Introductory 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, solitude, study, submission (listed below), and worship. Since the central focus of Christian spiritual formation is the with-God life, that topic begins the index.

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
SUB­MIS­SION: Sub­or­di­na­tion to the guid­ance of God; with­in the Chris­t­ian fel­low­ship, a con­stant mutu­al sub­or­di­na­tion out of rev­er­ence for Christ, which opens the way for par­tic­u­lar sub­or­di­na­tion to those who are qual­i­fied to direct our efforts toward Christ­like­ness and who then add the weight of their wise author­i­ty on the side of our will­ing spir­it to help us do the things we would like to do and refrain from doing the things we don’t want to do.

Gen­e­sis 13:8 – 18*

Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled.

Gen­e­sis 15:9 – 14 

Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram…” He brought him all these. 

Gen­e­sis 16:9

Return to your mis­tress, and sub­mit to her. 

2 Kings 18:31 – 32*

Do not lis­ten to Hezeki­ah… Make your peace with me and come out to me.”

Esther 1:12*

Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command. 

Psalm 81:11

My peo­ple did not lis­ten to my voice; Israel would not sub­mit to me. 

Proverbs 1:8 – 9

Hear, my child, your father’s instruction. 

Proverbs 6:20 – 21

My child, keep your father’s com­mand­ment, and do not for­sake your mother’s teaching. 

Eccle­si­astes 8:8

No one has pow­er over the wind to restrain the wind, or pow­er over the day of death. 

Isa 28:15 – 18

I am lay­ing in Zion a… sure foun­da­tion: One who trusts will not panic.”

Matthew 6:10

Your king­dom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Matthew 26:39

My Father, if it is pos­si­ble, let this cup pass from me: yet not what I want but what you want. 

Luke 1:38*

Here am I, the ser­vant of the Lord; let it be with me accord­ing to your word. 

Luke 1:46 – 56 

My soul mag­ni­fies the Lord, and my spir­it rejoic­es in God my Sav­ior, for he has looked with favor on the low­li­ness of his servant. 

Romans 8:7

The mind that is set on the flesh is hos­tile to God; it does not sub­mit to God’s law. 

Gala­tians 2:5*

We did not sub­mit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you.

Eph­esians 5:21 – 6:9

Be sub­ject to one anoth­er out of rev­er­ence for Christ. 

Colos­sians 3:18 – 24 

Wives, be sub­ject to your hus­bands… Hus­bands, love your wives… Chil­dren obey your parents. 

1 Tim­o­thy 3:4*

He must man­age his own house­hold well, keep­ing his chil­dren sub­mis­sive and respect­ful in every way. 

Titus 2:9

Tell slaves to be sub­mis­sive to their mas­ters and to give sat­is­fac­tion in every respect. 

Hebrews 5:7

Jesus offered up prayers and sup­pli­ca­tions… and he was heard because of his rev­er­ent submission. 

Hebrews 13:17

Obey your lead­ers and sub­mit to them, for they are keep­ing watch over your souls and will give an account. 

James 4:7*

Sub­mit your­selves there­fore to God. Resist the dev­il, and he will flee from you.

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 pan xiaozhen on Unsplash.

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