Prayer, Bible reading, meditation, fasting, being silent, they are called spiritual disciplines. They take time. They take effort. It’s a sacrifice of both time and energy. In this day and age we would rather play, work, search the World Wide Web for crazy You Tube videos or other meaningless information. We would rather check in with Facebook friends and see what interesting events are occurring in their lives. Did I describe your day or is that just me?
I’ve just begun a new bible study. It’s produced by IF: Gathering. The study is called “Enjoying Jesus.” It begins:
”Spiritual disciplines aren’t meant to simply be studied. They are meant to be done. Their power is in their practice.”
One of my favorite books, Practicing the Presence of God, is a comiplation of teachings of a 17th century monk, Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence taught it takes deligence to develop an awareness to the presence of God in our lives.
Thus it is a sacrifice to spend time with God before you sprint out the door for work, or pick up your cell phone and check social media.
Spiritual disciplines take practice. Practice is a repeated exercise in or performance of an activity to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
We don’t like to think of Christianity as a discipline. I realize Christianity is a relationship with the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. But to develop any relationship you must spend time with that person. So, it does take discipline to shape your day and carve out time to sit with Jesus. And it is something you should repeat in some semblance of order.
My current study is called “Enjoying Jesus.” If you want to enjoy your Savior you have to stop and give Him the time of day.
”Spiritual disciplines are where theology meets everyday life.” IF bible study, “Enjoying Jesus.”
Life’s busyness keeps us isolated from God and from others. We long for more. There is a dull ache inside each of us when we are separated from God because God created us to be in fellowship with Him. Jesus came to restore that fellowship but it takes effort on our part to spend time with Jesus.
“When it was evening on the first day of the week, Jesus’ followers were together. The doors were locked, because they were afraid of the elders. Then Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. His followers were thrilled when they saw the Lord.”
John 20:19-20 NCV
In the presence of Jesus there is fullness of joy. Did you notice the last sentence of that verse? Jesus’ followers were thrilled when they saw the Lord.
When you practice and repeat the exercise of seeking Jesus, you won’t be disappointed. You will enjoy His presence.
What spiritual disciplines do you practice?