Its better to eat your dessert after dinner

4 09 2010

The purpose of spiritual disciplines is not so that you may say, “God look how much I love you,” but rather to plead “God, how much do you love me?”  Though the Father has already answered this burdening question with Christ’s marvelous death on the cross.  What’s more, knowing that there is no greater gift, we still seek God fervently, passionately, aimlessly.  Asking him to intercede in our jobs, change the heart of our spouse, or not to rightfully take what is His and to spare grandma from eternal glory; all so we can preserve our momentum.

There is nothing we can do to impress God.  Our best is nothing better than menstrual rags to Him.  So why then would we be called to practice extreme disciplines in order to impress an all-knowing and unsurprised God?  It is this questioning that leads us to the belief that spiritual disciplines are not for God to hear from us, but rather for us to hear from God.  I will not go as far to claim that God does not desire to hear from us, this is contrary to scripture.  However, more than hearing from us, He desires that we hear from Him.  And if that be the case we must read, listen, and absorb what has been His consistent message; His repetitive themes of love, desire, reconciliation, and the consequences of its fruit or the lack there of.

 How often do we miss these inaudible directions of Heaven because we have drowned out the deafening presence of God with our own insatiable desires?  I liken this to modern-day skills held against past disciplines, for example: we have students who can type a hundred words per minute but they can’t write legibly for longer than five.  We are a society that no longer crawls or walks, but rather sprints from one thing to the next.  Even more detrimental is the Christian who is in a constant sprint for God, forgetting the habits and purpose of the walking with God.  We have set an unsustainable pace at the assumption that God will continue to direct us through some cosmic force regardless of our deafened ears towards Him.    

The practice of spiritual disciplines is the act of the Christian slowing their quickened pace of life and lingering in the presence of God; where the only required speech of the loitering servant is “what would you have me hear O God?”

When was the last time you practiced:
Meditation
Prayer & Listening
Solitude & Silence
Simplicity
Fasting
Study
Service
Sacrifice
Humility

When was the last time you purposefully practiced all of them?

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