In our last post we looked at the topic of Soul Care. Soul Care deals with seeking healing of the damage of our memories and our emotional wounds. The tools of Soul Care are the SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES. Spiritual disciplines are practices or habits that posture us to be in a place where we can receive more of God’s Spirit. We have His Spirit, we can be continually filled with the Spirit and more yielded to Christ.
Why Spiritual Disciplines
As Preachers, many of us are incredibly gifted. But if we are more gifted than our character can handle, we can end up burning out, moral failure or bitter and unfulfilled. Spiritual Disciplines remind us that what we do as Christ Followers is not on our own power, but by the power of God. Spiritual Disciplines release God’s rule and reign into our lives and funnel it out into the world around us. Spiritual Disciplines fall into two categories according to Dallas Willard. Disciplines of Engagement and Disciplines of Abstinence.
What are the Disciplines of Engagement?
Disciplines of Engagement are the things that are active. We do these things:
What are the Disciplines of Abstinence?
Disciplines of Abstinence are practices where we remove something in our lives in order to have God fill those areas in our life.
Which ones do I use?
Depending on what Christian tradition you’ve grown up with will depend on what disciplines you’ve gotten used to practicing. In evangelical traditions Bible study and prayer are the primary disciplines. In Catholic or liturgical traditions confession, fasting seem to be the most popular.
By learning what all the disciplines are throughout Church history are, can open up more opportunities to try different ones to hear from God. If you’ve never tried fasting, you may want to attempt to. You will experience a dimension of God you’ve never had before.
Recently, I’ve pushed into the area of sacrifice. We made some financial sacrifices over the past few years as a way to practice this discipline and we’ve seen God care for us and grown in maturity through the process. Here’s a question for you:
- What disciplines are you in the practice of doing?
- What haven’t you tried yet?
A great resource on Spiritual Disciplines is Dallas Willard’s classic, Spirit of the Disciplines.