Encounter – Bromley 21 April 2007 the balancing act work.relationships.leisure.faith.life.
“ The man we went on holiday with is downstairs…..!”
the balancing act work.relationships.leisure.faith.life. Quick Tips or something deeper….?
Two Questions…. <ul><li>How am I and all humanity implicated in a disorder larger than ourselves? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I consciously or unconsciously participate and contribute to that disorder? </li></ul>
Crazy Life… Life Disintegrating… Life out of Balance… Life in Turmoil… A State of Life that calls for another way of living… Koyaanisqatsi
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you--your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. So, friends, confirm God's invitation to you, his choice of you. Don't put it off; do it now. Do this, and you'll have your life on a firm footing , the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1-11 (The Message)
“ superficiality is the curse of our age… the desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people but for deep people” Foster, R (1978) Cost of Discipleship
“ The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived” Merton, T (1958) Thoughts in Solitude
Does this ‘life’ bring balance…? Is understanding this life and trying to live it a starting point …? Spiritual Disciplines…?
“ Grace is not opposed to effort but to earning…”
What Spiritual Discipline’s comprise The value of Spiritual Discipline’s The dangers associated with Spiritual Discipline’s Application to balance in life?
“ mistake to think that every follower of Christ should practice all these spiritual disciplines in a consistent or a rigorous way” Boa, K (2001)
Overview of Spiritual Disciplines “ A discipline of the Spiritual Life is nothing but an activity undertaken to bring us into effective co-operation with Christ and His kingdom ” (Dallas Willard).
Spiritual Disciplines are “simply a matter of following Jesus Christ into his own practices, appropriately modified to suit our own condition” (1988) Willard
Two helpful metaphors (Foster) “ If ‘life-as-usual’ has not been fertile ground in which God can bring change, the ‘life-as-usual’ must go” (Willard) “ What do we do to cultivate our spiritual life so that Growth can take place?” 1) Farmer and his/her Field
2) Narrow Ridge Abyss of Trust in Works Abyss of Faith without Deeds Path doesn’t produce change, it only places us where change can occur.
Richard Foster – Inward - Meditation; Prayer; Fasting and Study Outward – Simplicity, Solitude, Submission and Service Corporate – Confession, Worship, Guidance and Celebration
Solitude and Silence – filling the infinite void with the infinite fullness of God Fasting – finding food that is outside this world . Frugality – appropriate smallness in a bigger better world. Secrecy – finding security in God and freedom from the approval game www.watersedge.tv
Prayer - practice of the presence of God Study - perfecting the brains that God gave us Service – downward mobility in an upwardly mobile world. Submission – freedom from the need to “have it your way” Sacrifice – finding security in God and freedom from material in security.
Fellowship – synergy in communication Confession – freedom in transparency. www.watersedge.tv Celebration - experiencing the Goodness of God Worship – experiencing the greatness of God
Overview of the value of Spiritual Disciplines “ we place our minds, our temperaments, and bodies before God and seek the grace of his transformation. In this way, we learn to appropriate the power of kingdom living.” (Boa 2001:79)
They encourage imitation of Christ and allow us to act in ways that are centred in God's will. They connect us with an ongoing tradition of time-tested ways of incarnating the spiritual life. They give us a rule of conduct that directs us in living before God. They equip us with resources on the three warfare fronts of the world, the flesh, and the demonic. They encourage us to embrace God's purpose for our lives
They they allow our lives to be dominated more by the things above than the things below. They remind us daily that the spiritual life is a balance between radical dependence and responsible action; both grace and self-discipline are required for spiritual maturity They are vehicles for internal transformation. Given enough time, an average person who consistently practices spiritual disciplines will achieve spiritual productivity and proficiency.
They replace habits of sin by cultivating habits that lead to character (e.g., integrity, faithfulness, and compassion). They increase our willingness to acknowledge the daily cost of discipleship and remind us that whatever comes quickly and cheaply is superficial, while the insights that we learn from pain will endure. Boa, K. (2001) Conformed to His Image
Place of Self Awareness….? Place of discomfort with a chaos within that impacts life Place of discomfort with imbalance…? Place of action…?
Overview of the Dangers of Spiritual Disciplines “ Disciplines of the faith are never ends in themselves but means to the end of knowing, loving and trusting God. As we implement them in a consistent way, we cultivate holy habits. As these habits grow, they guide our behaviour and character in such a way that it becomes more natural for us to live our new identities” (Boa 2001)
“ Spiritual Disciplines are good servants but poor masters” (Boa 2001:80) Balance between dependence and discipline
two extremes:- An over emphasis on our role that minimises God’s role An over emphasis on God’s role that minimises our role
<ul><li>The purpose of Spiritual Disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>To listen to Jesus – ask God to point out where you have begun to pursue discipline rather than Him. </li></ul><ul><li>Means of receiving grace – allowing us to place ourselves before God so he can transform us. </li></ul>
“ Grace is not opposed to effort but to earning…”