Discipleship and Disciplines

“The word discipleship and discipline are the same word…

Once you have made the choice to say Yes, I want to follow Jesus the question is What disciplines will help me remain faithful to that choice?

If we want to be disciples of Jesus, we have to live a disciplined life…

In the spiritual life the word discipline means the effort to create some space in which God can act. Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up.  Discipline means that somewhere you are not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied…

Discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on.”

~ Henri Nouwen in Leadership Journal, Spring 1995.

I would add that the spiritual disciplines (for example, various forms of prayer; Bible reading, Bible study, or Bible memorization and meditation; solitude and silence; fasting; etc.) are meant to create space specifically for the purpose of encountering the life transforming glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as He is offered to us in the Gospel (2 Corinthians 3:18–4: 6).  Being transformed from one degree of glory to the next is not something that we can do, but it is something we can make room in our lives for God the Father to do through God the Son by the God the Spirit. And when we make room for such encounters with God’s glory we can expect that He may just do something we “hadn’t planned or counted on.”

Which spiritual disciplines are effective for making room for the Spirit in your life?

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