Tag Archives: disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines – Solitude

Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone

In our busy world, one of the easiest disciplines to disregard is solitude.  We can become so busy or so immersed in this life that it’s actually uncomfortable to be alone in a quiet place.  We may feel like we’re wasting time or that there’s something else we should be doing.

We must not forego silent communion with God.  It’s in this time that we really hear from Him in our souls.  God admonishes us to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and in this quiet He speaks.

Quiet time with God is not the time to plan out the day’s events or necessarily the time to reflect on past events.  It’s a time to speak to God, but minimally.  When we get alone with the Lord to spend time with Him, it’s mostly a time to listen.

We can hear from Him in a number of ways.  The Lord speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, He can speak to us through the Holy Spirit, or through a still, small voice, just to name a few methods.

The important thing is that we are listening and receptive.  He is knocking on our door, ready to come in and communicate, if we will just take time to let Him in.

Spiritual Disciplines – Bible Study

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

While it is true that pastors receive a word from the Lord and speak it to the people, it is equally true that they are human and therefore capable of error.  The best way to grow spiritually after hearing a message is to check it against the scriptures. Though man is errant, God’s Word is not.

Each follower of Christ must, absolutely must, spend time reading and studying the Bible individually. Church services, Sunday school, and Bible study are all great to attend, but they are intended as a corporate experience among the believers.  Private study of God’s Word coupled with prayer will yield personal results.

It is not enough to say that you believe everything the Bible says if you do not know what it says.  We must learn the context of the original writing to fully understand how a verse speaks to us today.  Many misinformed or uninformed Christians wander about with no foundational knowledge of the Bible’s principles.  False doctrines come about when well-meaning Christians interpret scriptures to support an agenda.

Personal time with the Lord, reading His Word is an essential part of a Christ disciple’s life.  God’s Word ought always to be on our hearts and on our tongues.  The Bible is a disciple’s playbook and we must learn from it in order to live according to God’s wonderful plan.  How amazing that our heavenly Father speaks to us though this text!  How can we  not study it everyday?

Spiritual Disciplines – Worship

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What is worship?  Is it simply a time of singing on Sunday morning?  Does it always involve music?Can one worship on their own, outside of church?

To be sure, God requires our worship (Matthew 4:10).  He wants our full devotion, our admiration, our time.  We all worship something.  We worship wherever we spend a significant amount of time, money, or affection.  Anything can easily become an idol, but God is clear that we are to worship Him alone (Exodus 20:3).

So how are we to worship the Lord?  We are to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength (Mark 12:30 and parallels).  In other words, we’re to love God with everything we have.  We must give Him priority in our time, our finances, our relationships, our activities, our thoughts, our affections, and so on.

Worship is required on more than just Sunday morning.  It is a full time task for the disciple.  To worship God is to focus on Him and to acknowledge His worth, to honor Him.  God is spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Worship in spirit takes place from the inside out. It is sincere, not done for show.  To worship in truth is to praise God for who He truly is, not as how we might like Him to be.