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Spiritual Disciplines
Brett Anderson ©2004

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 your life.

I have been wanting to write a thort on prayer again for a long time and so maybe this will be the introduction to that.

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 above...

Do the things you are doing help you love God more?

Do the things you are doing help you love people more?

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 meaning.

Religion is something that says 'You MUST do this' or 'You MUST do that'

Relationship says 'you can't live without doing it.'

Same thing but different motivations and results...