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The Spiritual Disciplines Practical Tools for Personal Transformation Source: Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes.

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Presentation on theme: "The Spiritual Disciplines Practical Tools for Personal Transformation Source: Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Spiritual Disciplines Practical Tools for Personal Transformation Source: Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, Harper and Row, 1988

3 What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  “Going to heaven when we die?”  “Your sins are forgiven?”  “Once you’re in, you can never get kicked out?”

4 No !  “Life in the kingdom of heaven is available now (and forever) through trust in Jesus Christ.” Trust = Following

5 The Thesis  True transformation is possible in our lives  We can experience an “eternal (kind of) life” while living here on earth  “ If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if, by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13

6 How?

7 What did Jesus do?  He arranged his life around certain activities and practices  Such as …? (list)

8 What did these activities bring?  1. Detachment.  These activities kept him separated from the grip of agendas people would superimpose on him.

9 What did these activities do?  2. Engagement.  They enabled him to commune with God and the agenda of the Kingdom.

10 The Spiritual Disciplines  Rearranging my life around the activities around which Jesus lived his gives me the opportunity to experience true transformation  Disciplines of Abstinence enable detachment from the world’s entanglements on us  Disciplines of Engagement enable us to connect with the Kingdom realm

11 Disciplines of Abstinence  Solitude  Silence  Fasting  Frugality  Sacrifice  Chastity  Secrecy  To refrain voluntarily and temporarily from normal human needs so as to disentangle ourselves from their claims on us.

12 Solitude  To refrain for our normal need for conversation and human interaction so as to make room for relationship with God  Foundational to practice of all spiritual disciplines  Goal: to do nothing

13 Silence  To refrain from our normal need for conversation  Getting away from most non-human noise  Frees us from the constant attempt to manipulate our world through our words

14 Fasting  To do without food (in some way) in order to feast on God  Occasional and routine  Historically and biblically demonstrates to God and ourselves how intent we are about something

15 Frugality and Sacrifice  To do with less of or none of what we normally want or need  Frees us from bondage to pleasure, luxury, and appearances

16 Chastity  To refrain from human union in order to experience heightened intimacy with God  Within marriage, partners need times when they are valued for non-sexual reasons  Outside of marriage, to demonstrate that our primary union is with God

17 Secrecy  To refrain from letting our good deeds be known to others  Disentangles us from the needs for getting credit and recognition  Matthew 6 –prayer, alms, fasting

18 Disciplines of Engagement  Study  Worship  Celebration  Fellowship  Service  Prayer  Confession  Submission  The practices which enable our now- disentangled souls to participate in the life and activities of the Kingdom of heaven.

19 Study  Submission of your mind to the truth and being of God The Word, history, people, ideas, etc.  Done via absorption and memorization

20 Worship and Celebration  We ascribe “worth” to God as the standard by which all is measured Remembering and recognizing  Worship: what God has done for us  Celebration: what God has done for me

21 Fellowship  Connecting with God by imitating the Trinitarian community  Finding our complements in the gifts found in the body of Christ

22 Service  Laying down the burden of preserving ourselves  Not putting yourself down but pulling another up  A means of exaltation through humility Philippians 2

23 Prayer  Focused moments in our ongoing conversation with God  Acknowledging God’s presence to me and being present to God  Speaking must be accompanied by listening Solitude, silence, etc. heighten

24 Confession and Submission  Making ourselves accountable for growth via the faith community  Considering others as better than ourselves Log and speck, blind spot  Bearing one another’s burdens Galatians 6:2

25 Dangers of the Disciplines  Pride! –Can be works- righteous  Can cause us to neglect appropriate responsibilities and disdain normal needs

26 But …  Faith is “bodily”  Grace is opposed to works, not effort  We can cooperate (or not) with God Power steering Rocket leaving pad

27 Elijah Disciplines Solitude and Silence Brief, playful experiments

28 A Starting Place  One discipline of abstinence with which I could experiment:  Aspiring to one discipline of engagement:  What might these look like one afternoon? –How can we help each other practice these in our household?

29 Starting Points ….  Solitude  Silence  Fasting  Frugality  Sacrifice  Chastity  Secrecy  Study  Worship  Celebration  Fellowship  Service  Prayer  Confession  Submission

30 The Spiritual Disciplines Practical Tools for Personal Transformation Dr. John P. Chandler The Ray and Ann Spence Network for Congregational Leadership Copy Right John P. Chandler, 2003


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