What are Spiritual Disciplines and Why do I need them?

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Here we stand at the beginning of a new year. Many of us are examining our lives to see where we need improvement. I felt God calling me this year to find the old paths and draw up closer to Him. The next thing He said was, “Go back to the spiritual disciplines and see where you have fallen back.

Spiritual Disciplines, ick!

Years ago, I read on a book required in my college philosophy class, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. In my shallow Christianity, I thought the guy was off of his rocker. I didn’t see the need for the things written in this book.

Today, looking back, I wish I had taken it more seriously. Maybe I would have put my feet on solid ground much earlier in my life. About ten years ago, I decided to present the disciplines to my women’s group at church. This time I used Barbara Hughes’ Disciplines of a Godly Woman because I had a true desire to be known as a godly woman. Whether or not the women grasped the importance of the disciplines, I’m not certain; but it was certainly a big growth year for myself.

Spiritual Disciplines, Yes!

Would you come along with me on this journey? I plan revisiting both of the books mentioned above and another devotional type book, Disciplines of the Inner Life by Bob Benson. I’ll write at the first of each month and have guest writers share their thoughts as well. Sign up for the newsletter to receive the monthly calendar with a verse for each day that I will share about on Instagram.

What are Spiritual Disciplines?

Richard Foster says, “The Spiritual Disciplines are God’s means of grace by which we are enabled to bring our little, individualized power pack we call a human body and place it before God as a “living sacrifice”, as the wise apostle Paul put it. (Romans 12:1)

Celebration of Discipline, special anniversary Edition

It’s about a relationship with God. Because He loves us, we desire to draw close to Him and live according to His plan. The disciplines are the tools we use to draw near to Him. The lack of spiritual disciplines leaves us weak and with very little growth to our souls. As parents, wouldn’t we be sad if our child never learned to walk or speak in complete sentences? Yes, we would. And God wants us to have spiritual growth just the same.

We cannot be truly transformed into His image without the spiritual disciplines. Timothy 4:7-8 tells us to “train ourselves to be godly”. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to run the race to win by removing the things that hinder us. These things take discipline.

We cannot be truly transformed into His image without the Spiritual Disciplines. #ancientpath #spiritualdisciplines Click To Tweet

Let’s start exercising those muscles!

I know I could use a little exercise in the disciplines. It’s always easier to do this with a friend. So join me as we look at the spiritual disciplines and find out where we need improvement.

Closing Prayer from John Wesley

O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for Thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I more love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all the chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.

John Wesley, Garden of Prayer

Mandy Farmer





10 thoughts on “What are Spiritual Disciplines and Why do I need them?

  1. Karen Del Tatto says:

    My husband taught a Sunday School on Spiritual Disciplines using Don Whitney’s book.

    Spiritual Disciplines certainly enhance our walk with the Lord and bring with them many blessings.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. BettieG says:

    Dear Mandy,
    Several years ago we also did a study of the Spiritual Disciplines, and it was truly so enlightening. I was hesitant at first, but I found such beauty in submitting my heart to the Lord in some of those old pathways that I had never looked at before. One that especially touched me was the “Praying the Hours” throughout each day. I look forward to this series!

  3. Patsy Burnette says:

    What a great post, Mandy! Discipline is so important, even as adults. We think of it as being important when we rear our children, and needful in their lives. But it’s just as needful for us as adults!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      Oh yes, If we aren’t staying close to God during those child-rearing years, where will our children end up. They will have no example to follow. When my son was small, I found it vitally important for my own sanity! ha! Now I just desire to get closer and closer to God. It’s the only thing that matters to me.

  4. Lisa notes says:

    I first read Richard Foster’s book in my late 20’s. By then I was ready for his message of discipline. 🙂 It was a game-changer for me. Looking forward to your series!

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