Posted August 2, 2013

There is a sea of misinformation about the spiritual disciplines floating around. Some see the disciplines as an attempt at salvation through works. Some think that practicing the disciplines is a sign of holiness. This Fall let’s unpack the 12 classical disciplines together. We’ll learn an “easy to live with” definition and some ways to practice the discipline with a child-like heart. Remember that children show us how to enter the kingdom of God, so even if you don’t have children… give these practices a try.

But first a few things you should know…

Salvation is a gift given from God alone. You cannot earn it. However you can live it. Can you remember back to the very first pair of sneakers your mom bought you? You didn’t buy them yourself, and certainly in your needy state, you didn’t earn them. However, in order to make any use of them, you had to put them on, lace them up, and take some steps. Spiritual disciplines help us to put on the new life given to us through Jesus and take some steps to walk it out.

Spiritual disciplines aren’t marks of holiness. In fact sometimes they will help you remember just how un-holy you are.

Meditation is the discipline that many folks in the evangelical world “worry” about. Let me first say that meditation is specifically mentioned 16 times in the Old Testament alone. So rest assured, it was and is a foundational practice. When Christians meditate we aren’t seeking to empty our minds, but to fill them with the Trinitarian Presence.

Mediation- Focusing our minds on God and his words to us.

  • First I think we have to say that technology is often the enemy of meditation, for the simple fact that it keeps our monkey minds running. Meditation slows the mind down to walk and even gives it the chance to sit still. In our culture this takes some practice. Try laying out in the yard staring up at the clouds and use your imagination to find pictures.
  • Watch some ants, notice where they have been, where they are going.
  • Read Luke 12:22-24 aloud. Then go outside and actually consider the flowers and the birds.
  • Begin to memorize Psalm 1. As a part of your practice choose a deciduous tree to observe for a season or two, even a year. Notice the changes through the seasons.

Share with us some of ways that you practice the discipline of meditation.

Now Underway: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? First, choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >