Friday, January 1, 2016

Spiritual Reboot

I love the gym.  I love the spiritual disciplines too. I love them both the same way.  Sporadically.

Seriously, in the long-term, discipline has been a powerful component in my walk with God. It does more for my spiritual health than exercise does for my physical health.  I appreciate them all the more because I can see so clearly how empty, tempted and tired I am without them. 


If you are a little uncertain what I mean by “spiritual disciplines,” I can’t blame you.  It’s not a Bible-term nor necessarily a familiar term to most American Christians.  But we all want to be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and becoming the holy righteous people God has declared us to be.  Spiritual disciplines are how we accomplish that; they are the way our minds are renewed in God’s service.  

To put it simply, we are talking about a daily plan for living out these verses:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.   Philippians 4:4-9

I know all that; you probably do too.  However, I’ve not been doing great.  Not to say that I haven’t been reading my Bible.  I have.  But it has been more along the lines of writing and teaching and less along the lines of reading for personal growth.  I’ve been praying too.  The fall on your face and beg God for help kind.  (With a generous helping of the “Lord could you do something about this crazy world?  But nothing too disastrous!?” kind).  Not the quiet on-going kind that sustains joy. 

That’s what the spiritual disciplines are all about.  Sustaining our connection with God. We find that connection in his law, his testimony, his precepts, his fear and his commands. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold. Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb-Psalm 19:10  Prayer can be more than a spiritual 911.  It can be daily, moment by moment communication with God. Pray without ceasing -1 Thessalonians 5:17. Meditation can be more than a habit we read about in the Psalms. “And I will meditate on Your statutes.  It can become the way that the word lingers in our minds, the way we mull it over and let it infuse every moment of our day.  We can learn to fast as well as feast.  We can learn to say no to our bodies and minds, so that we can say yes to God.
Don't want the blue screen of death!

The whole point of this little tale 
is that I need a reboot on my plan.





January 1st is coming, and while I am not making “resolutions,” I have a pair of long-term goals that I will be working on.  I have a log on my computer and I am going to be holding myself accountable.  Not only will I be recording the days I make it to the gym and the exercise I get outside but I will be marking down the time I spend reading my bible, praying and filling my mind with other good things. 


Do you need a reboot too?  Let’s do it! I am including a worksheet below and hope that you will fill it in and spend time with God every day starting today.  On Monday I will have a list of resources up to help you as try out the different disciplines and decide on a plan!

Helene

Transformation: Renewing our minds

1. Which Disciplines will I incorporate? (Prayer, Bible Reading, Meditation, Memorization, Fasting, Silence)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. When am I going to do this? (Time of day, days a week)

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3. What is my short term goal?  (establish a habit of praying every morning, read the Bible through in a year, read Proverbs this month, fast 1x a week)

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4. Who will hold me accountable? How will I stay in contact with them? (Meet once a week for coffee, check in by text every day after I pray, compare prayer journals before Sunday School starts)

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5. When will I start?  What materials do I need? (a notebook, a Bible, a new app on the phone)

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2 comments:

  1. This is great!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Helene,
    I find myself getting stuck in the same rut you are describing here. I appreciate the worksheet, especially the question about accountability. I think this is a necessary, but underutilized strategy. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete