Bible and Theology
Exposing Shadow Spirituality
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Oct 6, 2020

jgc 24


Look around and you will be amazed at all the manifestations of the "self" movement, including self-actualization, self-empowerment, and self-improvement. It is as if all the answers to your problems are to be found by looking within.

But this is spirituality only in the loosest sense. In Truth, it is "shadow spirituality"—merely a shadow of the real thing. Shadow spirituality asks individuals to look inward, to put themselves at the center of the universe while pushing God so far to the fringes that He is left out of the picture. What remains is a spirituality of self.

Not one of these abilities, however, is capable of regenerating the human heart. Only God has that power.

In other words, shadow spirituality replaces the God of the universe with the "god within." This god is not the triune God revealed in the Bible, but rather a force that supposedly compels a person to improve himself. This god is nothing more than the human ability to learn, grow, and develop—all of which are God's gifts to people. Not one of these abilities, however, is capable of regenerating the human heart. Only God has that power.

The ascendance of shadow spirituality has influenced even traditional churches, and two great heresies have resulted. One is the heresy that all spirituality is good spirituality. The second is the heresy that all religions are valid as long as they promote peace and unity. Do not allow false teachers to mislead you. Instead, lay hold of the only form of spiritual power that genuinely heals you and makes you whole. It is only in God's true spirituality that you find solace for your heart's deepest longings—healing for the soul, peace for the mind, and comfort for broken emotions. This healing comes only when you are committed to the pursuit of God's true spirituality.

The Holy Spirit is calling you to look upward, to put God at the center of all that you will face today, and to grow in understanding and in relationship with Him. Will you invite the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh this day? God has promised that He will reveal Himself to you if you truly seek Him with all your heart.

Prayer: Lord, I want to seek You and Your true spirituality. Help me to move away from falsehood and toward Your Truth. Help me seek You with my entire being. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Heal Me, O God: LISTEN NOW