How My View on Spiritual Disciplines Has Changed

At breakfast on Friday, Brian was asking me about my spiritual disciplines. My view has changed over the years.

I originally thought the purpose of the disciplines was to bring about spiritual conformity. In other words, we set up routines, the more rigid the better, and repeat them with great discipline – Bible reading, prayer, fasting, church attendance, and so on. That's probably what every young believer thinks when they hear the word "discipline."

But what I told my new friend Brian is that the purpose of spiritual disciplines is to deepen our relationship with Jesus so that he can continue to transform our lives. That's it.

Any repeated habit or practice that helps deepen our relationship with Him, that I call a spiritual discipline.

But it doesn't have to be at precisely 7:30 AM, six days a week. It might be once or twice a week, or whenever you go camping.

For example, I am writing this next to a campfire on Sunday morning. This is where I am worshipping this morning. The Sand Hill Cranes are my choir, the woods my cathedral, and the dancing flames are like a switch that turns on my spirit.

And in this retreat from civilization, this "discipline" of camping, I can sense a deeper connection in my relationship with Jesus.

I am moved. And isn't that what it's really all about?

Until we reach every man…

Pat