Not too many people enjoy discipline. It’s easier to simply do what we want, instead of keeping to a schedule, saying “no” to some things so we can have the better things later, or controlling our thoughts and actions.
But often whatever is worth having in life requires discipline of some sort. All of us spent years learning to read well. A good cook learns skills over time. A carpenter, teacher, plumber, or engineer spends years growing in knowledge and skill in their profession.
Our spiritual life is just as worthy of time and effort as are any of these life-activities. In fact, it is more worthy than anything else we do in life. Our connection with God is the “wind beneath our wings” that propels us through life. Without time and effort given to our spiritual life, our life can be frustrating, empty, and meaningless.
Spiritual life disciplines (we could just as easily call them “habits” or “practices”) are what bring us into alignment with God, enabling Him to reach and transform us more effectively.
We are probably familiar with many of these practices: prayer, praise, Bible reading, worship, obedience, service, etc. But while we know about these practices, many times we don’t know why we do them, or how to do them effectively. Sometimes they become rote and meaningless. But for now, let’s talk a little about why we do them.
Spiritual practices bring us into intimate connection with God, where we come to know His incredible love, His unfailing mercy, His ability to work in every situation even when it looks hopeless and dark to us. We become in tune with Him, teachable, pliable.
Once we are intimately connected with God, our lives change. We learn to trust Him. When crisis happens we learn to rest instead of stress, knowing that we are in His hands. Instead of anger and addictions taking over our life, our actions begin to come into line with His will. Words that once brought us pain now are rolled onto God and we walk free. Only God can truly heal our brokenness and bring life and joy where there was once emptiness and deadness, but He often chooses to do this through, or in conjunction with, spiritual practices that draw us to Him.
Spiritual habits set our minds on God. To survive in this life we must think about bills, fixing the car, cleaning the house, transporting the children, and all the necessities of life. But through spiritual practices our minds can be trained to be aware of God’s presence throughout each day.
What other reasons can you think of to engage in spiritual practices?
It is certainly possible to learn these practices on one’s own. But they are best practiced in a community. I will be beginning regular teleconference phone calls where we can talk about these habits and discuss how to put them into our lives. If this is something you feel would benefit you, please Click Here to learn more. May God bless your day!