SHILOH MESSENGER - September 2017

Identity, How We View Ourselves (pt 8)

Spiritual Disciplines:

One tool that is very useful in our path of growing in who we are is to practice the spiritual disciplines. Paul refers to reading Scripture as a means to train ourselves in the ways of righteousness (see previous section):

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Spiritual disciplines are simply practices that we do in an effort to open ourselves up to the work of the Lord within us. Generally, spiritual disciplines fall into two categories: disciplines of abstinence and disciplines of engagement.

Disciplines of Abstinence

  • Solitude: Spending time alone without other people or any of the distractions of life.
  • Silence: Time spent with no noise, just you and God.
  • Fasting: Abstaining from food, entertainment, or anything else.
  • Frugality: Using your money on others’ needs instead of your own.
  • Chastity/abstinence: Abstaining from sexual relations.
  • Secrecy: Choosing not to disclose motivations or information that you could.
  • Sacrifice: giving of yourself willingly to learn to live with less and give more to others.
  • Waiting on the Lord: Withdrawing yourself to commune with the presence of the Lord.

Disciplines of Engagement

  • Study: Memorization and thoughtful meditation on Scripture.
  • Worship: Both corporately and alone. Not necessarily requiring music or song.
  • Celebration: Practicing gratitude and thanksgiving with yourself and other believers.
  • Service: Giving of your time and energy to your church or to others.
  • Prayer: Time spent intentionally engaging in relationship with other believers.
  • Confession: Owning and revealing the sin you’ve committed to another believer.
  • Submission: Proper recognition and respect for the authority God has established.
  • Speaking in Tongues: Practicing a personal prayer language that strengthens your spirit.
  • Ministry Prayer: Ministering to others (or receiving ministry prayer) with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Generally, disciplines of abstinence are designed to break down the worldview of the flesh, and disciplines of engagement build of the mind of the Spirit.

I’d suggest practicing a variety of these disciplines and discovering your own needs and rhythm with them. Different people tend to be drawn to different disciplines; and at different points in your life, different disciplines will connect with you more than others. Learning to practice connecting with God and drawing our life from Him through the seasons of our spiritual walk is a joy and keeps us focused on moving forward in everything.


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