How (and Why) Spiritual Disciplines Work

The kingdom life which Jesus offered is accessible to all, but it is not entered fully without a serious and active intention.   It takes the kind of intention that would lead one to sell all they own to buy a field with a pearl in it.  The disciplines are means by which an individual opens themselves to the transforming grace of God, and they cultivate holy habits of mind and body.[i] 

As disciplines, they are indirect means toward a goal that cannot be directly apprehended.  The goal is a whole self subject to God.  Spiritual disciplines are simply those “special activities through which we present our bodies as a living sacrifice”[ii] so that we can live in “more effective cooperation with Christ and his Kingdom.”[iii]

A life full of spiritual disciplines is not necessarily a spiritual life, since disciplines

A Conversation about Guidance: Hearing God

What do you think God wants me to do?

First of all, let me just commend you for asking that question.  It’s evidence that you want to do what God wants you to do. This is 90% of what it takes to hear God.

Well, I hope that’s actually true.

Do you believe that God knows what will lead you to the abundant life?  Because if that’s in limbo, then it’s really the very fabric of your relationship with God at issue.[i]  Questions about guidance only really make sense as a part of an interactive relationship with God in which you trust him.

Are you saying that God won’t tell me what he wants unless I get more serious about my spiritual life when I’m not at moments of decision?

No, not really.  I’m saying that you may not be able to tune in to what God might be saying about this particular decision