Having gone through spiritual training, confession, repentance, restitution, meditation, and service I wanted more. I spent years at different churches hoping for more. Each book study I attended, although different, was about theorizing instead of practicing. What would Jesus do? Practice! I wanted and needed a group that would put things into practice.
While at a bible study I focused on the greatest commandment and the emphasis of the words 'love' and 'all.' Loving anything with all my heart and all my strength would require a continuous unceasing effort and commitment.
I wondered why something so great to God and Christ was rarely discussed through personal experience. Why wasn't this great commandment our primary mission? Why don't we make this our priority in groups? If this is the greatest commandment, then why don't we give it our utmost attention? Why aren't we talking about how to grow in this? I felt inspired to do something. I mentioned it to others, but they were not interested. Studying books and being with each other was enough for them. Doing what God and Christ instructed seemed silly, ridiculous, or too much for them.
I knew I wasn't going to understand more about the depth of the greatest commandment by sitting and looking at it. I needed to put it into practice and see what happens. This took some time and I mean years, but I learned how to do it, and it is good.
Continuing in such action requires a commitment to do things unfamiliar and uncomfortable. This takes desire, willingness, awareness, and diligence or in other words, all our heart, mind, and strength. God is right here waiting for us to experience a deeper sense of righteousness, goodness, grace, love, peace, and joy. Yet we must choose to seek, obey, and act in ways foreign to our understanding.
Active learning is to participate and experience. Instead of reading, observing, or talking about information and ideas, we put them into practice and evaluate what happens.
Those of us who love to talk will need to practice listening. We may have a lot to offer, but we must realize in spiritual development sharing from our hearts is spiritual development. Others need time to practice it.
Those of us who do not like to talk will need to share. We must share our truth, even if it's messy. Perhaps one on one may be a good start. Use a mentor for guidance, but still practice sharing.
Doing what is unfamiliar and uncomfortable can be unattractive. It's easy for our minds to develop reasons not to take spiritual action. Prayer and meditation to set our hearts and minds toward God can help. Working with others can be encouraging and supportive through such difficult times. Yet in the end we will all be required to overcome the mental struggles of perseverance in our spiritual development. We must share about these struggles, bring them to light, and let God help us.
Every system has a structure. We need structure. Yet in our spiritual growth which is individual we need to develop contact with God to hear what God wants us to do.
At first, our seeking contact with God may seem unproductive. Our prayers may feel empty. Our meditation may look like a waste of time. Yet we will need to develop patience, perseverance, and endurance to see what happens. Use a mentor through the process and stick it out.
Willingness to create and follow a plan is essential.
Attention will be required to assess our feelings and thoughts. We may need some help identifying feelings if we have not done it before. Through continued self-evaluation of our feelings we can improve our ability to see and understand our inward condition.
Our thoughts ought to continue to grow with God. Such thoughts toward God focus on love, compassion, patience, peace, mercy, forgiveness, truth, and justice.
In order follow God we must seek with our God senses. We can't follow light blindfolded or sound with our ears plugged. We must set our minds toward love and seek love in everything.
God is described in the Bible as: truth, compassion, just/impartial, love, patient, forgiving, merciful, and peaceful. We ought to daily seek how we can witness and experience such things within our hearts and minds using all our strength. See the great commandment...
How hard are we trying to find it? How can we act in more alignment with God?
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