Spiritual Disciplines

October 25, 2008 at 9:47 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Theology | Leave a comment

Here is an entry from yesterday’s journal:  I just returned from a pastor’s luncheon where Donald Whitney, professor at Southern Seminary, spoke about the spiritual disciplines for pastors.  He used the life of Jonathan Edwards as an example of a life given to a passion for God through discipline.  He defined spiritual disciplines, listed seven biblical disciplines that Edwards exemplified and then gave these three conclusions:  1) Pursue a passion for God through the full range of spiritual disciplines.  Edwards exercised everything from Bible meditation to prayer to solitude and fasting to singing and journaling.  We too should exercise them all in our pursuit of God.  We must, however, remember that the disciplines are only roads to the destination.  The destination is God.  2) Pursue a passion for God regardless of intellect.  Edwards is one of the most brilliant men in American history, yet, even while living on the edge of the frontier, he never coasted on his mind; he always pursued more knowledge of and passion for God.  On the other side, the disciplines can be exercised by the simplest of people; they don’t depend on intelligence.  3) Pursue a passion for God equally with head and heart.  Devotion and theology; spirit and truth; life and doctrine; both needed.  The only New Testament passage that promises converts is in First Timothy where Paul tells his young study: “watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  Notice both life and doctrine are important.

It was a great luncheon, a great talk, and a huge reminder that I’ve gotten lazy over the years in many of my own spiritual disciplines.  God, help me use my time to develop a passion for you.  Amen.

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