Spiritual Disciplines, Part 2: Healthy Habits for Life
Jan 1, 2021 · Courtney Jacob
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? The dawning of each new year always feels like a clean slate to me. In January we have an entire year ahead to make progress, write a new chapter, quit bad habits, and start cultivating good ones. A new year is full of hope and possibility.
If one of your goals is to grow deeper in your relationship with God or to grow in Christlikeness, I encourage you to join Groundwork as we examine Scripture in our series, “Spiritual Disciplines, Part 2: Healthy Habits for Life.” We’ll learn together about seven time-tested habits that will help us cultivate healthy rhythms in our spiritual life.
The Benefit of Spiritual Disciplines
The spiritual disciplines have been part of Christian practice for centuries. They are basic, regular habits any believer can practice at every stage of their spiritual journey. Even though they’re basic habits, they are not always easy habits for us to engage. These practices challenge our sinful nature and tendencies. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when we realize we’ve forgotten to pray or need reminders about the necessity of pausing our usual busyness to experience Sabbath rest.
Thankfully, spiritual disciplines are like riding a bike or playing a musical instrument: the more you actively engage in them, the easier it becomes to continue those disciplines in the rhythm of your daily life. So if you want to be more like Jesus, have a heart after God’s own heart, and be closer to God, commit to a particular discipline for a while and watch how the Holy Spirit works through your effort to develop your spiritual maturity and deepen your relationship with God.
Our Second Look at the Spiritual Disciplines
So what are spiritual disciplines? Different sources offer slightly different lists (I shared two possible lists from influential books here). At their core, spiritual disciplines are practices or habits that have stood the test of time and that we find modeled and taught by Jesus and the apostles in Scripture.
We first studied the spiritual disciplines and their role in our spiritual growth in our Groundwork series, “Spiritual Disciplines.” In that series, we focused on the commonly identified disciplines we tend to practice individually like prayer, fasting, simplicity, submission, silence, solitude, service, giving, scripture memorization, contemplation, and meditation.
In our second series, we decided to expand our study in a couple of ways. Some of the spiritual disciplines we’ll study are less commonly identified disciplines, while others are more communal and influence our attitude and life in God’s kingdom. All of the spiritual disciplines are formative, healthy habits that will tune our hearts and minds to God.
I invite you to intentionally nurture your faith journey through our Groundwork series “Spiritual Disciplines, Part 2: Healthy Habits for Life,” including the following episodes:
- Commitment and Discipleship - Matthew 13:3-23, Luke 14:25-33, and Hebrews 12:1-3
- Sabbath Rest - Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, and Hebrews 4:6-11
- Worship - 1 Chronicles 15:16-22, Hebrews 10:19-25, Ephesians 5:15-20, and Isaiah 6:1-7
- Confession - Psalm 32, 1 John 1:5-2:2, and Psalm 51
- Prayer - Jeremiah 9:12-13, Philippians 4:4-7, Psalm 66, and Matthew 6:9-13
- Reconciliation - 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Matthew 5:9, 23-27, and Matthew 18:15-20
- Fellowship - Leviticus 7:12-15, Acts 2:40-47, and 2 Corinthians 13:14
Together we’ll strengthen our spiritual muscles and grow deeper in relationship with our God.