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Christian Union: The Magazine
June 15, 2016
remembering-spiritual-discipline-cu-todayThe spiritual disciplines allow us to become like Christ by teaching us to live in the same manner as He did. In an interview with Christianity Today, authors Philip Nation and David Mathis, discuss the spiritual disciplines and how we can implement them into our daily lives.

Nation explains how he views the spiritual disciplines in his life and in his work:

My take on the spiritual disciplines is that they must revolve around the one central discipline of love. With our love for God as the pivot point for all we do, it helps to decrease the lure of legalism being employed as a way to please God. Instead, we learn more about God through practicing the disciplines and express our love to Him as well.

In the end, I want people to see the practical nature of the disciplines. They give us tools to better understand the ways of God by engaging Him in the Bible. Alongside of more deeply knowing Christ, we can enjoy our relationship through the disciplines.

By practicing the disciplines, we are able to focus all of our love on God and thereby know him more fully. They are a “means of grace,” with God as our end. Mathis explains how the disciplines help make God the focus of our lives:

We were created to glorify God. And that happens supremely by our knowing him truly and enjoying him above all else. And for the Christian, Christ now has been made the focus. The simple and complex longings of the human soul correspond to the simplicities and complexities of who Jesus is, and what he has accomplished for us, as the God-man. The great end of our existence is knowing and enjoying Jesus—and I find it immensely helpful to keep drawing attention to the end goal of enjoying Jesus, especially in considering his appointed means of grace, and our practices to access those means, which I call “habits of grace.”

Nation explains how living the disciplines also brings the church together into a community:

Spiritual disciplines also expand our understanding of how we participate in the body of Christ. Throughout the Bible, we see God's people praying, ministering, worshiping, and even resting together. The New Testament is clear that the church grows and stays on mission together.

Living the spiritual disciplines involves time, attention, and effort, but it is a beautiful way to develop a more mature relationship with God.