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<< Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef

Leading The Way - Week of March 17

  • 2014 Mar 17
  • COMMENTS

Week of March 17

Shadow Spirituality

Have you ever tried to witness to someone who responded, "I don't need church or religion—I'm a very spiritual person." Maybe they try to fill their spiritual void with tarot cards, astrology, meditation, philosophy, or yoga. But without Christ as their Savior, their efforts to feed their spiritual hunger are in vain. We all were born in a spiritual vacuum, craving wholeness and peace. We may try to satisfy our hearts and souls with temporary fixes, but only God can permanently and completely fill that longing inside of us.

God is the only source of true spiritual fulfillment. Anything else is temporary and false. It is a shadow of the real spirituality of God. Shadow spirituality is any form of spirituality that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Lord of life. Shadow spirituality refuses to acknowledge the sovereign power and authority of God. Shadow spirituality dismisses the Bible as the Word of God.

Even churches are not immune from shadow spirituality. Many churches are wrongly preaching that Christ is merely one of many ways to God. They preach in direct opposition to God's Word and plan of salvation. Jesus warned, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matthew 7:15).

People who claim they are "spiritual" define their spirituality as any dimension of the human experience that is beyond the physical -- whether it is the occult, paganism, mysticism or any human-designed religion. Their goal is for people to become enlightened and empowered. They seek a strong self-esteem and a balance of spirit, body, and mind. Unfortunately, these are elusive goals leaving their seekers spending their lives constantly searching for more.

Christianity provides something far greater than improved emotional health; it provides complete emotional transformation. Only God can heal our emotions and make us whole. We will never find wholeness unless we make Christ the center of our lives. The apostle Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Shadow spirituality is deceptive and based on personal happiness. True spirituality leads to wholeness as we reflect the likeness of Jesus Christ. Shadow spirituality offers temporary fixes. True spirituality provides permanent transformation. Shadow spirituality promotes the falsehood that we can achieve our own wholeness, while true spirituality acknowledges that only the Holy Spirit can declare us whole.

Many of these human-designed spiritual distractions may seem helpful on the surface, but they lead us away from the only One who truly wants to see us forgiven, healed, and whole. Jesus longs for us to receive the power of the Resurrection where we can find real transformation. Through Christ we become new creatures. Through Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and become genuinely spiritual people. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The world desperately needs to hear this message of true spirituality. They are seeking to fill that spiritual void but will remain eternally empty without Christ. Write on the lines below people in your life who are distracted by shadow spirituality, whether through new age practices, false religions, or a distorted gospel. Begin praying for every day that God will provide opportunities for you to share with them what true spirituality means.

"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God." 
1 John 4:1-3

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