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Do you ever wonder how you can work with Jesus in the transforming of your soul? Are you hungry and desperate for God? Are you doing the foundational stuff (see this blog post) but just can’t seem to figure out how to go deeper?  Let’s dive into how we can work with God in becoming more like Jesus.

 

“A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do.”  Dallas Willard

 

Have you ever reacted in such a way, whether it be an argument, an emergency, or after a long day, that made you cringe? Where after seeking forgiveness, (for the thousandth time), you throw up your hands, and wonder how on earth you are ever going to cultivate patience, kindness, service and actually, utilize it in the heat of the moment no less?  How do you develop life as a disciple of Jesus; someone who actually demonstrates in word and action a life lived in surrender to God?

 

Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a vision for what the surrendered life looks like: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

 

So how do we develop the fruits of the spirit in our own lives?  How do we never give up, care more for others than ourselves, develop humility, patience, honesty, trust, etc.?  How do we intentionally be present with Jesus in our everyday lives?

 

Today, we are going to be answering that question by diving into some practical tools that Christians have been using for centuries. 

 

  1. The Purpose of Spiritual Disciplines

2. What are Spiritual Disciplines?  

3. How do I Apply Disciplines in my life? 

 

 

1. What is the Purpose of Spiritual Disciplines? 

 

The purpose of Spiritual Disciplines is to provide practical tools that allow us to work with God in the transformation of our souls.   The Life with God Bible says it this way, “Spiritual Disciplines involve doing what we can to receive from God the power to do what we cannot. And God graciously used this process to make us the kind of person who automatically will do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

 

Bingo!

 

Practicing Spiritual Disciplines are a crucial part of developing a deep and transformed life. The tools in and of themselves are nothing special, they are just that… tools. But they give us a super helpful and practical framework to work with the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual Disciplines allow us, through God’s grace, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit, to take an active role in saying yes to work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

 “A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain…This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit… By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.” -Richard Foster

 

The disciplines are not meant to be a rigid rule of life but as a grace-filled, Holy Spirit initiated practice that grows and changes throughout the season of your life.  

 

 2. What are Spiritual Disciplines? 

 

So, what exactly are spiritual disciplines? Here is a list of inward, outward and corporate disciplines taken from Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline.   

 

Inward Disciplines:

Prayerwith God not just at God

Fasting

Meditation

Study Not just for information, but the transformation of your soul

Outward Disciplines:

Simplicity

Solitude

Submission

Service

 

Corporate Disciplines:

Confession

Worship

Guidance

3. How to Apply Spiritual Disciplines in Your Life? 

 

We need to understand that participating in spiritual disciplines is a life long journey. It is not about instant transformation, but about learning to be present every day with God, in the ongoing transformation of our souls.  It is not meant to be one more thing to do, but as a willing response born out of our love relationship with him.  

 

God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.Richard Foster

 

So how do you actually choose what discipline to practice in your life?

Here are some Suggestions for Getting Started:

  1. Ask yourself, what are you drawn to? What would practicing that discipline look like?
  2. Pray and ask God about what discipline to practice
  3. Start with one discipline at a time
  4. Operate out of grace. God loves you unconditionally and you don’t have to earn his love.
  5. You must be intentional. And it can (and will) be challenging.
  6. You are Not Alone!  The ever-present God is with you.
  7. The practice will look different for everyone.
  8. The disciplines will change as you enter new seasons of life

 

Are you hungry and ready to experience a deeper life with God? Join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families.  

Grab your free Deeper Life Beginners Guide (get it below) to help YOU get started on your journey to a thicker life with Jesus today!  

 

What about you? What is your biggest challenge when it comes to practicing spiritual disciplines?  Please feel free to leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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