Friday, April 6, 2012

Spiritual Practice

How we go about our spiritual practice is important. Our world teaches us to make things complicated, hard and something only an expert can fix. We try this with our spiritual life and think that the more complex it is the more we are advancing. Advancement, if there is such an idea has more to do with simply getting to know Christ more and allowing his divine life to move and shape us. This is what Paul means when he says we are to be lead by the Spirit. That is what we are longing for, an ever growing relationship with Christ where His Spirit is at work within and through us. As we grow we come to see more fully what is already here. We see more fully God’s grace, mercy and love. It is such a full reality and one that we are called to live more deeply in. Living more deeply in grace will transform our lives and we will find that we are more gracious and loving. We become like the One who loves us and that we love in return.
Spiritual practice becomes important because to develop any relationship takes time over time. If we want to get to know someone better we need to spend time with them, learn who they are and get to know how they will be with us in various parts of our lives. Christian spiritual practice is ordering our lives around getting to know Christ more fully. We must be intentional if this is to happen. This is the work that we do, growing in the ability to order our lives around knowing Christ and serving Him.  We must keep this simple. The key is not complexity but simplicity, vulnerability and availability. We make ourselves available to Christ through prayer, scripture study, worship and service to name a few. Less is more here. It would be better to do fewer practices with an open heart then to run through a complex maze of spiritual practices with little or no awareness. All that leads to is pride and an inflated ego. No, humility in prayer is much better.
It is helpful to ask questions about our own vulnerability and availability.
How honest with God am I?  Do I want to listen and be lead? Do I share fully what is within me in prayer? In terms of bible study do I approach the text with a sense of availability? Do I want God to meet me there, to perhaps change or shape my ideas? How are my resources and time available to God and my neighbor?
Let the answers to the questions begin to shape how you order your days and time.

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