A Heart Prepared for Growth

This semester, the College Ministry is discussing Spiritual Disciplines in our Sunday class time, covering a different discipline each week. When we think about being on a journey, we are talking about something challenging. Even with great discipline, a journey is hard, but trying to go it without discipline is practically impossible.

Imagine it like this: If a farmer tossed some seed into a field without cultivating the earth - tilling, digging, fertilizing, watering, etc. - the yield would be paltry. Without those “disciplines” that prepare the ground for growth, the chance of bearing fruit is low.

In the same way, Spiritual Disciplines cultivate our hearts for growth and create space for God to work in and through us. Without disciplines, God will still work, but it will be much harder for us to bear fruit.

Here are some examples of Spiritual Disciplines:

Scripture & Prayer | These two are the most commonly discussed disciplines because they are the most fundamental communication between us and God. Through scripture, we learn of God’s will for us, and through prayer, we commune with Him.

Scripture Memory | Memorizing scripture is something everybody admits is good, but few actually practice. I encourage you to memorize scripture that is valuable to you! There is no better way to store God’s Word in your heart.

Meditation | While some types of meditation are about emptying your mind, Christian meditation is about filling your mind with Godly things. Take time to rest in God, reflect on scripture, and cling to His promises for you.

Fasting | In the Bible, fasting is a pretty clear expectation for believers. Whether fasting from food, social media, TV, or other time-consuming things, this is a way to restore your priorities and give God His rightful place as Lord.

Service | We often enjoy service projects but don’t always think of them as “disciplines.” Practicing service as a discipline is to take the posture of Jesus as one who does not seek to be served, but to serve and love others.

Evangelism | We tend to see evangelism as something to do during a campaign or mission effort, when it should be more like a way of life. Jesus’s final command - the great commission - should be our top priority. If you think yourself bad at evangelism, all the better reason to practice!

Confession | I’ll admit that confession is an intimidating discipline, because we’ve been conditioned to broadcast our best selves while keeping our dark stuff hidden. Like evangelism, practicing confession helps us to grow in this discipline. But when we do practice confession, we get to experience grace and know God more deeply through his people!

Which of these disciplines is a growth area for you? How can you practice one or two in the coming weeks?

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