Encounter God

Spiritual disciplines are taught in Scripture and have been practiced by Christians for 2,000 years.  They help us focus our faith and focus on God.  Spiritual disciplines are habits of engagement in the sense that they help bend us away from the carnal and engage us in spiritual thinking and behavior.

 

In Exodus 3, Moses encountered God in a burning bush.  It interrupted Moses’ routine (vs. 1-3), he stopped to listen (vs. 4-5), he took a moment to evaluate his life (vs 6), and he received God’s mission and stepped out in obedience (vs. 7-10ff).  God may not appear to us in a burning bush today, but He does want to intersect our lives just the same.  For many of us, encountering God happens as we study Scripture, pray, gather for worship with others, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and practice spiritual disciplines.

 

Study the list of spiritual disciplines below and begin practicing a few that you have not engaged in for a while.  Encounter God and ask Him to inspire you and build your faith.  Ask Him to help you grow in your relationship with Christ.

 

(There are 3 tremendous books on spiritual disciplines that I’d like to recommend to you – Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline; Dallas Willard, Celebration of the Disciplines, John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted.)

 

  1. Solitude (Time spent alone with God.)

Solitude frees us from the hustle and bustle of life and forces us to slow down and refocus on God and His will for our lives.

  1. Silence (Listening, practicing God’s presence.)

Silence frees us from the voices and noises of life and allows us to quiet our spirits and hear God’s voice.

  1. Fasting (Abstaining from food & focusing on God.)

Fasting frees us from the mastery of food and reminds us that our sustenance comes from God alone.

  1. Frugality (Living a simple, non-materialistic life.)

Frugality frees us from materialism and from being mastered by pleasure.

  1. Chastity (Abstaining from sexual thoughts & relations.)

Chastity frees us from lust and being mastered by our bodies.

  1. Secrecy (Disallowing our good acts from being known.)

Secrecy frees us from impure motives and being mastered by our egos.

  1. Sacrifice (Forfeiting personal security & needs.)

Sacrifice frees us from self-reliance and teaches us to depend on God.

  1. Study (Bible study, memory & meditation.)

Studying God’s Word focuses my life on knowing God’s Will, distinguishing God’s wisdom from the world’s delusion, and on learning to live a life of godliness.

  1. Worship (Personally ascribing worth to God.)

Worship focuses my life on living to proclaim His wonder and majesty.

  1. Prayer (Conversing, communicating with God.)

Prayer focuses my life on communicating, co-laboring, and living in communion with God.

  1. Service (Ministering to others & for God’s Kingdom.)

Service focuses my life on living each day to bless others without expectation of anything in return.

  1. Celebrate (Holy delight in God & His goodness.)

Celebration focuses my life on rejoicing in the great things God has done and refusing to live a life of despair or hopelessness.

  1. Fellowship (Worship & service with other disciples.)

Fellowship focuses my life on being a faithful member of the Body of Christ.

  1. Confession (Transparently confiding in trusted disciples.)

Confession focuses my life on righteous living and strengthens me as I reach out to mature Christians for encouragement, accountability, and prayer support.

  1. Submission (Receiving counsel from mature disciples.)

Submission focuses my life on becoming like Christ and grows me in humility as I willingly receive godly counsel from mature Christians.