How do we get closer in relationship with God and grow in our spiritual lives?
It’s an age old question that usually elicits a Sunday School answer: read your Bible and pray every day. Those who have grown up in the church know this answer, maybe even sang the song (go ahead and sing it, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing the actions if you are in a public place 🙂 ). We know the truth and we still often find ourselves struggling to make the time to do these things. Our life gets busy, and other things seem more important or even desirable in the moment. Yet, deep in our hearts we know we are missing out. We still believe in God with all of our hearts, but know that our relationship with Him is not meeting its potential. Then of course there is the guilt that the devil lets creep in; that even when we start getting in a good habit, if we miss one day he jumps in to attack pushing us off course. The excuses creep back in, “I’m too busy.” “I just want to sleep longer, I’ll catch up later.” “I’ve read all those stories before.” “I go to church on Sunday.” “God is mad at me because I missed a day.”
I have good news for you today! God wants us to live in Him guilt free. I struggled with this for a long time. Especially if you are doing a reading plan or a devotional book that reminds you what you’ve missed. Once I realized that I don’t have to sit in guilt, I don’t even have to catch up, that I can just start again, I was actually better at keeping to those simple truths.
1 Timothy 4:7b-8 says, “Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better,
promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (NLT)
Since the early church began, Christians have “trained themselves to be godly” through the spiritual disciplines. Some of the disciplines directly relate to how we interact with God through Scripture and prayer. The beautiful thing about the way that God created us is that we are all different. We learn different, connect different, and express ourselves different. So while one person may be able to sit down and read 3 chapters of Scripture and then journal about it for an hour, others might like sitting in silence in nature listening to the still small voice of God. The important thing is that we are “disciplining” ourselves to connect with God.
For an easy list and definitions of some suggested spiritual disciplines click HERE
Adele Calhoun has written a great book with many options for putting disciplines into practice. Pick it up HERE
Written by: Captain Rhegan Stansbury corps officer at the Williston, ND Corps and Community Center – see Rhegan’s personal blog here —>https://isatinsilentmusing.wordpress.com/