THE FORGOTTEN SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

Three Spiritual Disciplines We Rarely Talk About (or Practice)

When we think of the spiritual disciplines the things that typically come to mind are things like Bible Study, Worship, Prayer, Meditation, or Fasting. That’s because these are some of the more popular and outward disciplines. They are great practices. However, I’d like to encourage you to try practicing three spiritual disciplines that are often forgotten but can be powerful and bring great results fairly quickly.

solitude

 

The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” — Richard Foster 

 

Three Forgotten Spiritual Disciplines

1. Solitude

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

 

Jesus was healing people so that his fame began to spread. Everyone was bringing their sick family and friends to Jesus. That’s when Luke reports that Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to spend time alone with God.

 

The busier life gets the more essential it is to have time away – time alone. No noise, no chatter, no iphone, no wifi – just get away to a quiet place and spend time in silence. This is harder than it sounds, but it’s the only way to hear the quiet still voice within.

 

Solitude sharpens awareness of small pleasures otherwise lost.” — Kevin Patterson

 

2. Simplicity

Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep” (Matt. 10:9-10).

 

Jesus sent his disciples into the villages to proclaim God’s love. He told them to take only what was absolutely essential – no extra baggage. He promised them that God would provide whatever they needed beyond the basic needs.

 

There is something liberating about the simple life. There is power in confessing that I have all I really need – I don’t need anything that I don’t already have. Can you imagine living every day with that feeling?

 

Consider the practice of eliminating everything from your life that is not absolutely necessary and then depending on God for the rest.

 

Simplicity is the glory of expression.” — Walt Whitman

 

3. Submission

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account” (Heb. 13:17).

 

This is the practice of trusting those God has ordained to lead and submitting to the spiritual direction they are providing. In essence, it is the practice of humility.

 

This does not mean that you blindly follow, or that you cannot express your opinions. It simply means that once you have expressed your opinion — and as long as your spiritual authorities are not asking you to do something unethical or immoral — you submit to their authority.

 

You might ask – but, what if I don’t agree with them? That’s the point – and the real test of the practice of this spiritual discipline. Anyone can submit when they agree with the leader. Will you submit when you don’t agree? Or when you don’t understand? This is the practice of dying to self and “clothing yourselves with humility” (1 Peter 5:5).

 

 

I hope you will consider putting these spiritual disciplines into practice. I have found them to bring great peace and spiritual growth.

 

 

 

 

 

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