Bible · Christianity · King James Version · Religion

Daily Walk (Part 2)

A daily walk is vital to our existence as Christians in a world owned and operated by the Devil and his systems. Likewise, there are some vital requirements to having a successful daily walk and there are vital signs by which to measure our walk.

Vital Requirements

Communication is vital to any relationship, and even more so with our Heavenly Father. Research shows there are five types of communication with others.

  1. Written – This includes email, text, social media
  2. Verbal – These are audible, spoken words and cues (including pitch, tone, cadence) whether in person or on the phone, Skype, etc.
  3. Non-verbal – These are things like your posture, facial cues, sighing, avoiding eye contact. There is a growing amount of psychological research demonstrating that social media is weakening the non-verbal skills in children. Studies show that children who use technology are becoming less adept at reading emotions in others based on facial cues.
  4. Listening – This is more important than is often considered. Have you ever heard the phrase, “we have two ears; one mouth because we need to listen twice as much as we talk”? Listening also helps us improve our ability to sympathize and empathize with others. It is helpful for learning when we listen to others.
  5. Visual – The fifth communication type is visual (which is different than non-verbal). This form of communication can be found in objects and additional visual aids like maps or photographs

Communication with God

The previous forms of communication are often used in conjunction with inter-personal interactions with other people. Are we able to apply the same forms to communication with God?

Bible study is how God communicates to us. I believe this is a clear example of written communication. I would argue it is also a form of listening, in that we learn from the experiences of the historical figures and situations in the Book.

Prayer is how we communicate with God. This is an example of verbal communication, especially when we pray out loud. How about non-verbal and visual though? Non-verbal is demonstrated by the posture we take – whether it be folding or raising our hands, laying prostrate on the ground, or bowing our heads as an act of submission to the Lord.

Visual is not as important when communicating with the Lord, especially since any type of “prop” could easily be turned into a “graven image” which the ten commandments warn us against making.

Communication with God is Good

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”1 Corinthians 15:33.

If good communication is vital, evil communication is fatal.

Matthew 15:11 says, “not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

In other words we should worry less about our diets and more about our words. Most of us could us a complete overhaul of our way of thinking so that our communication will be less evil. The Internet breeds evil communication that defiles men because of the perceived anonymity. The “keyboard warrior” is often bolder in their belligerence than they would be in a face-to-face interaction.

Vital Signs

When assessing the vitality of your daily walk, ask yourself these questions:

Is your daily walk consistent? Do you walk daily (Acts 17:11)? Is it scheduled? Do you do it with purpose?

Is your daily walk constant? Are you praying without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)? Communication with the Lord is not like a telephone. Too many people try to “hang up” on God. Too many are distracted by children, work, television, music, and countless other ways that divert your attention away from your Bible reading and prayer.

Is your daily walk convicting? Is the Holy Spirit working in your life?

Now, I want to take a moment to clear up a common misconception about conviction. I believe that often confuse cognitive dissonance (which is a psychological phenomenon) and what I would call, “spiritual dissonance” (conviction).

Cognitive dissonance occurs when we encounter new information and struggle to square it with our pre-existing worldview.

Spiritual dissonance occurs when a Biblical principle challenges your worldview, and you seek change.

Examples of Conviction vs Cognitive Dissonance

Modest clothing is Biblical which can lead to conviction in your life. However, the style of clothing is cultural. This can lead to cognitive dissonance, especially when attending church.

Gender roles in the church are another realm of contention. These roles at work or in government are cultural/traditional. Both genders experience cognitive dissonance in a world that wants more women to “rise” and assume power in the workplace and in Washington and attacks Biblical roles as “toxic masculinity.”

Male leadership in the church (1 Timothy 2:11-12; 3:1-7) and home (Ephesians 5:23) are Biblical and can lead to spiritual dissonance. However, female leadership in the church and home are cultural – they can be based on tradition, but are not Biblical when usurping the authority of a man.

Women who are leaders outside of church experience spiritual dissonance when told “no” in certain leadership positions within the church

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between cognitive dissonance and conviction.

For example, many churches who use contemporary worship methods blur the lines. They might feel like the Holy Spirit is moving them to a spiritual frenzy, when it is an emotional reaction to the driving dynamics of the song that has nothing to do with the Spirit.

In sociology, there is a concept that I often refer to called “collective effervescence.” Emile Durkheim coined the term as his way of defining those moments when a group is engaged in a similar action that leads to the “worship of the group.” It is that euphoric feeling at a concert or a ball game when there is an “electricity” in the crowd that gets your adrenaline flowing and sets your dopamine receptors ablaze.

You have likely felt this at some point in your life. Is it spiritual conviction when your team scores a last-minute touchdown to win the game? When your favorite band sings their hit song in front of 20,000 people? No. It is collective effervescence.

In churches, this is the difference between Godly worship and “worship.”

I have played drums in both secular and worship bands. I can tell you from my own experience that I have the exact same feeling in both scenarios, especially when there is a crowd. I did not know how to explain it until I learned of collective effervescence. The feeling is much different than I have when I am alone in nature studying the word of God. When I get hit with spiritual conviction, it is different than collective effervescence, though, if I am to be completely honest with myself, I long for both.

Improving Our Communication with God

The more often that we communicate with God, the more we should be able to correctly monitor our vital signs and see if the Living Spirit of our “new man” has a healthy pulse. In order to better communicate with the Lord, we must understand Him more.

There you have it. The simplicity of the daily walk cannot be understated, but that does not mean it is particularly easy to do. The immense spiritual growth that will inevitably occur once you lock in to a solid routine is worth the effort. The Bible says that we reap what we sow. Sowing a good relationship with the Savior based on daily two-way communication will reap blessings that only our loving God can bestow on us.

In the next installment, I will go a little more in depth on the types of Bible study. Please be sure to check it out!


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