Why We're Talking About Spiritual Disciplines
Aug, 18, 2015 · Courtney Jacob
Have you ever encountered someone and noticed yourself coveting their spiritual life or strength of faith? Maybe it’s their rich prayer life or quiet times with effortless regularity or their ability to recall scripture easily. I’m a bit ashamed to say I’m all too familiar with this feeling.
What I forget in these moments is that I’m usually seeing a single moment in that person’s spiritual life. In reality, I have no idea how long they’ve been working to get there or what struggles or setbacks they’ve experienced along the way. More often than not, I desire to reach an ideal and forget about the discipline and time it takes to really accomplish it – even expecting results without knowing what work or experience it will take to achieve it. And I’m quite certain that I’m not alone in human tendency.
That’s why we’re discussing the Spiritual Disciplines on Groundwork this month. We want to look into scripture and discover the tools God gives us to help us grow in abundant life and relationship with him.
Why Spiritual Growth Matters
All of us want to become mature believers. But we need to remember that maturity is not about reaching a state of perfection; it’s about growing and being on the journey in relationship with the triune God. Achieving this goal of spiritual maturity is a lifelong process that needs our intentional participation. Remaining in the infancy of our faith life by default or mere neglect is just as dangerous to us as intentionally choosing not to grow. The author of Hebrews warns his followers about this state in chapter 5 verses 12-14 saying:
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Notice, what the writer of Hebrews says it takes to gain spiritual maturity: constant training. And what must we train in to distinguish good from evil? In God’s word.
So together, let’s dig into scripture and discuss how the spiritual disciplines can help shift our focus toward God as we remember and relish the journey of becoming mature, faithful believers.