Spiritual Exercise #1

David Anderson

I’d like to take you through a little exercise. It will only take a few minutes, and I promise you’ll be glad you did. If not, then you wasted five minutes of your life. It’s not like you’ve never done that before. Here goes.

Step 1: Get ready to write quickly. I like to use a notebook and pen for something like this, but if you are more comfortable with a computer and keyboard, or tablet, that’s fine. Whatever you usually use to write. Got it?

Step 2 (optional): If you have a timer or stopwatch readily available, set it for one minute. If not, just guesstimate.

Step 3: Take a minute and brainstorm all the words and phrases you can think of to describe God. You might say things like Creator of everything, omnipotent, infinite, etc. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive. You can write a good list in one minute. Don’t overthink it. Just write what comes to mind.

Ready, set, go.

Don’t read on until after you’ve made your list.

Minute’s up. Now, look at your list. First, if you have anything related to wrath, judgment, damnation, or anything along those lines, cross it out. Or if you’re writing on a computer or device, delete it. There’s a time and a place to talk about those aspects of God, but for purposes of this exercise we want to focus on the positive.

Once you’ve got all the negative weeded out, look over your list again. Say each word or phrase with a pause in between. Let it sink in. Now consider this from Paul:

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?[1]  (1Co 3:16 NRS).

God’s Spirit dwells in you. This means everything you wrote a minute ago, everything you thought of but didn’t have time to write, everything you didn’t know to write, everything that God is… is inside you.

God’s Spirit dwells in you. How does that make you feel? Does it change anything about how you think of yourself? About how you think about God? Leave a comment if you like.

Go Deeper

Here are a few suggestions to take this home a little further. Feel free to use any or all of them as the spirit leads you.

  1. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, whisper to yourself, God’s spirit dwells in me. Repeat. Let this be your mantra for today.
  2. Find one name, word, or phrase that speaks to you right now. Next time you pray, use it when you address God. For example, when I pray, I usually begin, “Dear Lord….” Something I liked on my list was “source and perfection of all love.” So next time I pray, I will begin, Dear Lord, Source and perfection of all love…
  3. Find one name, word, or phrase that speaks to you right now. Use it to fill in the blanks of the following: God is _________. The God’s spirit dwells in me. Therefore, I am ________.

In my above example, I would say, God is the Source and perfection of all love. The Spirit of God dwells in me. Therefore, I am the Source and perfection of all love.

Whoah! I am the source and perfection of all love. Pretty cool, huh?

Grace and peace to you.

David Anderson

Appendix – My List


  • Creator of everything that exists
  • Lord of all the Universe
  • God Almighty
  • All-powerful
  • All-knowing
  • All-seeing
  • Eternal
  • Infinite
  • The perfection of all that is good
  • Giver of life
  • Faithful
  • Holy
  • Righteous
  • Source of everything
  • Perfection of all that is good
  • Source and perfection of all love
  • Creator and sustainer of life
  • The love that conquers all
  • Merciful
  • King of heaven
  • King of the kings of earth
  • Source and fulfillment of all desire




[1] In Gk, you is plural