By Brad Lewter

[Perspective] The beginning of a spiritual life

By Brad Lewter

Brad Lewter is the pastor of Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith and currently serves as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

Like many, I was raised in a home by two loving parents who loved Jesus and instilled in me the importance of faith and a relationship with Christ. I believe my parents did everything they knew to do to point me to a relationship with Jesus, yet faith in Christ was never personal to me.  

It wasn’t until college that I realized that I was just going through the motions when it came to my spiritual life. Going to church (on occasion), prayers of forgiveness after making mistakes, trying to be a nice person etc…. None of it seemed to work. My life was spiraling towards darkness and pain.  

For the first time in my life, I prayed an honest prayer, “God, I am not a follower of yours, but I want to be.” My life forever changed! It was then that I started to truly seek answers to questions like: 

  • What does God want from me? 
  • What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God? 
  • If being a Christian is more than outward activity, what does that look like? 
  • What does a true spiritual life look like? 

A faith that is personal and spiritual begins with intimacy.  

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2  

Spirituality ends our conforming relationship with the world and sets our gaze on Christ to transform us towards a new life. That’s God’s desire for us. He wants us to learn how to live out our faith from a new and transformed way of thinking. Something that can only come from a personal daily walk with Christ. It’s a life that has been totally transformed.  

Many Christians aren’t experiencing what Romans 12 promises to deliver. The fruit of a daily intentional personal relationship with Jesus is the renewing of our minds and the ability to discern what pleases God. It’s at that point our lives truly become lives that are truly spiritual!  

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