A partial list of spiritual practices:
Prayer, Time with Scripture, Silence & Solitude,
Knowing the Lord’s Presence
When it comes to the spiritual practices, they aren’t the place to begin. We are to begin with God as David does in Psalm 63:1. He says, “God-you are my God”. David is declaring that he belongs to God. It’s a possessive statement that could seem as though God belongs to David but what David is actually saying is that God alone is his God, that nothing takes the place of God in David’s life and nothing else deserves the love David has for God.
It’s after this declaration that David shares the status of his life and his soul: parched and longing for God (v. 1b). We can only know these truths about ourselves when we have identified God as the one true God because our identity and very life-being flows out of this identification with Him. Thus David puts himself in a place to know God’s presence and to see His power and glory (v 2.), which then leads David to worship (v. 3-4) and even entrusting himself in the shadow of His wings (v. 7). No wonder then, that David said his soul was satisfied as with rich food (v. 5a). The practices/disciplines in and of themselves don’t satisfy our souls. They aid us in our pursuit of God and in Him we find our satisfaction. These disciplines help to peel back the layers of bitterness, frustration, busyness, and even grief, to know what’s happening within us and to seek the source of life, love and healing: The Father who gave His Only One to bring us back home.
So, no, don’t start with the disciplines. For if we begin and end there, we only will become self-religious and rule-bound, like the ones that Jesus had the most conflict with: the Pharisees. Rather, let’s begin with the Alpha and Omega. He’s a great place to begin because He’ll see us through to the end. The practices simply help us seek His Face and hear His Voice along the way.
There’s still much journey left for us with Jesus, so let’s keep our souls clinging to Him because He promises to hold on to us (v. 8).
See ya this weekend for our International Conference!