beings, did not like it. Since their time, their descendants have not liked it, this third way. They continue to disregard it. But unless we go through this third way, our reading the Scriptures and pondering over their words in a solitary place are just a waste of time.

All the evils we see and experience in our world are the result of disregarding this third way.

This third way is expressed very simply in a four-letter word: obey. Ralph Waldo Emerson hit it right when he wrote: “The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey.”

You simply obey what the Spirit tells you to do. As you commune with him in silence and alone, he reveals to you his secrets, primarily more and more of himself and secondarily more and more of what he wants you to do. You simply obey.

That is all there is, to heighten your spirituality and grow in faith. 1) Read the sacred scriptures of your faith. 2) Let the words you read sink into your consciousness and subconsciousness in a quiet, solitary place. 3) Obey what the Spirit tells you to do.

Do these and in a very short time you will rise above the material elements of this earth and enter more and more into the regions of the spiritual realm.

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