Purpose of Spiritual Disciplines
Sunday January 13th, 2019 - Pastor Daniel Griffiths
The purpose of spiritual disciplines is to refocus our attention on the Lord - to allow God to become bigger and greater than our daily circumstances and problems. They help us to see Him working in and around our life so our faith grows.
- Bible study and meditation Fellowship
- Daily prayer Doing good works
- Service (using our spiritual gifts) Witnessing
- Giving (developing a generous heart). Fasting
Purpose of Fasting and prayer:
It is an intense time of seeking to get alone with God, humbling our hearts before Him. It is submitting our physical wants to giving us the time to be with the Lord and to feed on God's word and spiritually see God working in ways we could not see in our regular daily routine. Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not." He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:17-29)
Failure of the Disciples:
Jesus was not upset with the crowd or the father of the child. He was upset with his disciples. By that time they should have learned from the Life of Jesus his absolute dependency on God for his life and ministry. They had not built this discipline in their own life.
"...Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. (John 5:19-29)
The failure of the disciples was their failure to get alone with God and develop their ability to see God at work in and around them. They failed to daily focus on God's presence and His working in and around them and His readiness to do amazing things through them.
Spiritual disciplines are meant to refocus us on the Lord and cause us to look for him and identify his amazing and powerful working in and around us everyday. As we see the Lord - we grow in how great and big God is. Our faith grows allowing us to believe God for his supernatural life to flow through us for his glory.
Seek to name God as we see him at work in our life:
- The God of the two pink slips
- The God who provides (Gen.22:14)
- The God who gives me peace (Rom.15:33)
- The God who sees me (Gen.16:13)
- The God who heals me (Ex 15:26)
- The God who is my banner (fights for me). (Ex 17:15)
- God wants to show you his works! (John 5:20)
- "Look to the LORD and his strength, seek his face always." (Ps 105:4)
The Key to our Transformation
"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away... And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. " (2 Cor 3:16,18)