My pastor has just started a series on Spiritual
Disciplines at church and began with an introduction last night
and I am going to use something he said which I found really powerful
and accurate and give you that to think about. It will be an extremely
short thort but definitely something to think about and apply to
all the areas of spiritual discipline you have or don't have in
I have been wanting to write a thort on prayer
again for a long time and so maybe this will be the introduction
There are various types of spiritual disciplines
such as prayer, worship, fasting, reading the Bible, meditation
and others. Some of them you may do while others of them you may
be scared of or feel guilty for not doing enough.
But the point John made was this: The purpose
of spiritual disciplines is to help you love God more and to love
people more. If it is not doing that, then you are missing the point
and it is possibly just something you to make you feel better, or
because you feel legalistically bound to it, or because you always
have or you 'know you're sposed to.'
So let's take the concept of what we understand
as 'Quiet Time' or 'devotional time with God' and also apply it
to areas such as prayer, reading the Bible and the others mentioned
Do the things you are doing help you love God
Do the things you are doing help you love people
Are there spiritual disciplines you could be
adding to your life that will help you love God and people more?
I would encourage you to take those questions
and use them to examine the state of your relationship with God
(and with people) - because that is what Christianity is - a RELATIONSHIP
- not always easy, not always comfortable, but always busy and active
and involving communication...
The example John used was playing a musical
instrument... you don't just one day pick up a guitar and play like
Eric Clapton... you start by doing disciplines like scales and songs
with easy chords and regular intense practice and eventually you
end up with this amazing skill... but it took some at times unamazing
hard work and effort and not fun stuff to get there...
Same with Christianty - the product of regular
vibrant spiritual disciplines is a real, live, active and growing
relationship with God - but you don't just jump straight there...
along the way you may have to do stuff which is at times hard and
seems arb but which will get you there if you do it enough and with
Religion is something that says 'You MUST do
this' or 'You MUST do that'
Relationship says 'you can't live without doing
Same thing but different motivations and results...