Not So Negative

When we hear the word "discipline" most of us cringe.
Ever thought of it as an opportunity?

Spiritual disciplines are the behaviors that facilitate spiritual growth.

Henri J. M. Nouwen said, "We should know that a spiritual life without discipline is impossible. Discipline is the other side of discipleship. The practice of spiritual disciple makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God."

So, without spiritual discipline, we have no spiritual life. And without a spiritual life it makes it really hard to pray to God effectively. And without prayer, we are really lost. That makes spiritual discipline essential to our Christian walk if we ever want to get anywhere.

Spiritual disciplines help us to get to know God. It is a building block for a friendship with God. When we choose to spend time with God instead of cleaning, reading, writing, watching a movie, video games, internet or anything else that can distract us, we are practicing spiritual discipline.
And a step of from that is disciplining ourselves to be silent. To "be still and know that [He is] God."

It has been said, "A love which has no silence, has no depth to it."

Consider the way lovers gaze at each other at a wedding ceremony just before they say their vows. Or how a mother watches her children loving from the bench at the park as they play on the slide and swings. That's love beyond words.

Selfish prayer, unorganized priorities, and being distracted can threaten spiritual growth. When our schedules are way to busy that we begin ignoring God, He's not going to force time on us. He won't change the world to get our priorities in the right order. Instead He simply asks us to shift the point of gravity, to replace our center of attention, to change our priorities. Jesus wants us to move from the 'many things' to the 'One necessary thing'. He wants us to live in the world, but be firmly rooted at the center in Him.

Spiritual growth and discipline involves imitating God, developing a character like His. "If we have faith in Christ, we must believe that He knows how to live and imitate that." -Dallas Willard.

Don't be threatened by busy schedules, don't like mixed priorities keep you from Him. Spiritual growth is essential to who we are as Christians, and to what we represent. Prayer and silence are important to that growth. And a relationship with God is the basis of it all.

It's in your heart. Not your head.


Prem-aka-Prince said...

Ah, I think I have figured out how you manage to make such long yet interesting yet so different posts each time! And how they have quotes not only from The Bible but also from important people! ...They're essays you've done for class or church or something!
lol, just kidding. (though if I'm right, blimey, do I get a prize? =P)
Anyways, it's always interesting to read these. It's really good how you explain your point and back it up with examples. If there was a court case to prove the existence of God, I'm sure if you were the lawyer your points would be undeniable. =P
Oh dear, I should say something specific, otherwise you might think I've not read it properly! ...actually, I don't really know what to say (there's nothing to argue against and there's nothing else that could be added if arguing for! lol). Concerning the link between silence and God, out of curiosity, do you ever pray out loud? (and I mean personally, not including saying Grace or praying in/for groups).

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