Broadly speaking, spiritual awareness is the consciousness of spiritual matters. Because spiritual awareness is such a vague term, it’s difficult to know whether everyone who speaks of spiritual awareness has the same thing in mind. To some, it is a connection to one’s own soul; to others, it’s getting in touch with the divine through the stimulation of the pineal gland in the brain; and to others, it’s the knowledge of what’s happening in the incorporeal, spiritual realm all around us.
There is no doubt that the spiritual realm is real (Matthew 17:18). Spiritual awareness can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the spirit in question and the motive of the person seeking the awareness. Connection to evil spirits is not beneficial. Unfortunately, evil spirits often present themselves as beings of light and knowledge, and “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Psychics and “ghost-hunters” often have a spiritual awareness of what demonic forces are doing, but this is not a good thing because the demons’ goal is to lie and delude. The serpent in the garden tempted Eve with knowledge or “awareness” of things that were beyond her comprehension. When she told the serpent that she and Adam would die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent (Satan) said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5). The serpent promised a type of spiritual awareness that only brought Eve harm.
Jesus, of course, had spiritual awareness. Jesus “knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:24–25). Jesus knew the hypocrisy of those who came to entrap Him (Mark 12:15) and had all knowledge of the spiritual forces at work in the world (Luke 22:31). As an apostle of Jesus, Peter was given the ability to see the spiritual condition of Simon the sorcerer in Samaria: “I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin,” Peter rightly concluded (Acts 8:23).
All believers should possess a certain amount of spiritual awareness. We have been removed from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). Our spiritual eyes have been opened to the reality of our sinful condition, the grace of God, and the lies of the enemy. We know the love of God; we experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We understand that we are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12) and that Satan has a plan. “We are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Our spiritual awareness is the result of Christ’s redemption. In Christ, we have a whole new perspective: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1–3). We know there is more to life than what we can see, hear, and touch; our existence is not limited to the material realm. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). There is a spiritual reality, and God’s children are aware of it.