Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Spiritual disciplines are like fuel for the journey. Unlike the fuel which propels our machines, this spiritual fuel is not something which can be stored. As we remember the gospels, we remember those images of Jesus constantly drawing aside, separating Himself from people and the ministry that was His, to spent time alone with the Father in heaven. It was not something done once, but many times. And, as One who sought the best for those who followed Him, He gave instructions about giving, fasting, praying, and worshipping. What He knew as necessary for His own life, He knew would be necessary for those who were His disciples.
Those who figure they can get started on this journey of faith and then coast to the finish are in for a surprise. Actually, they are in for a faith that is dry and arid and dusty and useless. We cannot walk the way Jesus walked alone. We need His presence and the spiritual power He gives in order to make it. The way provided for us to receive what is necessary to fuel the spiritual journey is through the practice of spiritual disciplines. We are not called to be experts, just those who practice.
It is not our lack of knowledge that hinders us in the practice of spiritual disciplines, but our heart. There is plenty of information for us to read and digest. What hinders us is that we always are tempted to think there is a better way. We can live without taking the time to be with our heavenly Father. Those things we allow to consume our time we justify as necessary to provide for our families, or to keep our sanity, but their place in our lives also speak volumes about where we place our ultimate trust. Spiritual disciplines help us to focus on trusting God. Carelessness in this important dimension of our spiritual life may seem like a good choice for a time, but it will finally take us to disaster because it takes us away from the God who can enable and equip us for living our life.