A Biblical Framework for Interpreting Spiritual Realities

Ahh. I’ve been wanting to dig into this study of spirituality for months. The first quarter of 2019 is over with all of its activities: a month in Florida, recovery back home, doctor and medical visits, planning for Grand Camp, holding a week long Grand Camp with our grandsons at our house, and recovering from all its hubbub! All these activities as well as many unplanned distractions involved spirituality — spirituality woven into the fabric of daily living.

I had to put all of my study materials away before the two boys came to spend a week with Nana and Papa O during their spring break. Planning Grand Camp was a blessed obsession. Living through the blessed craziness — well,  I can’t say that I’ve totally recovered.

Nonetheless, this afternoon, I chose the main guest room as my studio for this study. I collected Bibles, reference books, and my stack of books on our topic.  Now, I had been simmering on this topic months ago. Where are those notes? Happily, I found them.

Hmm. I forgot what I had written. I was thinking of taking a different starting point than what I see in my notes. However, since I like my notes (which are based upon some study, not just random thoughts),   I think I’ll just clean them up a bit and present some of them to you today. What I’ve made is a chart or list which goes back to what we often take for granted, but must not. Not if we are going to clear up any fog. Do note that we can’t dissipate all fog. We see through a glass darkly (I Corinthians 13: 12). But we still see, and there’s quite a bit of shape to what can be seen/understood.

Now, don’t roll your eyes at the basics I list below. Details never make sense without the frame in which they fit. (Well, some of these points may seem very basic to you, but some may seem questionable or foreign to you. I don’t know. Let’s see.)

Our goal in this series is to figure out what “spirituality” is and means. After all, we hear about it from many directions: from church, Oprah, doctors, nutritionists, educators, advertisers, and various stripes of religionists and secularists and others “ists”. Oh, and from our own hearts. From there, we need to think about what role it plays in life in general and our lives, specifically. What’s the sense and importance of spirituality?

Here we go.

A Biblical Framework for Interpreting Life-Spirituality

  1. The universe is the creation of its Creator.
  2. The universe is both natural or material, composed of matter, time, and space, and also supernatural, the unseen life behind the seen. The natural and the supernatural comprise reality.
  3. The Creator created humankind as a special creation, creating him and her in the Creator’s image and likeness.
  4. The Creator, Elohim (Hebrew term) is also YHWH (Hebrew name for the person of God). That is, God is Almighty, Infinite, Powerful, Wise…. but moreover, He is personal, not an abstraction; He is Personality. That’s why He named Himself “I Am”. Personal.
  5. Human personality and psychology stem from God’s personality and character.
  6. Both the physical world and spiritual laws and principles are manifestations of God’s character. That is, both the natural and the supernatural reveal insights into God.
  7. Conflict invaded earth when the creature (Adam and Eve, impacting subsequent humans), created in their Creator’s image, refused to be the creature before their own Creator.  Another personality is introduced in the Genesis account: the serpent, representing Satan or the devil, and the forces of evil. The entrance of this conflict is called the historic Fall of humankind; the place where sin and death entered the narrative of reality.

I think I’ll stop here with the list. You get the idea that I’m pulling the picture back to a very wide view. How do we deal with the specifics of daily life without reference to our spot in the wide lens?

Here I am, writing about “spirituality”.  So, I start with the Creator. Spirituality is life poured out from the Spirit of God. These thoughts that can seem so abstract become my concrete anchor as well as my orientation on the map of reality.  Alone, I am so lost on the journey of life. No Creator? What kind of spirituality is left?

I depend upon the solidness of the above points to hold me fast, to clear some fog, to give my slow and small life meaning. Many spiritualities can help me cope psychologically and physiologically with my “issues”. I can learn to breathe deeply and slowly, to concentrate on the present, to forgive others and be kind (oh, so good to do!), to stretch my muscles, to drink plenty of water. Excellent, but what kind of spirituality is this?

Here is a free form poem I wrote last night that describes spirituality in terms of life itself. You will note two kinds of life which describe two kinds of spirituality (which we will be exploring in subsequent posts). You should read it twice because the second verse, the Scripture, explains the first.



Hovering Breath (Spirit):

Life sprouting from earth –

this cosmos.

First life, the psyche

from the Spirit,

Yet not

the Spirit’s zoe of eternity.


Jesus claims,

“He who loves His life (Greek, psyche)

Loses it.

He who hates

His life (psyche)

in this world (kosmos)


keep it to

life (zoe)



Zoe in Christ forever.


Do you see two kinds of life? Two kinds of spirituality Jesus reveals? How do we respond to these spiritualities? Is there a great divide, or is there a relationship and unity? How does the framework help me make sense of my life/spirituality? Let’s ponder.

*John 12:25.



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