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How important is Spiritual History?

For so long I thought that as long as I read the Bible, pray, have fellowship with friends and go to church that I was okay.  I also thought that because I understood how to do quiet time, bible reading and bible study that i was in the upper echelon of Evangelical Christians.  Then, just as I thought “I made it” as a great man of God, I realize I was so mistaken.  All these I’ve mentioned have to do with “things” do you in the faith.  They are not about who we are – we are people.  In fact, someone once said that we are spiritual beings trapped inside a physical body sojourning on this earth.  I love that imagery.

But more important that doing things for God, I realize that having personal, experiential and memorable experiences are just as important as doing all the church things.  Don’t get me wrong!  I love reading the word, praying, doing QT, fellowshipping, going to church or doing things in church, but more importantly, I realized that having a personal relationship with Him is the first and most important thing.

Secondly, after having that relationship with Him, I realize how crucial it is to develop moments with our Father where we share a moment together.  I’m not saying something it has to be something so life changing that it completely sweeps you off your feet – though I hope and pray you have those moments.  But rather, moments when you go through great, growing, tough, challenging or questioning time with Him.  All those moments build not only character, but our personal history with God.  And if we don’t have personal history with God, how do we expect to walk on this earth without letting the world trample on us?   Let’s look at David as one example.

David was the youngest of 7, and yet, he killed a massive giant in Goliath because of his prior experiences with God.  When someone read those passages in scripture they’ll said, “it was because God was with him” or because “God anointed him to be king; therefore he had the power to do that”, but remember, just because your anointed King, doesn’t give you instant power – just look at Saul.  Nonetheless, the bible gives us a clue as to how David was able to accomplish this feat.  It was because he killed Lions and Bears when he was tending the sheep; therefore he had ample training in learning to ward off or kill animals who endangered the flock.  I would argue that it was tens if not, hundreds or thousands of moments when he killed all sorts of animals big and small (cubs, wolves, lions, tigers, bears or any other animals) that he found victory in small moments that led him to be confident of his ability to stand up to Goliath.  And, because of his history with God, it allowed him to always be rooted in God and become someone who God said is “a man after my own heart.”  How important is spiritual history?  I would say it’s as important as how much we want to make an impact for the Lord – a whole lot!

Spiritual DNA

What’s your spiritual DNA?  I love using this question for a series on discipleship.  This would be one of my very early questions.  The reason being so that the person whom your asking this question would be thinking about their personal spiritual Journey, not just in stages or a progression but a series of markers that permanently shape their future mindset, actions and decisions.   I think too many times we see a journey just as one adventure over another.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but some places in our Journey just leaves a deeper Impact on us than others.

Yesterday, I’ve talked about Jacob and his spiritual history.  Today I want to talk about what makes up our history?  What defines who we are, and who we’ll become? That is the question of Spiritual DNA.

Our DNA in real life determines the characteristic that put meaning to who we are.  Stuff like what color our hairs going to be, what color skin we’ll have, what type of body type we’ll have  and even what disease we will pass us along to our family..etc. If you really think about it, knowing our DNA in life is really important in shaping who we are today.  Just like our real lives are determined so much by our distinct DNA, I believe our spiritual lives are just as equally determined by our spiritual DNA.

So what do I mean by Spiritual DNA?  Does that mean if we have a relative who was a pastor or missionary, that we’ll be more inclined to be a better Christian?  Or does it mean that if we have generational sin,  that sin will tickle down and affect our generations to come?   To say it succinctly, I would define Spiritual DNA as series of collective and repeating experiences that forms our viewpoint, attitudes or our behaviors about God.

Basically, spiritual DNA asks the question, what “things” have shaped our understanding of God?  I won’t get into so much about what “things” they are, but would want you to think about your own personal journey and reflect back on the things that has shaped their life.   Some questions you may want to ask are:

-what events had major significance in your life?
-who were some very influential people in your life?
-what truths have set you free?
-what was the best season of your life?  What was the most difficult?
-what bible verses are your life verses?
-what worship songs become your anthems?

These are some things to worth considering, meditating, and reflection upon.

Since I love talking not just about theories, but also about being pragmatic about our Spiritual life, the question I leave with you is when was the last time you share a bit about how your defining strands came to be?