Spiritual disciplines, we invite you to know in this article what it is about, how to apply them and how to make them part of your life. The spiritual disciplines will help you improve all aspects to grow as a person and become spiritually stronger, surprise yourself.
What are the spiritual disciplines for?
The world is in a situation that calls us to grow spiritually, when we analyze our environment, we are able to identify that society changes overwhelmingly, however, the change that we are identifying is far from the word of God.
The word of God speaks of not judging and that is why before expressing any opinion of the world, we must look within ourselves, recognize our actions, our performance and honestly tell ourselves how close we are to the word of God.
We should not see how far others are, but how close we are, when each of the people who call themselves believers performs this exercise and initiates a spiritual change, we will witness a change in the world.
Why do we ensure that a change will be generated in the world? Because every true believer wants to grow, mature and strengthen their faith, therefore, when we are able to identify, what are those areas of our lives that we must correct, and improve and that need significant change, we must recognize that God gave us tools to achieve it and spiritual disciplines is one of them.
It is possible that many of you have proposed to make an internal change and become more like Christ every day, not only for yourself but in recognition of your sacrifice. Personally, I cannot stop being moved and recognising the suffering of Jesus, every time I read and remember the passion of Christ, how much pain and so much demonstration of love, it cannot be in vain, we cannot be so ungrateful and live, with the faith that the word of eternal life will be fulfilled and do absolutely nothing more than simply deserve it for being a believer.
But if we decide that we are going to make a change, in order not to fall into frustration for not achieving the objective, we must start building our path on solid foundations, it is not enough to just believe. We will not be able to see the changes, if we are not able to understand that we have been accepted because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and his redemptive work on the Cross.
God loves us for the work and sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, it was he who did the redeeming work and for this reason we must work to grow and become more like the son of God every day and for this we have the spiritual disciplines, when we know them and we make use of them in our lives, we resemble Christ, who produces the change in us.
Therefore, the spiritual disciplines point out to us and indicate the way in which we can grow to be similar to Christ, for this we must assume that we are believers and in a conscious and deliberate way we are going to grow and develop with purpose, for this we must allow and prepare ourselves for the work of the Holy Spirit to take place in us.
In the Bible we can find passages that invite us to grow, let us remember that the words that at the time were addressed to specific people, but are mandates that we must obey too. 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 7: “Put away profane and old fables, train yourself for godliness.”
The words said before are from the apostle Paul, therefore, we are called to have discipline and the Bible points out the responsibility of each one of the believers. For spiritual growth there are no shortcuts, it is a process in which spiritual disciplines are the ideal means to achieve it.
What are the Spiritual Disciplines?
As we can intuit, the spiritual disciplines are the mechanisms that will allow us to develop in Christ in order to reach God, this path will be built by ourselves, to the extent that our needs are, by strengthening ourselves we will find ourselves because in our growth and development we will be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual disciplines can be adopted to grow in character, correct patterns of behavior, for this reason they are recognized in the Christian life as behaviours and actions and exercises that allow growth and strengthening of spirituality, to reach spiritual maturity. Through the spiritual disciplines we can have a development of our inner being and be able to be transformed by Christ, when this happens our feelings, our character, our behavior change and they will be recognized on our exterior.
The spiritual disciplines involve knowing the word of God, studying it, and memorizing it to recognize it in our day-to-day life, this is one of the most important disciplines and should not be neglected, since it is the foundational basis for the other spiritual disciplines of which we will comment later. The written word is inspired by God, it has the power of God and in it we will find the armour and weapons to wage spiritual warfare because the forces of evil will always seek a way to get us away from our spiritual growth.
What are the Spiritual Disciplines?
The spiritual disciplines are various and can be classified into those that are personal and those that are collective. Within the personal spiritual disciplines are the reading of the word, also some people incorporate the practice of meditation, learning and memorizing the Scriptures. Another of the spiritual disciplines is prayer, worship and study.
But we cannot forget fasting, one of the most important and least incorporated spiritual disciplines in the life of a believer. As for the collective spiritual disciplines are praises, preaching and offering, these three disciplines are grouped in what is known as congregational worship. Another of the spiritual disciplines is group prayer, the Lord’s Supper and communion with the brothers.
Discipline is an indispensable tool to excel in anything we plan to do in life. In discipline we must find pleasure and joy, otherwise, it will become just a heavy job, being disciplined requires perseverance, but the best thing is the reward.
