Transformational discipleship calls for a reshaping of how we view life, faith and even Christ Himself... The spiritual disciplines are a set of practices used to draw us close to God. Believers should use disciplines to give a place for the Holy Spirit to speak and use God's Word in our lives... [Spiritual disciplines] are structured activities the Spirit uses to move believers toward maturity... The disciplines are activities that give time and space for the Spirit to give understanding about the truth presented in the Bible... The disciplines give a place of structure for transformational growth to occur... When we discipline ourselves to engage with Him relationally, then we will align with God's heart.
"Spiritual disciplines are those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among believers... They are habits of devotion; habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God's people since Biblical times." - Don Whitney
- ARTICLE: How to Develop the Habits of Discipleship
- ARTICLE: Gospel-Centered Spiritual Disciplines
- ARTICLE: Spiritual Disciplines List
- FREE PDF BOOK: Habits of Grace - Enjoying Jesus Through the Disciplines
What Are Spiritual Disciplines?
Spiritual Disciplines are...
1. Both personal (practiced alone) and interpersonal (practiced with other Christians) practices.
- Jesus practices both. The Bible prescribes both.
2. Activities (practices, things you do) not attitudes (character qualities, graces, etc.).
The goal of spiritual growth is not about "doing" but about "being" like Jesus, but we get there by doing the spiritual disciplines.
The end or goal of spiritual growth is godliness: "...discipline yourself for godliness..." - 1 Timothy 4:7. But the Biblical means to that is to discipline yourself [through the spiritual disciplines], by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by being rightly motivated.
3. Biblical practices
We put focus on those practices practiced in the Bible. These are Bible intake (Bible Study, Biblical Meditation, Bible memorization, etc), prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning.
4. Sufficient for knowing God and growing in Christ-likeness
- We place a focus on Biblical practices which accomplish this.
5. Derived from the Gospel not divorced from the Gospel
- They don't take us away from the Gospel as if ewe have graduated from it. No! They always lead us back to the Gospel.
6. Means and not ends
They are the means to God. We are NOT godly just cause we practice the spiritual disciplines. That was the great error of the Pharisees. They thought, by doing these things ,"I am godly." No! They are the means to get to godliness. But in and of themselves they do not make us godly.