Surprising Spiritual Disciplines

Surprising Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual disciplines prepares us for mission
Spiritual disciplines are nothing more than ways to connect with God in such ways that increase spiritual growth. They are ways that help us to get to know God deeper and deeper. They are ways that get us refocused on God. They are also ways that prepare us for service and mission. The deeper we abide in Christ, the more God can use us in his service. That’s why Christians have used spiritual disciplines from the beginning. Just like Jesus. The most common ones are reading the Bible and prayer.

Today I invite you to think of spiritual disciplines in a bit more surprising way. Mary DeMuth lists 10 surprising spiritual disciplines in her new book Everything. I thought they were fun and I just love how reading them opens us to think other, creative ways that enables spiritual growth in us. God has made each of us unique. Also our ways to connect with God could be unique. As you read through these: imagine what kind of spiritual discipline could help you grow in Christ! (I have also added links to relevant blog posts if you want to dig deeper).

1. The Discipline of Small Obedience over the Long Haul
“Growth comes from undecorated obedience. The more we dare to obey, the more we experience God.”
(Choosing Obedience over Obsession)
2. The Discipline of Letting Heaven Be Our Heaven
“When we live for what we cannot see, we grow. When we spend our lives for what we can see, we shrink.”
(Seeing God)
3. The Discipline of Secret
“In secret, we lay ourselves bare before our Creator. God does not always call us to live out loud; sometimes He calls us to the quiet and the secret.” (How to Become Holy Like Your God Is Holy)
4. The Discipline of Singing
“Many times in Scripture, particularly the Psalms, we’re encouraged to sing… Particularly when the voices inside and around yell terrible things.” (Fresh Hope for Hopeless)
5. The Discipline of Gratitude
“Gratitude recognizes that everything we have—our talents, our relationships, our things—comes from GodThe discipline of gratitude chooses to stop, to notice, to open the gift and thank the Giver.”
(R U Practicing Gratitude?)
6. The Discipline of Silence
“Yes, may He grant us all the discipline of silence—that same silence He personified. May Peter’s declaration about Jesus’ silence be true in our lives as well: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23 niv).” (Silence & Solitude – Ways to Know God)
7. The Discipline of Forgiveness
“Learning the discipline of forgiveness helps us to reorient our pasts. If we choose not to forgive, we chain ourselves to the moment of the pain, and we seldom grow beyond it.” (Faith, Family and Forgiveness)
8. The Discipline of Creativity
“Make a choice today to be the creative person He made you to be. Let go of your “what you’re supposed to do to grow” list, and permit God to make the list. This life in Christ is a daring adventure, full of beauty and surprise. Why not let the God of the universe lead even your time with Him?” (Missing Out on Your True Identity?)
9. The Discipline of Rest
“Real growth doesn’t happen in a rush. It can’t flourish in burnout. It takes introspection, time, and a balanced, healthy life.” ( An Essential Element in the Unforced Rhythms of Grace)
10. The Discipline of Spiritual Warfare
“The longer we walk with Jesus, the subtler Satan becomes in his attempt to trip us up. In the beginning, he may resort to grandiose displays of himself, trying to freak us out. But as we begin to see him in the obvious ways, he becomes cleverer, more alert to our weaknesses.” (Spiritual Strength-Training)

 

Gracious God,
We yearn to know you intimately.
Show each of us how to walk with you
in such ways that honor you most
and bring most glory to you.
Enable us to find new ways to relate to you,
surprising ways to celebrate and share your love.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

P.S. I’ve been selected to be part of Mary DeMuth’s launch team for Everything and I will be blogging through the book before the release date in October, using the book as a spring-board for blog posts. If you are interested in reading yourself the first two chapters before the book is available in the stores, you can get them through this link.
The release date is already next Tuesday and I will be blogging on that day. Woot! Fun things to come! Here’s the trailer!

Q4U: What is your very own surprising spiritual discipline?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you seek God earnestly in creative ways!

Image courtesy of Jen Mireault. Linking up today with Thought-Provoking Thursdays and Faith Filled Friday.

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