Spiritual Disciplines

Ask Heather: What are spiritual disciplines?

June 24, 2023

Ask Heather: What are spiritual disciplines?
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: PRAYER | BIBLE STUDY | WORSHIP | FELLOWSHIP | GIVING | SERVING | SCRIPTURE MEMORY | FASTING | SOLITUDE | GIVING THANKS -

If I asked you what your favorite spiritual discipline was, how would you respond? You might have an immediate answer ready or you may respond with something like what in the world is a spiritual discipline??

***scroll down for a fun challenge this week or keep reading for more

Back in 2019, I released my second Bible study, Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment. The study focused on three main goals: exploring the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, understanding His unwavering determination to rescue us, and learning how to live like Him in every single moment. During the first week of that study, my readers and I delved into the initial chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Together, we identified four simple habits for daily practice: worship, word, pray, and obey. These habits became the foundation for our study and guess what? They are examples of spiritual disciplines.

Why did we start with these four habits? Well, the aim was to help us live like Jesus in every moment. And that’s exactly what I want to emphasize today—not the various spiritual disciplines and their specific definitions, but rather the motivation and encouragement to incorporate them into our lives. Why should we engage in spiritual disciplines? Why do they matter? Why should we do it?

Let me share an excerpt from our No Dusty Bibles summer study, Growing in Grace, which sheds some light on this:

The Christian life is a joy-filled life, but it does not come without work. … Spiritual disciplines should characterize the life of every believer, but it’s not just mindless, backbreaking work. It is a means to experiencing amazing grace and abundant joy. The soul-satisfying joy of a fruitful life comes through the hard work of faithfulness and pursuing spiritual disciplines…. The common thread that unites all of these activities is their end goal: growing in intimacy with God and personal godliness, which lead to exponential growth, joy, and delight.
-Growing in Grace: Knowing and Living God Through Spiritual Disciplines

Ask Heather: What are spiritual disciplines?

Spiritual disciplines include Bible intake (reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing Scripture), prayer, fasting, worship, service, fellowship, solitude, celebration, evangelism, discipleship, stewardship, and journaling.

Spiritual disciplines include Bible intake (reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing Scripture), prayer, fasting, worship, service, fellowship, solitude, celebration, evangelism, discipleship, stewardship, and journaling.

All these disciplines are found in Scripture, but I like how this passage from 2 Peter 1:3-8 emphasizes the importance of growing in our faith:

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these, He has given us very great and precious promises so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ 2 Peter 1:3-8

Peter reminds us that if we want to be useful and fruitful in the body of Christ, we must engage in these spiritual disciplines. They are essential for our growth and maturity as believers.

2 Peter 1:5-7

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Now, let’s talk about why practicing spiritual disciplines has personally helped me grow in grace and develop a deeper relationship with God. I want to share five reasons with you:

  1. Practicing spiritual disciplines helps me learn about and draw closer to God. By studying the Bible, communicating with Him through prayer, worshiping Him, serving Him, and fellowshipping with others, I gain a deeper understanding of who God is and how He works in my life.
  2. Practicing spiritual disciplines helps me live like Jesus. Every day, I strive to make choices that align with His character and teachings. Though I’ll never be sinless like Jesus, I aim to live in a way that reflects His love and grace.
  3. Practicing spiritual disciplines helps me look like Jesus. I want to be a reflection of God’s grace to those around me. Through engaging in spiritual disciplines, I allow the Holy Spirit to transform me, making me more compassionate, loving, forgiving, kind, and gentle.
  4. Practicing spiritual disciplines helps me love like Jesus. Serving others and showing them the love of Christ is a spiritual discipline that enables me to extend His love to the world. This world desperately needs Jesus, and I want to be a vessel of His love.
  5. Practicing spiritual disciplines helps me obey God’s Word. Engaging in worship, studying the Word, praying, and obeying God’s commands allows me to honor Him and live a life that reflects His truth.

Now, here’s the exciting part—I want to challenge you to choose at least one spiritual discipline to engage with this week. Incorporate it into your daily routine and allow it to shape your relationship with God.

Remember, developing discipline requires practice and time. There may be days when progress seems slow, but don’t get discouraged. Focus on taking small steps forward, and keep your eyes fixed on the ultimate goal of growing closer to God.

After committing to your chosen spiritual discipline for a week, I would love to hear about your experience. Feel free to share with me by hitting reply to this email or tag the Rescued Letters team on social media @rescuedletters. Your testimony can encourage and inspire others in their faith.

I’m always here cheering you on, and I want you to commit to this challenge and see how it impacts your life. I am so thankful you are a part of the Rescued Letters community. Keep growing in grace and deepening your faith with God. You are loved and cherished.

I am rooting for you, always.

Much love,

Heather Signature
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