Editor's note:

This selec­tive, top­i­cal index is designed to help read­ers get a pic­ture of the with-God life pre­sent­ed in the Bible and the role of the Spir­i­tu­al Dis­ci­plines in fos­ter­ing that kind of life toward its full­ness. The pas­sages list­ed either con­tain a spe­cif­ic ref­er­ence to a top­ic serv­ing as a dis­ci­pline (e.g., the word med­i­ta­tion”) or are about that top­ic with­out using the spe­cif­ic term. Because this index is selec­tive, it does not list every pas­sage in the Bible on each top­ic, and the entries are restrict­ed to the topic’s role as a Spir­i­tu­al Dis­ci­pline. Some of the entries are neg­a­tive exam­ples of the prac­tice of a par­tic­u­lar discipline. 

The list of dis­ci­plines cho­sen for this index also does not include every prac­tice or sit­u­a­tion that could actu­al­ly serve as a dis­ci­pline in the process of spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion. The dis­ci­plines under con­sid­er­a­tion here include cel­e­bra­tion, chasti­ty, con­fes­sion, fast­ing, fel­low­ship, guid­ance (below), med­i­ta­tion, prayer, sac­ri­fice, secre­cy, ser­vice, silence, simplicity/​frugality, soli­tude, study, sub­mis­sion, wor­ship, and the with-God life.

Each sec­tion con­tains scrip­tur­al ref­er­ences for the var­i­ous dis­ci­plines, in alpha­bet­i­cal order. Those ref­er­ences for which there are spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion exer­cis­es are des­ig­nat­ed by an asterisk. 

No doubt some pas­sages may have been omit­ted that might be very use­ful for under­stand­ing spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion. What is giv­en here is intend­ed to pro­vide only a sub­stan­tial intro­duc­tion to the pres­ence and impor­tance of Spir­i­tu­al Dis­ci­plines in the Bible. For fur­ther study on dis­ci­plines and how they are to be prac­ticed, please see Richard Fos­ter, Cel­e­bra­tion of Dis­ci­pline, and Dal­las Willard, The Spir­it of the Dis­ci­plines.

—Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible
GUID­ANCE: Expe­ri­enc­ing an inter­ac­tive friend­ship with God that gives direc­tion and pur­pose to dai­ly life. 

*Exo­dus 15:13

In your stead­fast love you led the peo­ple whom you redeemed; you guid­ed them by your strength to your holy abode. 

*Num­bers 12:8

With him I speak face to face — clear­ly, not in rid­dles; and he beholds the form of the Lord. 

*Num­bers 22:18 – 35 

If the men have come to sum­mon you, get up and go with them; but do only what I tell you to do. 

*2 Samuel 5:19

David inquired of the Lord, Shall I go up against the Philistines?”

*2 Kings 22:14

So the priest Hilki­ah, Ahikam, Ach­bor, Shaphan, and Asa­iah went to the prophet­ess Huldah. 

*1 Chron­i­cles 10:13 – 14 

He had con­sult­ed a medi­um, seek­ing guid­ance, and did not seek guid­ance from the Lord. 

*Job 32:8 – 9 

Tru­ly it is the spir­it in a mor­tal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. 

*Psalm 31:3

You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me. 

*Psalm 67:4

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peo­ples with equi­ty and guide the nations upon earth. 

Psalm 73:24

You guide me with your coun­sel, and after­ward you will receive me with honor. 

*Isa­iah 30:20 – 21 

When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, say­ing This is the way; walk in it.” 

Isa­iah 42:16

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. 

Isa­iah 58:11

The Lord will guide you con­tin­u­al­ly, and sat­is­fy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong. 

*Jere­mi­ah 1:6 – 8 

You shall speak what­ev­er I com­mand you. 

*Oba­di­ah 1 

We have heard a report from the Lord, and a mes­sen­ger has been sent among the nations.

Matthew 23:16

Woe to you, blind guides. 

Luke 2:27

Guid­ed by the Spir­it, Sime­on came into the temple. 

*John 14:1 – 31 

And if I go and pre­pare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 

John 16:13

When the Spir­it of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. 

*Gala­tians 5:25

If we live by the Spir­it, let us also be guid­ed by the Spirit. 

James 1:5

If any of you is lack­ing in wis­dom, ask God, who gives to all gen­er­ous­ly and ungrudg­ing­ly, and it will be giv­en you. 

James 3:15 – 18 

The wis­dom from above is first pure, then peace­able, gen­tle, will­ing to yield, full of mer­cy and good fruits, with­out a trace of par­tial­i­ty or hypocrisy. 

Rev­e­la­tion 7:17

The Lamb at the cen­ter of the throne will be their shep­herd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life.

Excerpt­ed from the Life with God Bible (New Revised Stan­dard Ver­sion), with spe­cial thanks to Harper­One and to the late Dal­las Willard who com­piled the Index.

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