It is no secret, whatsoever, that I plan to focus on Spiritual maturity and depth over the coming year, for myself, and for our faith family. That’s what our current series of “Not a Fan” is all about. Becoming a truly committed follower of Jesus, and then growing in Him. So, we started off the year with a series designed to start the conversation of what a true follower looks like. There are still two more sermons in this series, but where do we go from there? What is the next step after we decide to become a completely committed follower of Jesus? As I have stated, it’s not just a one time decision. It takes making the decision daily to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. And there are going to be days where we fail, but we have to try and make that a daily decision.
So, what’s next? Starting February 15, we are going into a four part series on Spiritual disciplines. I know that at first glance, that may not sound exciting, especially since it has the word discipline in it. I get it, but have you ever put any thought into what Spiritual disciplines actually are? If you want a little head start with where we are going, we are going to be using Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline as our jumping off point for this study. Foster breaks the disciplines down into three categories, so we will be tackling our series this way. The first week will be a general study of what Spiritual disciplines are, and why they are important. And then we will take Fosters three categories, one each week.
This will be a very generally study, as we could spend a couple of months or more on them if we took each individual discipline by themselves. Foster’s three categories are “The Inward Disciplines (Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study)”, “The Outward Disciplines (Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service)”, and “The Corporate Disciplines (Confession, Worship, Guidance, Celebration)”. In his introductory chapter to the disciplines, Foster states;
Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people…Joy is the keynote of all the Disciplines. The purpose of the Disciplines is liberation from the stifling slavery to self-interest and fear.
Kit Dotson, a friend from Tennessee says this about the importance of Spiritual disciplines;
The importance and beauty of spiritual disciplines is that in practicing them, we are intentionally aware of the presence of God. They do not bring us into the presence of God because He is constantly present. To often though, we find ourselves going hours, days, or weeks with no awareness or thought of the creator of the universe who loved us and sent His Son to die for us. When we are forgetful, we tend to wander. When we are aware of the amazing presence of God, we have the hope that we will be transformed. Spiritual disciplines are intentional opportunities for us to live in full awareness of God and be changed to look more like His Son.
I hope that this short introduction to Spiritual disciplines helps you get interested to learn more. Foster’s book, The Celebration of Discipline is one of many books if it’s something you would be interested in learning more about the subject.
Because of Him, Kraig B.