How do you know whether the ‘spirit in our lives’ is the Spirit of Truth or the spirit of error and deceit? One of the common errors among Christians is to try and judge ‘spirituality’ by experiences. You see this error in many testimonies. To hear someone was moved, overwhelmed, healed, astonished, transported or whatever by some spiritual experience is no real guide at all as to whether the ‘experience’ is of God or not. Indeed Jesus warns us that false Christs and false prophets will arise and ‘perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect’ (Mark 13:22).
So how do we test the spirits to see whether they are from God? (1 John 4:1). The Spirit of Truth is the answer. He will lead us in the truth about Jesus. He will confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. He will move us to listen to the apostles words that he inspired. He will move us to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. He will convict us of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 16:8). He will enable us to call the judge of the entire world Father (Rom 8:15).
He will lead us to put to death the deeds of the body (Rom 8:13). True spirituality, is not a mystical journey into your inner soul, nor the spectacular expression of signs and wonders, nor the overwhelming experiences to which people testify. True Spirituality is being moved by the Holy Spirit to know the truth about Jesus, to acknowledge God as our Father, to the accept the authority of scripture and to reject the works of evil in our lives.
So beware of ‘experiencing’ the Spirit and then looking in the Bible to find ‘your experience’. When we do this we often read our experiences into the Bible. Instead follow the Spirit by reading his word the Bible and from that determine what to expect about what the Spirit of truth will do. This will help you understand your experiences by the Bible rather than the Bible by your experiences.
You might like to reflect upon Romans 8:1-14 as you think about true Spirituality in your life.