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What It Means To Be Spiritual

The modern day believer for the most part has a misconception about what it means to be spiritual or to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Many think,  particularly the Charismatic and prosperity teachers and seekers, that being spiritual is seeking happiness that comes by having an abundance of material things, being in good health, having a successful career, etc., etc. While those things are not wrong in themselves, being spiritual from the the Bible and God's point of view is quite different.  

Watchman Nee in his book, The Spiritual Man, has a chapter devoted to prayer and spiritual warfare that defines what it means to be spiritual. I recommend both the book and the chapter.  Here is an excerpt from page 66, Volume II, Part IV, Chapter 4:

"The Christian must be delivered from every misconception with respect to spiritual life. He often surmises, before he enters into the spiritual sphere, that if only he could be as spiritual as his brother how happy he would be! He visualizes the spiritual odyssey as a most happy affair; and so he contemplates spending his days in perfect joy. Little does he or she know that the OPPOSITE IS THE TRUTH". 

"The spiritual path does not yield any enjoyment to the person himself; it is instead a life of daily fighting. To remove warfare from a spiritual life is to render it unspiritual. Life in the spirit is a suffering way, filled with watching and laboring, burdened by weariness and trial, punctuated by heartbreak and conflict. It is a life utterly outpoured entirely for the kingdom of God and lived in complete disregard for one's personal happiness. When a Christian is carnal he lives towards himself and for his own "spiritual" enjoyment. Of little value is he in God's hand.  Only as he dies to sin and to his personal life (soul life - emphasis mine) shall he be able to be used by God". 

"A spiritual life is one of spiritual usefulness because it is lived to mount assault upon assault against God's spiritual enemy (Satan - emphasis mine). We ought to be zealous for God, relentlessly attacking that enemy and never allowing this most useful spirit of ours to sink into passivity" (passivity is a state of mind whereby the believer in Christ waits for God or the Holy Spirit to act for him rather than to ACT WITH HIM. The Holy Spirit will never act for us or fight the battle with the enemy apart from our active participation; it is Satan and demon spirits that want to act FOR US, which involves demonic invasion and possession - emphasis mine).  

From this astute writing by Watchman Nee one would have to agree that the modern "positive thinking" and prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen don't have a clue to what is means to be spiritual nor do the thousands that follow his motivation speeches. 

Compare the Joel Osteen type of ministry to that of the Apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 11:22-28 (NKJV) 

22  Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 
23  Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 
24  From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 
25  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 
26  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 
27  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 
28  besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 

I sincerely doubt that the Apostle Paul would be a member of Joel Osteen's Church or ascribe to his brand of spirituality. On the contrary, Paul would rebuke him to his face as he did the Apostle Peter for hypocrisy among the Jews.  Paul didn't have much to be happy about in the soul realm, but he had the joy of the Spirit that came by much suffering via spiritual warfare in defeating the devil.