In The Beginning…

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Hey friends! Hopefully you have been stirred by the previous posts to develop and deepen your relationship with Jesus. Lindsey’s post was incredibly helpful and inspiring last week and reminded us that the Word of God is just that..the Word of God. And there will be no stirring of our affections for or growth in our knowledge of Jesus without the Word of God.

 

I want to speak to the idea of this whole area of spiritual disciplines today. These are, as I have previously stated, pathways and tested methods and Biblical practices that should be an intricate part of the life of any Christ follower. These disciplines are processes and therefore should continually be developing in us over the course of our walk with Jesus. (2 Peter 1:5-8) There is no one breathing that has or will ever perfect these practices but multitudes of believers can testify to the benefits of these holy habits and their progress in the faith.

Just like we would never expect a 6 month old to run a race, so we cannot expect that a young Christian will have all these disciplines mastered early. We desire to encourage others to grow in these disciplines for the long haul race we have all been given called life. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

As of this month and by the Lord’s grace, I am celebrating 40 years of being a rescued and redeemed daughter of King Jesus. I sit here typing this in tears knowing how many rebellious seasons I have had during these 40 years and how often I have spent my time, efforts and energy on everything but the very disciplines we are discussing. But I will also tell you that by His great grace, He has always had me at my core. I recently discovered journal entries of mine from my teenage years and in giant bubble letters, I proclaimed my love of Jesus and confessed my sins (usually not practicing the disciplines we are discussing). All these years later, I am still journaling and He has been incredibly faithful to teach me and grow me in ways I could have never expected. (Deuteronomy 29:5)

Our God is a relational God! He desires to engage us in a living relationship and thereby grow our love for and obedience to Him. Because God is the great initiator, our lives are meant to be a glad response to a good and gracious God.

Every spiritual discipline begins and ends with a desire

to connect intimately in a relationship with our Creator God.

(Revelation 1:8)

 

God forbid that we would ever practice spiritual disciplines simply to make us feel better about ourselves or puff up our pride. No, we discipline ourselves for the purpose of living a life deeply connected and pleasing to the supreme love of our lives, Jesus.

1-We pray so that we can pour out our hearts and desires to Jesus and we then listen so that we may hear what He would say to us. (Psalm 55:17/1 Samuel 3:10)

 

2-We study our Bibles so that we can know the God who created us and we may know how to live in a way that pleases Him. (Psalm 119:11)

 

3-We fast that we may acknowledge that we need/want Jesus more than we need/want food. (Matthew 6:16-18)

 

4-We give so that we show others that God is the first and best giver! (Matthew 7:11)

 

5-We memorize and meditate on Scripture that we may remind ourselves that we belong to Jesus and His word keeps us from the sinful attitudes of our own hearts. (Psalm 1)

 

6-We live simply because the abundance of stuff often gets in our way of living for Jesus and seeking Him first. (Matthew 6:33)

 

7-We practice hospitality because God has welcomed us into His kingdom. (Hebrews 13:2)

 

 

You may be asking, “Where do I begin?”

Great question! You start where every endeavor really begins……the heart!  You simply tell Jesus that you desire to know Him and love Him more than ever before. He will NEVER ignore a heart request like that.

 

Next, you grab a Bible, pen and a notebook. Then, you breath out a prayer to God and acknowledge that is the Holy Spirit whose job it is to help you understand the Bible. Remember its a supernatural book and you may read the words and never get the understanding if the Holy Spirit doesn’t open your heart and mind to understand it. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16) Note: the Holy Spirit will NEVER, EVER contradict the Word of God! This is why we always begin in the Word of God and then the Holy Spirit will impress on us actions and attitudes that will be consistent with His Word.

We will be breaking down several more disciplines over the course of the next couple of months and you do not want to miss these powerful posts by women who are practicing them (not perfectly) but progressing in their walk with Jesus. We continually pray that His Word and His Spirit grow your love of Jesus and your faith to follow Him wherever He leads.

A light

Your breath

Wisdom

and refuge

peace like a river

joy deep down

and gladness like oil

A word that is eternal

Transcending time and space

Anchor of my soul

wings for my spirit

healing for my wounds

pillow for my troubled mind

and a well that never runs dry.

Bottle for my tears

instruction for my present

Hope for my future

Lifter of my chin

deliverer of my struggles

Salve for my scars

Reason for my repentance

Extender of my forgiveness

Foundation of my life

giver of the grace

truth upon truth

answer to my questions

encouragement for tomorrow

Mercy overflowing

Power over my darkness

Reminder of my place

Exalter of my Jesus…

 

All this and more, Your Word has been to me.

ACWB 2018

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