This is the third blog wrapping up this topic, here are the previous sections: Part 1, Part 2
So what is spiritual discipline?
In simple terms the disciplines are – practices built on principle applied practically to our daily lives. (like the alliteration, I learned that in 8th grade English class and every pastor known to man. Thanks Mr. Bradford.)
An example of this would be:
–principle- Tim. 3:15-17 you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
-practice- I read the bible consistently
-applied practically- Daily bible reading with the purpose of revelation and the expectancy of something being deposited in me that will not only make me a stronger Christian but a better human.
That would be reading the bible, a very important discipline, and the list goes on and on, I don’t have time to get into journaling, critical thinking, fellowship, serving others, fasting, offering, worship, questioning everything, love, etc. etc, you get the point.
Now everything in the mature Christian life is a discipline. And it would be impossible for me (or anyone else) to tell you which ones you need to work on the most. The whole point of this text is to get you to start pouring these things into your life, to start asking yourself the hard questions of faith.
It is all so much but so worth it. Start finding the things in your life that need it and apply discipline to them (hint: everything requires discipline, from how you spend your money to your sleeping schedule, God has a purpose and will for it, it’s our job to find it).
These things are what give you the authority and power to reach the lost, encourage the weak, feed the hungry, accept the outcast, challenge the faithful, and be the church. When we get to this place together, falling back won’t be an option because your faith will be at a place where mature belief sustains your relationship with God. Weakness swallowed up in power (1 Corinthians 15:54). Instead of relying on people and your circumstances to pull you through life, you’ll be the one others rely on to encourage them. But you’ll never get to that place without spiritual discipline.
You have to start considering this now, and thinking on this level. This isn’t the type of thing that you put off until you’re “ready” or “mature enough” because until you devote yourself to this purpose you will never mature spiritually. It’s all about devotion, committing to something. God’s judgment lies in our motive, it hinges on what you are committing yourself to. Are you committing yourself to this world and its obligations? It’s system of greed and strife, self-motivation and lust? Or can you want what God wants. Can you commit to His standards, not a pastor’s or your friend’s, but His discipline? His motives. The long-lasting effects of that kind of faith are evident in lives like Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, AW Tozer, Moody, and Thomas Aquinas. These people got it, that discipline isn’t something that others can force on you to get you closer to God, these things are what you place on yourself to get others closer to God. To “know Him, and make Him known.”