I think its important for us to remember that worship is not all about music. Now don’t get me wrong, I always find that corporate worship on a Sunday helps me to feel spirit-full and close to God but it cannot and should not stop there.
If I am going to live a spirit filled life I am going to have to have other ways to worship God so that he is part of my everyday and not just someone I visit on a Sunday. If you are anything like me a lot of things compete for your attention, but you yearn for a deeper relationship with God. The choices we make in our lives often make us too busy to invest in that relationship but we still find ourselves wondering why we feel empty and spiritually dry.
So with this in mind I have been doing a bit of a spiritual MOT on myself and looking for ways of being spiritually healthy. Spiritual health is to be fully alive and vibrant in Christ. There really is only one answer to how you make a change in your life and that is discipline.
“You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.” – 1 Timothy 4:6-10 MSG
There is no secret recipe for spiritual practices but here are some ways to worship him that I, and many generations of Christians before me, have tried. They are in no particular order and I am sure there are some things missing but its a good start!
Prayer in silence
Just spend some time with God without words. Just sit at his feet and be. If you get distracted focus back on him. It gets easier with practice! Silence is free but its not always easy to come by however, I always find it rewarding.
Being an active member of a church community is a great way to see how God is working in the world. It is also a place where you will see the needs of the community and a place where you can be released to serve God and his church.
Private and corporate praise
Praise the Lord with all your heart in your home, and when you are in the pew on a Sunday morning, sing with all the confidence and joy you would when no one is watching.
I find that listening to God and paying attention to the things that he is doing in my life always reminds me how active in my life he is. Writing these things down has always felt helpful for me; it’s also great to look back at the great things he as done on the days when you feel further away from him.
Bible reading and study
Picking up a Bible and spending time meditating on God’s word not only helps us to learn more about him but also enables us to switch our focus away from our own problems and helps us to see how what he has written can guide our lives.
One of the things that doesn’t seem to make sense to the world is that when we submit to God we find out more about ourselves and become free! Put your faith in him and follow him where and whenever he calls. When you step into his presence you will find the strength to step out in faith when he asks you to.
Fasting is a great act of discipline and I often do this when I am making a big decision. It doesn’t just have to be food – it could be TV or a whole range of things. Fasting is a great way to practice self-discipline and can also free up more time which you can invest in your relationship with God.
Serving others & Hospitality
Love God and love your neighbour, reorientate your focus from your own needs and onto the love of God and the need of your neighbour. Following Jesus’ example of loving our neighbour increases our awareness of God’s grace.
Worship can and should be part of our everyday and doesn’t mean we have to be great at singing. Spending time with monastic communities has helped me see that routine and discipline often go hand in hand. How can you make small changes to your day to help yourself become more spiritually healthy? Pray about it then put it into Action!
Thank you for reading and sharing my blog!