Even when we are aware that we must be disciplined to achieve the goals we set for ourselves in life, discipline works indirectly, because discipline allows us to achieve, in this case to receive, what we have not done by our own effort. Discipline will connect us with the Spirit of God, that immense power that raised Jesus Christ.
The reading of the word, as we have pointed out before, is essential to start the path of spiritual disciplines, it is through the reading of the word that we can know and receive its power. Memorizing the scriptures is a fundamental part of this growth, even more so having the freedom to choose what we want to learn and keep in our memory.
By memorizing the word of God, it will always be present with priority in our actions, in our decisions. The same word urges us to memorize it, in the book of Joshua chapter 1 verse 8, we are invited to never stray from the word, because the word helps us to prosper and everything will turn out well for us. Memorizing the word is a guarantee of success, because when we act on his word, we are impregnated with God.
For its part, prayer is spiritual communion and spiritual discipline allows us to worship, beg, and confess, it is the way to connect with the Highest, regardless of where we are. Prayer is the way in which we communicate with the Lord, in an intimate or collective way, we are able to decide.
The power of prayer is so great that it is capable of changing lives, it is the most beautiful way found. The main objective of prayer is to maintain communion with God, which we achieve with discipline, when we receive answers to our prayers, it is another way of knowing about his love, but it is not the most important, we must recognize, that the main it is communion.
When we combine the reading of the word and prayer, two of the spiritual disciplines, we begin to build our program, which will lead us to the path of a pious life, of subjection, we are dealing with our salvation.
The incorporation of spiritual disciplines in our lives is a change for the better, they will allow us to develop new habits, which are definitely for the integral well-being of our lives.
One of them is the incorporation of fasting into our lives, fasting is a party, even if we are without food, because we will be closer to God, he is the one who sustains and feeds us. Fasting is the gateway to get rid of bad habits, addictions and much more, fasting is the gateway to incorporate into our lives habits that strengthen our minds and hearts.
Worship and Praise is a sign of goodness, it is the beauty of God made word, music, rituals and also in silence. Corporate prayer allows us to participate with other disciples of Jesus in prayer and other practices. Serve God because we are full of him and we are able to feel love and compassion for others. Never stop paying attention to our inner being, to permanently continue our growth in love for God.
Correct Use of the Disciplines
It is very important to be clear that when we decide to start the path of change we are making use of our free will, it is not a forced change, it is a desired change, so we will work to receive, not to achieve. When we begin the path of seeking the image and likeness of Christ, we make use of the spiritual disciplines, because they are the means to receive through each one of them the fullness of God’s love.
The Lord has provided us with his love completely, we only have to use the disciplines to receive it, to feel it, to understand it. Because as we mentioned, it is our spiritual needs that will lead us to him, that is why we must arrive open to receive from him.
It is important that the spiritual disciplines become part of our lives in an integral way, we cannot keep our lives distributed in parts where the disciplines have no place because it is not their time and we do not have time.
Thinking that way is a terrible mistake, we must learn that the spiritual disciplines are in us at all times. We cannot put them aside when we are not praying or reading, the word of God must be present at all times, in our day to day, our experiences must always be related to the presence of God.
One of the reasons our resolutions don’t stick is because we compartmentalize our lives. We treat reading the Bible and praying as sacred duties, but then we immerse ourselves in our daily lives and very rarely relate to the Lord the things that happen to us in our daily lives.
Spiritual disciplines must be put into practice regularly, they should not only be used in times of urgency or extreme need, if there is no commitment, we will not be able to see their benefit. We must seek the moment to receive from God, in order to grow spiritually we must be ready to receive frequently, because if it does not fade in time.
You should set goals that you can really meet, it is possible that dedicating two hours a day to reading and praying from the beginning could be an ambitious goal, but if we start with about 15 minutes a day, without realizing it it will become a necessity, in a habit that will ask us for more time.
It is necessary to evangelize, become disciples and seek disciples, religious practices help us, but the gospel will transform our lives, because it will allow us to fill ourselves with the love of Christ. The spiritual disciplines permanently keep our hearts in contemplation of the glory of the Lord.
Who does not recognize an evangelist in Christ? He was listened to and followed by thousands. This is the path that helps us build the spiritual disciplines. Many think that the practice of spiritual disciplines separates them, alienates them and turns them into lonely people, nothing is further from the goal of spiritual disciplines.
The spiritual disciplines transform us to serve others, just as Jesus did. We start internally and end externally because the likeness in Christ is counted by the love that we are capable of giving to others.
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