Amidst all the confusing and distorted notions, Scripture speaks with brilliant clarity. “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6, NIV). To pursue spiritual life means simply this: To know Jesus more intimately and to live as if he were in your place. It is to orderyour life in such a way that you stay connected to Christ, thinking as he thought, speaking as he spoke, and walking as he walked.
Certainly, this imitation of Christ will look different for each person, expressing itself through that person’s unique temperament, abilities, and circumstances. But there is a common denominator. At the core of Jesus’ teaching is the command to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love other people as you love yourself. (Mark 12:30–31).
What would this kind of life look like if you actually lived it out? Let’s face it—you could chalk up this concept as another idea that sounds good but isn’t really practical. Yet God is inviting you to make each moment of everyday a chance to learn from him how to master the art of life.
The apostle Paul put it like this: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col.3:17, NIV)
In the Bible, names often reflect a person’s character. So to do something in Jesus’ name means to do it in a way consistent with his character—to do it the way Jesus himself would. Paul’s teaching is very comprehensive on this matter. He says, “Whatever you do. . . .” And in case anyone misses his point, he adds, “. . . whether in word or deed. . . .” And in case anyone misses that he says, “. . . do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (italics added for emphasis).
Your spiritual life is simply your whole life—every minute and detail of it—from God’s perspective. In other words, God isn’t interested in your spiritual life. God is simply interested in your life. And every moment is an opportunity to do life in Jesus’ name.
One fully devoted follower, Brother Lawrence, put it this way: “(W)hat makes you think that God is absent from the maintenance shop but present in the chapel? . . . Holiness doesn’t depend on changing our jobs, but in doing for God’s sake what we have been used to doing for our own. Seriously—repair the equipment for God, answer the abusive phone calls for God, concentrate fully on the job you’re doing for God. He isn’t obsessed with religion— he’s the God of the whole of life. But we need to give it to him, consciously turning it over into his hands. Then whatever we’re doing—provided it is not against his will—becomes an act of Christian service.” —David Winter, Closer Than a Brother (on the life of Brother Lawrence)
All of the everyday stuff of life can be filled with his presence—if you are. You can do what you’re doing right now as Jesus would do it in your place. And if you do, you too will know the joy of true spiritual life.