Spiritual Practices (Disciplines)

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic it is difficult to know what is next. In fact, I find myself often at a loss in how to plan the future. “Will we be able to gather in groups of 10 or more? 50? 250?” “When will people be able to go back to work?” “When will my kids be able to play with their friends?” On and on the questions go. Yet, in the middle of all that, I sense an opportunity. An opportunity to lean in to a deeper way of life. A life that is not caught in a relentless pursuit of what’s next. This pandemic has forced many of us to slow down.

My challenge to you and me is that in these days we might find our hope and our purpose in leaning in toward the love of God. In these days, I want to practice being in the presence of God. I want to be changed into a deeper, more thoughtful person, who is wrapped up in the heart and love of the Divine. There are practices that we can participate in that help us to be open to the work of God in our lives. With that in mind I will be posting “practices” that we can “train” together in these days to see if we can’t know a different way of living.

Therefore, my goal is to spend more time journeying toward the Spirit-filled life. I want to know the depth of God’s love and grace more than I have ever known. I want to, as Paul writes “have the mind of Christ”, and I will not get there passively. I am a beginner on the journey to the deeper way of life, but I believe it is a journey worth taking. Join with me in these days for a journey to a life of depth.

The Spirit-filled life is an invitation into a deeper way of living, a deeper way of knowing, a deeper way of being.

-Aaron Gregory

Notes on Spiritual Disciplines:

  • “Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.” -Leo Tolstoy
  • “The gospel is less about how to get into the kingdom of heaven after you die and more about how to live in the kingdom of heaven before you die.” -Dallas Willard
  • “We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.” -Dallas Willard
  • The goal of spiritual disciplines is that we would take “spiritual realities into the press of raw humanity.”
  • The Spirit-filled life is an invitation into a deeper way of living, a deeper way of knowing, a deeper way of being.
  • Spiritual disciplines and this way of life is for all people from stay at home moms, to factory workers, to baristas, and accountants.
  • “Joy is the keynote of the disciplines.”
  • “The purpose of the disciplines is a liberation from the stifling slavery to self-interest and fear.”
  • Spiritual disciplines help us to know Christ, the power of His resurrection and to help others to know as well.
  • You don’t have to know Jesus yet to try out the practices of spiritual disciplines it may just be that through earnestly seeking you may find God.
  • These practices are much more about our hearts than our how.
  • The goal is not religious duty, but to experience a life of relationship and intimacy with God.
  • “When we are with people, what we are comes out.”
  • “Inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received
  • Paul speaks of righteousness being a gift of God 35 times in the book of Romans
  • Practicing the disciplines is a means of receiving His grace, to be transformed. It is God’s work in us, but our partnership matters or else he won’t do the work.
  • Growing in grace requires consciously chosen courses of action
  • “law-bound disciplines breath death” We must do inward work without requiring external control. The disciplines are not laws.
  • It is about God’s work in me, not about God’s work in others. 

All quotes that are not cited stem from Richard Foster in “Celebration of Disciplines”

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