If you even remotely know me or have read my blog at all, you probably realize by now that I am pretty free spirited. I like to just go with the flow. I'd rather wear a skirt and spin outside in the breeze than spend time indoors, being productive. I like to think of myself as whimsical. Sometimes, I'd rather spend time imagining than actually doing.
Now, think of that same girl, but add discipline to the mix. Not as in punishment. As in spiritual discipline. As in regular time in the Word, prayer, fasting... Not the most fun mix, huh? That's what I thought too.
This whole concept has really been on my mind a lot lately. I committed to myself that I'd read through the Bible this semester. I've really been convicted that I don't sit down and read my Bible enough. While I would easily read through a novel larger than the Bible in under 24 hours, I can't seem to devote thirty minutes to it a day. That's utterly ridiculous.
I've also been thinking a lot about fasting. I think I've lost touch with what that actually means. All my life, I've associated fasting with food. Honestly, that does nothing for me. I don't think about being hungry often. Lots of people my age do Facebook Fasts. Well, that's cool. But again, it doesn't really do anything for me. I've been taking a new look at fasting. What does it mean in my life? What should I be fasting from? How long should I be fasting? Goodness, all of these things just keep running through my head.
So, after a week of all this, I get up today, excited for church. I didn't make it on Wednesday, as I was emotionally overwhelmed and honestly, I feared I might cry during worship. So, we get to church today...and it was really wonderful. We sang songs I love. We got to see new believers baptized. First Graders received Bibles today. And then Pastor Ben got up to preach. I'm always excited to hear him, as he so consistently brings new light to the Word.
Guess what he preached on today? Oh yes. Spiritual Disciplines. Favorite. I love it when the Lord does that. So, I just want to share with you the ten disciplines that he shared with us, just so you see where I'm coming from/ what my heart is dealing with.
10 Pieces of Spiritual Exercise.
1. Meditation- Learning to live by God's voice. [Psalm 119:97]
2. Prayer- An ongoing conversation with God. [Mark 1:35]
3. Fasting- A private act of humility. [Psalm 69:10]
-He also said that fasting is the act of "cutting out something that I'm dependent on, so that I will become more dependent on God.
4. Studying- The renewing of our minds. [Phil. 4:8]
5. Simplicity- Learning to live with less things.
6. Silence and Solitude- Getting away from people to gain greater strength.
7. Submission- Learning to live by laying down the burden of being right.
8. Service- Saying no to the world's system of authority.
9. Corporate Worship- gathering with other believers in holy expectancy.
10. Confession- Putting an end to pretense.
I know that is a lot to chew on. But think on it. I know that I can't get it off of my mind.