Friday, November 13, 2015

Spiritual Disciplines

Growing up, fasting was the only spiritual discipline I knew of. And now that I think of it, I might have even had some misconceptions about it as a whole. I believed fasting was just a more effective and faster way to get your prayers answered. You know how even though injections are painful but they're much more effective than swallowing pills? (At least that's what they told me lol)
Well, that was my very myopic view of fasting. I was wrong. 





Spiritual disciplines have very little to do with how God views us but more about how we view God. God is unchanging; the way He sees us today is the same way He'll see us tomorrow- through His loving eyes. Spiritual practices/disciplines are not directly proportional to getting our prayer requests answered. In actual fact, it is no longer a discipline if the sole purpose is to get something in return.

So what are spiritual disciplines and why do we engage in them? 

Spiritual disciplines are simply intentional acts of becoming aware of the spirit man and conscious efforts of genuinely seeking to be in the presence of God. 
There is an inexhaustible list of things than can count as spiritual disciplines but they're not often seen as that because of their unconventionality. A spiritual discipline can be your own "thing", in other words, it can be your own way of connecting with God but you have to be genuine and honest with yourself about it.
Fasting seems to be the most common discipline because denying the flesh of certain things can help focus on God more but it's not necessarily the only form of self-denial that counts as a discipline. Some other forms of disciplines I've learnt about in the course of my walk include: silence and solitude, worship, journaling, intercession, physical exercise etc
I have tried some of these and hope to explore other options as well. While some  disciplines may seem more rigorous than others, it is important to keep in mind that the primary goal is not to just tick those things off your to-do list but to actually be in a place where you shut out every other thing and just be "Godtoxicated" (haha, just added that to my vocabulary, go figure :p) For example,fasting without really understanding the fundamental reason is just you going hungry.

While it is good to do these things periodically and as often as possible, I also feel some practices should be integrated with our day to day activities just so we are always in the "God mood", ya feel me?lol. That way, we create a sustainable way of life and they start to become more of habits than disciplines. 
In future posts, I'll break down the spiritual disciplines I have done myself, what I've learnt from them as well as my struggles with them. Feel free to share yours in the comment box! 


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