What is True Spirituality?
by Alex Crain
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” – Genesis 3:6 NASB
It seems clear to me that the root of all human sin is unbelief. Doubt. I’ve heard people argue that the most basic sin is pride, and well, I suppose that’s somewhere lurking on the other side of the coin. But if we start at the beginning of the Bible, the Genesis 3 account shows that Eve first doubted God. That was her sin. After her unbelief came the outward act of disobedience.
Francis Schaeffer, commenting on this, said: “By her doubting she called God a liar. Eve doubted… mankind in revolt doubts God” (chapter seven, True Spirituality).
On the contrary, the person who is at peace with God does not doubt Him. Rather, he/she trusts God. Schaeffer says this is the simplest way to describe true spirituality: it is believing God.
But it is more than just believing God at one isolated point in life. It is believing God and having ongoing belief in Him. There must be moment-by-moment personal communion with Him.
God created us to be relational, not mechanical. Healthy relationships depend on good communication. But communication is an always-in-flux, moment-by-moment kind of thing. That is why all our mechanical efforts at the Christian life fail. It’s not about reading a set number of chapters of the Bible each day. It’s not about praying for so long.
No. What is needed first, and what inspires trust is, throughout the day, seeing before us the most basic teachings of the Bible:
God exists and He is personal.
God is holy and sin will be judged, but Christ’s atonement removes the guilt of sinners.
We are saved from condemnation by the finished work of Christ, and we are brought into a proper relationship with God in a personal way.
We are joined to Christ spiritually.
We can enjoy communication with the Creator on the basis of what Christ has done. (1 John 1:5)
These truths don’t change, regardless of how I feel at any given moment.
The rediscovery of believing God and these truths moment-by-moment is what lifted Francis Schaeffer out of a long, dark season and re-energized his life.
In our lives, what generally causes us to distrust Christ and run elsewhere is that we often think that we have a better way. We think that, somehow, God really doesn’t have our best interests at heart. Like Eve, we think that God is withholding something good from us.
Intersecting Faith & Life: The rediscovery of believing God and these truths moment-by-moment is what lifted Francis Schaeffer out of a long, dark season and re-energized his life. If you’ve come to see that God doesn’t deserve our suspicion, seek His aid to maintain this moment-by-moment walk of faith with Him.
For Further Study: Isaiah 30:15 “Thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.'”