Spiritual Disciplines

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What are spiritual disciplines?

Essentially, the gospels are biographies. We read biographies not only to know about people but to become like them. Spiritual Disciplines come from looking at Jesus’ daily life and copying the details.

At the end of the sermon on the mount Jesus says his teaching is something to “put into practice” (24). Paul frequently compares the spiritual life to that of an athlete. (24, 7).

Through Disciplines we re-align ourselves with life how we were created for it

Our bodies and minds life in a world set against God. The disciplines are the “will and conscious intent to change layer upon layer of life experience embedded in our bodies bred in a world set against or without God” (The Spirit of the Disciplines).

They are more than just good habits. We actually partner together with a power far greater than us which aides us in transformation.

Spiritual Disciplines as ‘means of grace’

Transclude of Heb-4#16
We can actively draw close to the ‘throne of grace’ to receive God’s life-shaping grace. Spiritual Disciplines are these means of grace. Often, especially in charismatic circles, we value the spontaneous over the well-practiced and disciplined.

The Disciplines are never an end in itself

All of the practices are a way of Abiding in the vine and putting on the mind of Christ. They have no value in themselves. The need for extensive practice is one of weakness, not of strength and should never become an indicator of piety.

Spirituality is a different reality

Our bodies were created for relationship with God: Fully bodily and fully filled by the Spirit. Through aligning ourselves with God, we share in the resurrection life available through Jesus, the new Adam. We do so holistically: Body, mind and spirit. God does not only work on the “spiritual” (Split Thinking) but in our whole human experience. Even in our bodies. Spirituality is not a social or political stance but a different way of living.

The areas of transformation

Some disciplines

Disciplines of Abstinence

“Those who deny themselves will be sure to find their strength increased, their affections raised, and their inward peace continually augmented.” Dallas WillardThe Spirit of the Disciplines

Disciplines of Engagement