Spiritual Disciplines are one of those things that you know that you should be doing but don’t actually take the time to do. They are the practices that will help you to deepen your faith experience with Jesus, and they change your heart as you practice them over time. The issue with this is that deepening your faith and changing your heart also require you to change some of the fundamental elements of your life, and that can be hard.
Paul tells Timothy in 1 TImothy 4:7 that he needs to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. And that is where you need to start. Do you feel a calling from God to be holy? Do you desire godliness in the depths of your heart? Then you must make space in your life for Spiritual Disciplines.
These steps are not easy to find the motivation to do, but they are easy to understand. Pray diligently for wisdom, strength, and grace to implement them!
Practice Spiritual Disciplines regularly
Look at your schedule and choose a time of day that you can set aside for this. Even 15-30 minutes is fine if that is all you can reasonably devote. A little bit of consistency is a better start than planning a huge chunk of time and then never getting to it.
No, seriously. Stop reading this post and choose your chunk of time. One of the biggest enemies of discipline is good intentions with no action to back them up. So look at your calendar, think of your day, and choose your slot.
Practice Spiritual Disciplines in community
You are way more likely to succeed if you are doing it alongside someone else that is there to encourage you. You can join the Many Sparrows Sisterhood Facebook group as we work our way through 12 Spiritual Disciplines in 2017. Wherever you find your community, open yourself up to accountability so that they can actually help you when you are losing it.
The power of community is that ability to lift one another up. With something like Spiritual Disciplines that are in large part a private practice between you and God, finding a good balance of sharing your success and shortcomings with a small group of people is going to really help you stay motivated.
Practice Spiritual Disciplines prayerfully
Something to remember when cultivating the growth of Spiritual Disciplines in your life is that God is the one doing the work. It can be tempting to rely on your schedule and your support group to help you work through any difficulties, but ultimately the change in your heart and the depth in your life come from the work of God’s miraculous grace. Don’t try to do that work for him.
Read the rest of 1 Timothy 4. Paul is talking to Timothy about immersing himself in his teaching and training. He is told to devote himself to practicing his gifts. Godliness is a worthy goal, and not unachievable. (He has given us everything we need for life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3)
A lesson that God taught me years ago is that he will keep teaching me as long as I am willing to be taught. It is not too late for you, and you are not too far gone to have your heart, mind, and life transformed into the likeness of Christ. Let him begin the work in you today.