You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. – C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis was a great thinker, a reformed atheist, and one of Christianity’s most popular writers. His quote about the soul is one of my favorites because it flips the common view around.
We often look at ourselves as mortal beings striving for eternal life through religion (a frightening thought) but Lewis’ quote reminds me that we are spiritual beings struggling in our mortal shells.
God has created us to be eternal – it is our human shell that is finite.
Where is our spirit nature in seeking religion? It is estimated that there are over 20,000 denominations selling their brand of Christianity in the world today – and I would not even venture a guess at other religions adding to the total. The world is filled with the secular seekers looking for answers. Some are looking for proof of God, others are looking for anything but God. However, why do the religious shrug at spiritual things? Even the religious leaders of Christ’s times were bogged down in legalism – church ideas on behavior – and not in touch with the bigger picture. With so many factions vying for adherents, is it any wonder that the simple answer is often overlooked?
Recently, I was in Bible study and mentioned meditation when one of my friends made a funny face at the term to tease me. Meditation is simply being silent and listening to God, but in a world where religion puts God in a box, we often forget that he likes to talk to us. People go to church to learn, to fellowship with other believers, or for any number of good reasons, but we are often exactly like the disciples who walked away when the discussion turns spiritual.
Jesus spoke to his followers in John 6 and explained that his words were spiritual words – not of the flesh – and that the spirit held the key to life. Shortly thereafter, most of his disciples followed him no more. To me, this is a tragic comment, but it is not atypical today. For most people, the spiritual solution is not always the first choice. I am bad about this, but I am working on it.
How many times must I make bad decisions and ask God to fix it before I ask him to guide me to making a better decision in the first place?
Sadly, many of us struggle our whole lives to find earthly answers to the problems we face.
If we really believe Christ died so that we might have eternal life — and that is the premise of our beliefs — then why do we struggle so much inside these human shells against the nature we have been given through Grace?
Everything in life happens for a purpose — and we learn more from our failures than we ever can from our triumphs. These physical lessons shape who we are on a higher level. There are times when we petition God for help, but there must be times when we listen to what he has to tell us.
Jesus said God is a Spirit. He also said that Spirit gives life. Why must we fool ourselves into believing that answers can be found anywhere else? All of life’s struggles can be equated to a spiritual struggle, and when we make time to speak to God on a spiritual level, we will find our struggles easier to face.
Problems will not go away simply because we pray. The Bible tells us that a spiritual life will often be difficult, but I believe the solutions will be more easily found and more successful with prayer.