After my husband, Bruce, gets out of the shower, he often tells me, “God spoke to me while I was in the shower.” It doesn’t happen every day, but after 35 years of marriage this is commonplace. We even laugh about it when we need to make a big decision. I tell him, “Go take a shower to see what God says.” Bruce gives me that look, don’t be ridiculous. Is it? Ridiculous.
Think about it. If you have encounters with God in a place or under certain circumstances, wouldn’t it be wise to pursue God there?
I attended a seminar by Arthur Burke in Fresno called: Strengthening your Spiritual Core. Arthur Burke was the first person I heard talk about similar experiences with water. Some people are more receptive to their spirit when they are near water, like Bruce. And since God talks to our spirit, it is great if you can connect with spirit.
Burke explained some engage with their spirit in different ways. Some become receptive in their spirit when they are in water, or around rocks and birds. What is that place for you?
Here are four ways to connect to your spirit. If it moves you, makes you cry or brings you deep joy, you are probably connecting to spirit.
Four ways to connect to unlimited source of strength
- Natural World
When an experience with nature makes you feel overwhelmed by beauty and awe, it’s a spirit thing. Pay attention when your inner self feels refreshed. Go there. Often. This list is not exhaustive, but will give you an idea of how spirit connects.
- The woods
My friend, Virginia, needs to spend time by the ocean to get refreshed in her spirit. She makes several trips to the ocean to experience waves and meet God there.
I’ve heard people describe music or dance as an exhilarating experience that touched their spirit.
- Worship God
If you have ever been in a Pentecostal, Charismatic or African-American Church, you may have had a spiritual experience during worship. It’s hard to describe. I’m not talking about how music can influence emotions. Worship is actively engaging with heaven.
Often you are in church singing with a big crowd to exalt God. Worship makes me cry often. There is something about uniting your voices with others. Songs lead me to focus on the nature of God. Regardless of what is happening in the world, God remains steady like a rock. He is King of kings and Lord of lords; above all else.
Worship is coming face to face with the Most High God in an encounter with light and glory. Anything less is just singing songs.
One of my favorite ways to connect to spirit is through soaking which is when you listen to ambient or relaxing music. I like laying down while I listen. This is engaging with heaven when you are passive. Not like worship which is more active. This involves turning your attention to your spirit. Let go of thoughts that distract you. When thoughts come to me, I imagine thoughts are like balloons and I let them go. I’m not trying to empty my mind, like in meditation. Instead, I’m trying to quiet my mind so that when spirit moves or speaks in quietness I can hear it.
Connecting with spirit is mystical. If it were a sound, it would be a whisper. If it were a feeling, it would feel like a feather. If it were a sight, it would be a glow. If it were a movement, it would be a nudge. When I feel something in my spirit, it feels like the warmth of the sun on my skin. It’s subtle and quiet, which is why it’s easy to miss.
- Silence or Centering Prayer
Prayer is not just talking to God. It’s two-way communication. The practice of silence or centering prayer is a way to focus on listening. It’s hard to quiet yourself. Just try it for three minutes, five minutes or ten minutes. But if you stick with it, silence opens the way for spirit. It’s like you make yourself silent so that your spirit has a voice.
It’s so hard for me to sit quietly. My mind rushes. I want a distraction. I feel myself tearing up, but I want to avoid that. Often pain surfaces in silence. Perhaps that’s why we avoid it. However, if I find the strength to stay there in the silence, then it feels like my spirit can breathe.
Listen in silence with a pen and a paper near you. When God starts communicating with you, write it down. Even if you doubt it’s from Holy Spirit, write it. God speaks in a still small voice, like a whisper.
Soaking and silence (numbers 3 and 4) are challenging in our fast-paced, instant gratification society. We like TV shows that change scenes every few minutes. Staying still in one place is not easy, but it is very rewarding.
When you engage with your spirit, you have a connection to an endless source of strength. When I was in El Salvador, I didn’t learn resilience from one event, one book, or one moment. I learned to be resilient over a period of time by listening to my spirit.
©2018 Belinda McDanel