Teachings / Sermons
Part 1: 'Marching on an empty Stomach' - The importance of Spiritual Disciplines
‘An army marches on its stomach.’ - The proverb has been attributed to both Napoleon and Frederick the Great
Providing or withholding food during times of conflict can be just as potent a weapon as the guns, bombs, and explosives of opposing armies.
Many a war was lost due to the supply chain being cut off and many a soldier found himself marching on an empty stomach… it robbed them of strength and energy and made them less than alert.
Medical doctors say you can survive 4-6 weeks without food.
John 4:32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
Joh 4:33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
Joh 4:34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Jesus Prayed, spent time in solitude with his Father… He had a purpose and a goal, sustained him in a way disciples knew nothing about yet.
TRAIN YOURSELF TO BE GODLY
2 Tim 4:7-16
The spiritual disciplines are, "a means of receiving God's grace. …[They] allow us to place ourselves before God so he can transform us."- Foster
Dallas Willard defines a discipline as, "any activity within our power that we engage in to enable us to do what we cannot do by direct effort."
Many differing opinions as to what a complete list of the spiritual disciplines would look like but in order to keep it simple concentrate, on most common ones
Internal Personal Disciplines
Prayer A – Adoration C – Confession T – Thanksgiving S - Supplication
External Personal Disciplines
"God made man simple; man's complex problems are of his own devising" (Ecc 7:29, JB) (Matt 6:25-34). He calls us to lead peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Tim 2:2),
Stewardship / Solitude / Submission / Service / Evangelism
Disciplines of Abstinence: Solitude / Silence / Fasting
Disciplines of Engagement: Study / Prayer / Worship
Celebration (corporate discipline)
1Co 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (25) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (26) Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. (27) No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
These disciplines are only here to enhance your spiritual lives. They have no power in themselves. The goal is not in these practices..."The goal is the effective and full enjoyment of the active love of God." (foster) These disciplines should only help see God clearer. Don’t go into legalism / works
FOCUS ON SOME
Enemies of Spiritual Disciplines”
Richard Foster said, "Superficiality is the curse of our age."
John Ortberg said that our greatest enemy in the spiritual life is Hurry.
C.S. Lewis described the attitude of many Christians who see disciplined obedience as akin to paying taxes. In this model, God is like the government which requires a certain level of taxation for the smooth operation of the kingdom. Having paid their spiritual taxes, these believers feel themselves free to pursue their own self interests. The inadequacy of this perspective ought to be evident to those who belong to Christ. Discipline is not drudgery for such a disciple. No one finds pleasure in paying taxes. Discipline, on the other hand, can be a joy.
Date Added: 2010-07-20
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