Disciplines of The Christian Life
We are by nature undisciplined… therefore as followers of Jesus we need to realize that the Spiritual disciplines are as important to us as training is to an athlete.
Pastor Phillip from Kyiv gave a great sermon on demons yesterday and I thought frequently during that sermon that the dscplines are part of the answer!!!!
Tozer said in The Pursuit of God: Receptivity is not a single thing; it is a compound rather, a blending of several elements within the soul. It is an affinity for, a bent toward, a sympathetic response to, a desire to have. From this it
may be gathered that it can be present in degrees, that we may have little or more or less, depending upon the individual. It may be increased by exercise or destroyed by neglect. It is not a sovereign and irresistible force which comes upon us as a seizure from above. It is a gift of God, indeed, but one which must be recognized and cultivated as any other gift if it is to realize the purpose for which it was given. Failure to see this is the cause of a very serious breakdown in modern evangelicalism. The idea of cultivation and exercise, so dear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total religious picture. It is too slow, too common. We now demand glamour and fast flowing dramatic action. A
generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.
The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit: these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep
and serious malady of the soul. [from chapter 5]
1. Solitude… Jesus practiced solitude… hermits abused
2. Silence… is more than just not talking, it’s not talking unnecessarily… Mat 5.37 yes be yes, no be no
3. Prayer… A C T S
A – adoration
C – confession – ask God to show us what we need to confess
T – In everything give thanks
S – supplication – pray for requests, “intelligent conversation about matters of mutual concern” – Willard, p. 194
4. Fasting… not to misuse it n the to two way most commonly misused… a. not fasting… the NT language assumes that fasting will take place… you don’t fast for fasting’s sake, you fast to bring physically to a point for worship… b. fasting for the wrong reasons… anything other than drawing us into the worship of God… c. don’t misuse fasting by displaying it…
5. Study –
The six questions… Read a text…
a. What do you like in this passage?
b. What bothers you in this passage?
c. What don’t you understand?
d. What do you learn about God?
e. What does God want you to do as a result?
f. What one phrase do you want to take with you to meditate on?
First of all make up your mind that you will put some time every day into the study of the Word of God. That is an easy resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep; if the one who makes it is in earnest. It is one of the most fruitful resolutions that any Christian ever made. The forming of that resolution and the holding faithfully to it, has been the turning point in many a life. Many a life that has been barren and unsatisfactory has become rich and useful through the introduction into it of regular, persevering, daily study of the Bible. This study may not be very interesting at first, the results may not be very encouraging; but, if one will keep pegging away, it will soon begin to count as nothing else has ever counted in the development of character, and in the enrichment of the whole life. Nothing short of absolute physical inability should be allowed to interfere with this daily study. –R.A.Torrey
Memorization of Scripture… the Word of God permeating our souls…
6. Meditation… use different methods to let the Scripture soak into your heart and mind in such a way that the Word of God permeates your soul and the Holy Spirit uses this process to change me like a tea bag soaking in water changes the water: its appearance, its smell, its flavor, and as some know, it is rapidly boiling water which has the greatest effect on a tea bag, thus changing the water… the more we meditate on Scripture the more the Scripture changes us.
7. Service – our service should be done because we want to do it. Not because we feel we have to do it. We should not be bound by duty, rather, we should be driven for the love of the ministry. Our feeling should be less I have to do it, and more I can not – not do it.
Eph 6:6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
Ge 39:3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,
It must be done for the right reason… not for the eyes of men, but for the love of God…
Tozer prayed in The Pursuit of God: O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me.
Thou hast been here and I knew it not. I have been blind to Thy Presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ’s sake. Amen.
O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I knew it not. I have been blind to Thy Presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ’s sake. Amen. [ch 5]
THE book on the disciplines is The Celebration of Discipline by Foster, I reccomend it!!!