Friday, April 9, 2010

Get off the Bottle - Spiritual Disciplines

A busy day, with much to say but a late night and early morning tomorrow - so I am posting an old devo I wrote years ago and revisited today. Tomorrow I will share some of today's sweet happenings.

I've found that when it comes to my spiritual walk, I keep on keeping on. I pray, do my devos, worship, go to church on Sunday's, sometimes during the week and prepare sermons, and yet at times I can still experience a staleness.  I am guessing I am not the only one who has had this feeling. Have you ever felt stagnant in your walk, like you really aren't moving ahead, drawing closer?

I propose that we get this feeling because we settle, we get to a place where we are doing what we are "supposed" to do, but rarely push past this point - and thus we hit a spiritual wall.

So my question to you is, in Reflection of the "good fruit-bad fruit" references in the bible:

What dead branches are still left in your life, that you need to allow God to prune, so that fresh vibrant ones can grow, so that you can push past the wall of stagnancy? "Search my heart Oh God and reveal any unclean way in me"

Sure in the embryonic stages of our Christian life we lose many of the outward dead branches that were suffocating the breath of Christ in our Life. However as we grow in our relationship with Christ it is the less obvious branches that we find harder to deal with, so we ignore them, thinking they really will not affect our relationship. FEELING STALE? STAGNANT? Get rid of the dead weight.

Secondly, what are you doing to fertilize your soul so that it produces good fruit. The same old same old does not suffice. We need to be continually Pressing into God, giving Him more of ourselves. We need to nourish ourselves with more than bottle milk, we are no longer babies, we need meat.

What I have learned is that if we want to experience that newness and freshness, a perpetual closeness with God, then we need to be continually pressing in. A fire needs to be fanned."I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."~John 15:5

I would suggest the best way to fan the fire, is to be continually growing in the spiritual disciplines through this your soul will be fertilized, dead branches will fall away and good fruit will be produced.

If you are wondering what some of the spiritual disciplines are I have provided a list. Perhaps you exercise some but need to add more weight, in order to increase your muscle in that areas and subsequently good fruit. There may be new ones you do not practice that would work a whole new set of muscles - helping to produce even more good fruit.

Study & Prayer, Fasting & Frugality, Service & Submission, Solitude & Silence, Worship & Celebration, Fellowship, Sacrifice, Confession & Accountability ( I took liberty of adding this one)

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