A spiritual discipline is a biblical practice that is designed to improve your faith. If you will call it “spiritual fitness.” Spiritual disciplines are activities that you engage in. Digging into God’s Word and prayer are both spiritual disciplines, but let’s take a look at some different types of spiritual disciplines you might incorporate into your life.
What Are Spiritual Disciplines?
Spiritual disciplines are intentional activities that can lead to life transformation. Their goal is to help us grow spiritually and to enhance our connection with God. They are similar to spiritual training activities. However, like with any exercise, we must choose to execute them regularly in order to feel or see its influence on our life.
You will see substantial changes in your life if you practice spiritual disciplines regularly. Because spiritual practices help build healthier attitudes, more stable emotions, pleasant ideas, and goodwill toward others, you will not only have a closer relationship with God but with everyone around you. Spiritual disciplines enhance our lives and, in turn, the lives of others around us.
Different Types of Spiritual Disciplines
There are different types of spiritual disciplines: internal, outward, and collective. Prayer, meditation, and fasting are examples of spiritual disciplines used for personal spiritual growth. These are known as inner disciplines. Service, solitude, and submission are examples of outward practices, whereas worship, confession, and direction are examples of corporate practices. There are several alternative names for spiritual disciplines, as well as other classifications. The one thing they all have in common is that they all produce the same result: spiritual growth and a closer relationship with God.
Inward discipline refers to a spiritual discipline practiced in seclusion. Indeed, the Bible warns against hypocrisy in these disciplines when practiced in public. They sought only man’s favor, not God’s, and gained all the benefits that came with it. The following are some of the inner disciplines.
Meditation is the practice of focusing one’s attention on God and/or his word. It is not as intensive as a study and is more concerned with hearing from God than with analyzing the language. It can also be a period of imagination in which you “experience” and become a part of the scripture you are meditating on. Meditation helps you grow spiritually by coming to know God better, both via his character in Scripture and by his voice through listening.
Another inward discipline depicted in the Bible is prayer. When we pray, it is not for show but to communicate with God intimately. Prayer promotes spiritual development because, at its core, it involves communication between you and God, which is the cornerstone of every relationship. As a result, by engaging in the spiritual discipline of prayer, you interact with God and develop your relationship with Him.
Fasting is another discipline addressed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Instead, fasting should be done privately, just between you and God. Fasting is the process of giving up something, generally, something necessary for living such as food, to emphasize your reliance on God. Fasting permits God to become a kind of spiritual nourishment that supports you even when there is no physical food available.
Outward disciplines are those that influence your relationships with others. They are still individual activities, but they are not done in solitude and have an influence on your relationships with others. These disciplines certainly necessitate connection with others, but you can remain humble and discreet about it.
The habit of spending time alone with God is known as solitude. It is finding a spot where you can sit for a while, be alone with God, and intentionally avoid other people. When we do this, we can hear God’s voice more clearly, which is sometimes muffled out by the voices of everyone else in our life. By committing one-on-one time to God, we can grow in spiritual maturity. Your connection with God, like your relationship with your friends or significant other, deepens via one-on-one time.
Submission is the discipline of “allowing others to have the final word.” It is acknowledging that others have authority, ideas, and aspirations. Yours is not the only one that is important. It acknowledges that we live in a community. We rely on people God has put in our life, and by exercising submission, we allow them to have the last say. This promotes spiritual development by placing others ahead of oneself.
The final of the outer disciplines is service. It is the act of doing something for someone else without expecting praise or acknowledgment. This promotes spiritual development by allowing us to humble ourselves in the same manner that Jesus humbled himself. We serve others to serve God.
Finally, corporate disciplines are those that we engage in alongside another person. We must be careful not to exaggerate ourselves for the sake of the group and keep our hearts focused on the reason we engage in spiritual disciplines: to get closer to God.
Confession is a difficult spiritual practice, yet it is necessary and scriptural. It is the process of admitting one’s misdeeds to another. It enables us to confront our sin and deal with it rather than burying it or refusing to accept our difficulty. He is true and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness if we confess them.
Worship is most likely one of the most popular spiritual disciplines. It is frequently expressed via song, but it is not the only means to worship. Worship is ultimately the process of honoring God for who he is and what he is doing. And we know he deserves it. Worship assists us in growing spiritually by realigning our perspective with God’s. Worship is one of the finest things you can do for yourself when you are dealing with anything because it redirects your attention away from your problem and toward God.
Guidance is a spiritual practice that is not commonly known by this term but is crucial to our spiritual development. It is the pursuit of God’s will for our life, as well as the determination to do what he says. The guidance assists us in growing spiritually by challenging us to renounce our wishes and choose God’s while walking in obedience.
The Ending Note
By engaging in different types of spiritual disciplines, we bring our minds, temperaments, and bodies before God to receive the gift of his change. We learn to appropriate the power of kingdom living in this way.
The ultimate life game is to design a one-of-a-kind, spiritually disciplined strategy and existence in which you connect with God and discuss what you and He are doing in the world. The commitment to examine, evaluate, and adapt. In the most crucial disciplines of solitude, quiet, study, and worship services as the cornerstone of that life.