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, med­i­ta­tion, prayer, sac­ri­fice, secre­cy, ser­vice, silence, simplicity/​frugality (list­ed below), soli­tude, sub­mis­sion, study, and wor­ship.

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
SIMPLICITY/FRUGALITY: The inward real­i­ty of sin­gle-heart­ed focus upon God and his king­dom, which results in an out­ward lifestyle of mod­esty, open­ness, and unpre­ten­tious­ness and which dis­ci­plines our hunger for sta­tus, glam­our, and luxury. 

*Deuteron­o­my 17:16 – 17

He must not acquire many hors­es for him­self. … He must not acquire many wives; … also sil­ver and gold he must not acquire in great quan­ti­ty for himself. 

*Eccle­si­astes 5:10

The lover of mon­ey will not be sat­is­fied with mon­ey; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. 

*Daniel 5:17

Let your gifts be for your­self, or give your rewards to some­one else! 

*Hag 1:2 – 11

You have sown much, and har­vest­ed lit­tle; you eat, but you nev­er have enough; you drink, but you nev­er have your fill. 

*3 Mac­cabees 6:36

They insti­tut­ed the obser­vance of the afore­said days as a fes­ti­val, not for drink­ing and glut­tony, but because of the deliv­er­ance that had come to them through God. 

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

Matthew 6:22 – 24 

You can­not serve God and wealth. 

2 Corinthi­ans 11:3

I am afraid that… your thoughts will be led astray from a sin­cere and pure devo­tion to Christ. 

Philip­pi­ans 3:13

I do not con­sid­er that I have made it my own.

*Philip­pi­ans 4:11 – 13 

I know what it is to have lit­tle, and I know what it is to have plen­ty. … I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hun­gry, of hav­ing plen­ty and of being in need. 

Colos­sians 2:20 – 23 

If with Christ you died to the ele­men­tal spir­its of the uni­verse, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? 

Colos­sians 3:1 – 2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

*2 Tim­o­thy 2:4

No one serv­ing in the army gets entan­gled in every­day affairs; the sol­dier’s aim is to please the enlist­ing officer. 

Hebrews 12:1 – 3 

Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so close­ly, and let us run with per­se­ver­ance the race that is set before us. 

James 1:8

The doubter, being dou­ble- mind­ed and unsta­ble in every way, must not expect to receive any­thing from the Lord. 

James 4:8

Cleanse your hands, you sin­ners, and puri­fy your hearts, you double-minded. 

*Rev­e­la­tion 3:17

You say, I am rich, I have pros­pered, and I need noth­ing.” You do not real­ize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 

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.

Pho­to by Sarah Dor­weil­er on Unsplash

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