Spiritual Formation Part Three

So you found your way to part 3 – that’s good! I hope that means you’ve read part one and two. If not I want  to encourage you to  do that now.

As we continue our journey together we’ll explore various ways to grow spiritually through an intentional spiritual formation path.

Years ago I  had the opportunity to hike in the Smoky Mountains, specifically Mt. Laconte. I always chose the Rainbow Falls trail head as my starting point. In reality I could have chosen a multitude of  trails as they all went to the Lodge which as my chosen destination.  The same can be said with spiritual formation. There are many ways to grow spiritually and not all will resonate with you – at first. Some practices will be foreign to you, other will old friends while some will  be those that frustrated you so much in the  past that you’ve written  them off!

Let me insert a bias disclaimer in my writing and approach to spiritual formation… I believe there is  only one way to God the father and that is through his Son, Jesus the Christ. I believe in a triune God – God the  Father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit – three in one.  So to try to read anything else into this series would be in error. Nor do I subscribe to all of any author’s body of work or thoughts that I may quote. I see many authors thoughts and body of work like an old school album or CD. There are usually several excellent songs in between some that you just don’t care for. So as I encourage you to read with this in mind – agree or disagree. Try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

While there are many historical ways to spiritual formation, traditionally it has been approached through spiritual disciplines. That’s the approach I will take for the most part throughout this series.

Those disciplines vary  from person to person.

Henri Nouwen really parked on 5 -Reflection, Lectio Divina, Silence, Community, and Service.

Richard Foster has these:

The Inward Disciplines – Meditation, Prayer, Fasting and Study.

The Outward Disciplines – Simplicity, Solitude, Submission and Service.

The Corporate Disciplines – Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration.

Spiritual formation will become all about habits. It’s about becoming disciplined. As Nathan Foster says, “It’s hard to remember that seeing the results from our habits takes time. Lot’s of time. We don’t gain 50 pounds or learn to  smoke two packs a day overnight. Growing fruit takes time.”

In my next post we’ll explore the importance of the heart in spiritual formation and the importance of the “heart” in the bible. The heart was once viewed in a very different way than it’s viewed today. We’ll then explore the spiritual discipline of prayer and a method of prayer that  many have never heard of.

Until then, here is what you need to do. Try setting a time that you pray each day. You choose when that happens  but stick to that time. Pray about anything, just stick to that time. We’re on our way!

Until  next  time…

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