As we sat drinking coffee, she looked me in the eye and declared, "I'm a very spiritual person." 


"I see," was my weak answer.  And she could tell that I really didn't see what she was getting at.


"I meditate," she explained.  "I get in touch with my inner self.  I know how to open my mind to the unseen world.  I receive energy from the spirit realm.  I appreciate all the religions of the world.  And through all this I am becoming a better person."  


Who am I to question whether her "spirituality" is making her a better person.  Thousands are on the same journey with her, turning their thoughts to the world beyond our everyday material world to the realm of "spirit."  To the unseen.  Opening their souls to light from worlds beyond.  


But why didn't she once mention God?   Isn't God in this picture?  If he is, why is his presence reduced to something vague and indefinite?


"Spirituality" that is self-absorbed is no more liberating than crass materialism where meaning and worth are defined by how much I am able to acquire.   In either case I am imprisoned in myself, unable to deliver my mind from its preoccupation with Me.  


What's the big fear of pursuing God?   If God is out there, if God somehow occupies the universe in which we live, why not look for him?  And suppose, as many claim, that God  speaks, why not try to find out what he has to say? 


Today's "spiritual person" is an amateur, compared with men and women of past generations whose testimony continues to witness to us that God not only sustains the human race with his mercy, he speaks to the "poor in spirit," reveals himself to the "pure in heart." 


Being "spiritual" without hearing from God is a strange condition indeed.   It borders on the delusional.  It accelerates the demonic spiral of self-preoccupation.   I may believe that I'm communing with Nature, bringing myself into harmony with the music of the spheres, tapping the well-spring of All Being.  But I can't seem to unravel this strange "bent-over-ness" which keeps me looking at myself.  My spiritual condition.  My freedom.  My serenity.  My wholeness.  


If God is out there,  and if he does speak, what must I do to hear his voice?  How can I be sure that the "voice" I hear is his and not my weird "spiritual" imagination, or the voice of some demon wrapped in light? 


Consider these words coming down through the centuries from a man whose stature and likeness have never been reproduced, even in literature: 


"I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will."    Luke 10:21


In other words.  God cannot be "discovered" or "measured" or "analyzed."  He can only be known when he chooses to reveal himself to a woman or a man.   Moreover God and his ways remain hidden from the "wise and understanding" who trust their wisdom to interpret reality.  God reveals himself to "babes," to people who have relinquished all claims to their own importance, and are open and teachable when heaven chooses to visit with a life-giving word.


By the way, the man who spoke the words quoted above did not come here to establish a new religion.  He must be appalled by the "religions" which have grown up around his teachings.  Religions which have taken his words and bent them to their own ends.  These religions which claim him as their Lord, yet continue establishing their own "kingdoms" have caused millions to be turned off by the very mention of his name.


Yet any man or woman who is engaged in a serious pursuit of God will sooner or later find their way to his burning words---words which are spiritual in the ultimate sense.  The most spiritual conversation this man ever had was with a woman, who, for all her personal problems, had a deep grasp of spiritual things.  After being told a few facts  about herself which she knew to be true, she said,


"Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."                                                                    


"Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…..The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth."                      John 4:19 and 21-24


Until being "spiritual" brings me to the place where I know God, remove my shoes, and prostrate my spirit before him in awe, my "spirituality" is merely another escape from reality.