The Secret to Authentic Spirituality
Consider this startling claim:
The first step to authentic spirituality is simple enough for a small child to understand …
… yet most people find this step so difficult to accept that they are unable or unwilling to take it.
To understand the importance of this first step, you must realize the spiritual reality in which we all find ourselves.
As a way of making this spiritual reality understandable, I would first like to describe a special room used to manufacture electronic parts.
It’s called a white room.
The fabrication of electronic components found in devices like cell phones, laptops, and MP3 players depends on the creation of tiny, delicate structures on the surface a small, flat chip. This chip typically takes up far less space than a postage stamp. The tiny structures on the chip form millions of super-miniature transistors, the tiny directors of electrical impulses.
Messing Everything Up
Fabricating these tiny structures requires precision manufacturing procedures, and the biggest hurdle to success is caused by a surprising enemy. It’s an enemy we find in our homes, our children’s schools, and our workplaces. It’s an enemy that is present both indoors and out. It’s an enemy that exists everywhere we go. And we usually never recognize it as any kind of an enemy, because …
It’s nothing more troubling than ordinary house dust.
In our homes it’s a nuisance, maybe even an irritant to people who suffer from allergies or asthma.
In an electronic chip manufacturing plant, however, it’s Public Enemy #1.
The tiniest flake of microscopic dust — in the wrong place at the wrong time during the manufacturing process — wreaks havoc with the proper fashioning of an electronic chip.
So the room for electronic chip production must be kept obsessively clean. It requires a special enclosure. And special procedures must be used to enter and leave the enclosure.
And what better name for such a place than a “white room.”
Warning: Proper Procedures Required to Enter
The procedure to enter a white room varies, depending on the level of “clean” needed in a particular white room.
To enter the cleanest of the clean white rooms, you must pass through a special transition room. In the transition room, you put on special garments to cover every square inch of your body. Most of your head, including all hair, must be be covered. You don gloves and slip on special shoes with smooth soles. While moving from the transition room to the white room, you walk over special adhesive pads, sticky side up, that tug at your shoes as they pull stray dust particles from the bottom.
Every attempt is made to make you as clean as possible.
Because you are entering a place where there can be no impurities.
Entering a white room is like approaching God.
Approaching God on His Terms
God is a being of perfect, unblemished moral character. He maintains high standards for those who would seek Him. Jesus Christ, the Great Teacher, said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Ouch! Those are hard words. None of us has perfect moral character.
On the other hand, most of us can take assurance in being pretty good. We’ve all known at least one person who does things a whole lot worse than we ever do.
Wreaking Havoc with Our Spirituality
However, consider this: Just as the tiniest flake of dust wreaks havoc with the fabrication of electronic parts, the most insignificant moral infraction we commit wreaks havoc with the moral and spiritual fabric of our being. The flutter of bad feelings toward a brother or sister is serious enough to frustrate our quest for authentic spirituality. Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:22)
With the dust of sin clinging to our lives, we hold a seemingly hopeless spiritual reality. As Paul, one of the early Church leaders, explains, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” (Romans 3:23) He later delivers the punch of our doomed reality: “For the wages of sin is death ….” (Romans 6:23)
We are creatures doomed at some day to spiritual death, the result of our moral imperfection.
The Other Side of Our Spiritual Reality
But that’s only half the story. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Don’t miss the significance of this truth. Somehow, in some manner, there is a way to overcome our doomed reality and substitute an alternate version of our future existence. An existence not of spiritual death but eternal life.
A way exists for us to make a transition.
A transition from our lives of dusty moral failings. A transition to a spiritual existence of moral cleanliness.
As Paul said, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)
Welcome: Proper Procedures Provided to Enter
It’s like putting on garments of cleanliness and righteousness. A covering that allows us into the Great White Room of God’s presence, free of our moral deficiencies. Acceptable to a Holy and Righteous One. Welcomed into his family with open arms.
You see, Jesus came to earth and died on a cross to take away the penalty of our sin. The wages of death we earned for our sin, he took on our behalf, by giving himself as a sacrifice on the cross. He suffered the penalty of our sin through his death. He was a perfectly righteous man, the Son of God, the only One able to take on the penalty of everyone’s sins.
Then three days after his death, He rose up, proclaiming His power over death, and securing for those who trust in Him, eternal life with God. It’s not that those who trust in Him never sin again. It’s that they are always forgiven for every sin they commit.
As John, a close friend of Jesus, said, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ….” (John 1:12)
Are you ready to walk through the transition room into the Great White Room of authentic spirituality?
Paul said, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
That First Step into the Great White Room
Here’s how to take the first step to authentic spirituality:
1. Admit your moral imperfection (Perhaps you can say, “Yes, Lord, I can see that I am a sinner.”).
2. Be willing to turn from your sins (Maybe, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to turn from my sin.”).
3. Believe that Jesus died on a cross to take away your sin (Something like, “I understand why and believe that you came to earth and died on a cross for my sin.”)
4. Invite the risen Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, to come into your life and take control through the Holy Spirit (It can be a simple prayer — something like, “Jesus, thank you for dying on a cross. I believe you came to earth to die on a cross to take away my sin. I now place my trust in you for eternal life. I ask you to come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for taking away my sin.”)
If you’ve taken this step — and really meant it — you’ve now become a child of God, a new creature. Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Even if nothing feels different, you can trust that placing your faith in Christ has welcomed you into the family of God.
For additional help in your new spiritual journey, I recommend visiting this page from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and and requesting the free materials they offer to new believers (look on that page, “Steps to Peace with God,” until you find the link to request Bible study materials to help you grow in your faith). I’m not associated in any way with this organization, but I’ve supported their work for years, and I trust that they can help you with your next spiritual steps.