SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

Developing and practicing behaviors that support our spiritual growth and enable us to grow to spiritual maturity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A deliberately self imposed habit that nurtures spiritual health and fosters spiritual growth leading to maturity.

The Spiritual Disciplines are those personal and corporate disciplines that promote spiritual growth. They are the habits of devotion and experiential Christianity that have been practiced by the people of God since biblical times.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalms 42:1

Skilled Characteristics


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    Prayerful

    Committed to prayer

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    Bible Reading

    Committed to bible reading and the studying of the bible

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    Meditation

    Committed to scripture meditation and memorization

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    Eagerness

    A desire to grow in spitirual maturity

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    Transparency

    A lifestyle of confession and accountability

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    Worshipper

    A lifestyle of worship

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    Resting

    Observing the Sabbath

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    Disciplined

    A discipline of giving, fasting, and times of solitude and silence before the Lord

What is your preferred way to connect with God?

i.e. being in nature, listening to music, getting exercise, reading the Word, meditating on the Word, praying, serving others, worshipping



Unskilled Characteristics


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    Unmotivated

    Lacking a true desire to grow in relationship with God

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    Undisciplined

    Lacking the self-discipline to spend time with God no matter how you currently feel or what your current situation is (either good or bad)

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    Inconsistent

    Lacking consistency in prayer, bible reading, engaging in corporate or private worship, or having quiet times before the Lord

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    Lone Ranger

    Not being accountable to God or others, nor willing to confess and repent of sins

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    Task Focused

    Overly focused on work, ministry, tasks, or performing good deeds rather than on your personal relationship with God

In what ways do you need to strengthen your spiritual disciplines on a consistent basis? Who will hold you accountable to this?



Causes of Weakness


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    Undisciplined

    Not a person of self-control and discipline

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    Task Focused

    A naturally task-focused person who frequently prioritizes “tasks” over relationships

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    Dependent

    Overly dependent on self or others rather than trusting God

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    Role Models

    Lack of good role models who demonstrate strong spiritual disciplines

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    Selfishness

    Prioritizing other aspects of life over God

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    Lack Understanding

    An incomplete understanding of your total and complete dependence on God

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    Worldview

    A lack of understanding of God’s pure love and perfect character

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    Doubt

    A lack of faith in whether God can truly speak to you and that He wants to speak with you

Which of these weaknesses can you personally relate to?



Advice


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

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    Be Honest

    Decide how important your relationship with God really is and how strongly you want to develop your relationship with God compared to all other things you can do in life every day. Until such time that you are truly willing to make this a priority, you are unlikely to make much progress developing your spiritual disciplines.

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    Accountability and Coach

    Find someone who can serve as a Spiritual coach or director for you. This can simply be someone you talk to weekly on the phone or in person who asks how your times with God have been and how well you’ve been following your goals to be spiritually disciplined.

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    Commit

    Write down a daily plan that you will commit to every day that includes spiritual disciplines that are important to you. This could include scheduling in time each day and week for intentional bible reading, scripture meditation, a devotional, quiet time with God, prayer, worship, and/or talking with a mentor, spiritual coach, or accountability partner.

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    Journal

    Keep a written record of your times with God, what you have prayed about, what He has spoken to you, how He has spoken to you, and what you have learned and felt along the way. A journal can be a great encouragement and reminder for you when times are tough, and the act of writing often times helps people to process better what God has spoken to them and incorporate it into their lives.

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    Evaluate

    Periodically (every 1-3 months) reflect on your spiritual disciplines and how you’ve been doing. What can you be encouraged by? What have you learned? How have you grown? How could you adjust your daily, weekly, and monthly routines (spiritual disciplines) to be more impactful, enjoyable and meaningful for you?