In the spiritual life it is actually true that “where there is a will there is a way.” This is true because God is involved and makes his help available to those who seek it. On the other hand, where there is no will (firm intentions based on clear vision) there is no way. People who do not intend to be inwardly transformed, so that obedience to Christ “comes naturally,” will not be transformed. God will not pick us up and throw us into transformed kingdom living, into “holiness,” against our will.
Experimental [practical], prayerful implementation of solitude, silence, fasting—and other appropriate practices, such as service, fellowship, worship, and study (there is no such thing as a complete list of spiritual disciplines)—will certainly liberate us into the riches of Kingdom living. They are the key to the keys. We do not have to live under the thumb of our circumstances. For most, it is a considerable test of faith to take control of how they spend their time. But that is up to us. And putting time-tested, biblical disciplines for the spiritual life into sensible practice will soon lead us into an abundance of the life that is eternal in quality and power.
Here is a takeaway for me from this article: “Our identity in Christ is one of those critical truths that, if grasped early in our Christian life, will avert all kinds of problems and issues later on. In Christ, we get to know the God of the gospel, Father, Son, and Spirit.” From Desiring God…………….
It is so important to not only read our Bibles, but to also meditate on the Word. Here are some tips on some creative ways to make that practice more interesting and meningful. From Two Journeys……………………….
Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation, and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on your shoulders after all. You will find yourself, and God will find you in new ways. Joy and peace will begin to bubble up within you and arrive from things and events around you. Praise and prayer will come to you and from within you. With practice, the “soul anchor” established in solitude will remain solid when you return to your ordinary life with others.
Here is a nice little article from The Navigators on how God can be trusted because He understands our struggles in life. Here is a takeaway for me: “God has entered the trenches. He has eaten the same food and been struck by the same bullets.“
From the viewpoint of the natural world, God is not very obvious to those who do not wish to see Him. I suppose He could write in the sky every morning what He wanted us to know for the day. That would be impressive, wouldn’t it? He could have wired our minds so that He could directly communicate in an undeniable way with us every minute of the day. But none of this would be consistent with His project for humanity.
When God created human beings and gave them a job, which He did right off, He left some distance between them and Himself. And He came to visit with them. From the very beginning God intended that we should have fellowship with Him, but also that there should be some distance, so that we might be free and capable of choosing and deciding what we would be.
This is a really great reminder that, though God is a good Father and wants us to enjoy our life now, our life here is only a hint of what is to come. As C.S. Lewis said, “‘The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world:…Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.’” From Feeding on Christ………………
The presence of the Holy Spirit can always be recognized by the way He moves us toward what Jesus would be and do (John 16:7–15). When we inwardly experience the heavenly sweetness and power of life—the love, joy, and peace—that Jesus knew, that is the work of the Spirit in us.
One of the ironies of spiritual formation is that every “spiritual” discipline requires or involves bodily behavior. We have to involve the body in spiritual formation because that is where we live and what we live from. Spiritual formation is formation of the “inner” dimensions of the human being, resulting in transformation of the whole person, including the body in its social context. Spiritual formation is never merely inward but is always manifested explosively outward.