How to develop spiritual discipline
Listed below are practical ways to help one become more spiritually disciplined. Before we continue answer this one question with a yes or no answer.
If you had children (or already have them) would you let them run around your house doing whatever they wanted for a 24-hour period?
If you are like most people, then I have one word to say to you. Congratulations! You successfully understand what discipline is! So although you may feel you don’t have discipline, that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to apply it. It’s just that you need to look at your spiritual life and see where you are allowing yourself to be a wild kid doing whatever you want spiritually in a 24-hour period. I’m going to discuss a few practical ways below to become more disciplined spiritually.
Disclaimer: We must warn you that results will vary depending on your level of commitment. Either you are serious about developing a more intimate relationship with the bridegroom or you aren’t. Some things in life require you to have an interest (hunger), this is one of them.
Meditating on Scripture:
“My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.”
Psalms 119:148 NKJV
When we choose to meditate (think) on scripture, we begin to take the time to fully dissect and understand the word of God. We realize that we can’t simply speed through an entire book in one week. Before reading, we pray for revelation and allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to interpretations of the scriptures we have never before considered. For example take the book of Proverbs. There are so many rich scriptures to meditate on in every single chapter. Instead of making it a goal to read a chapter a day, try a verse a day! Choose to spend time in silence just meditating on what that piece of wisdom means and how the Holy Spirit wishes for you to apply it.
Diligent & Persistent Prayer:
“pray without ceasing,”
I Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV
This one is one of the hardest for people to do. Not because prayer is hard, but it requires one to truly sit down and shut out the noise. Another reason this is hard is because many of you may feel that your prayers aren’t being heard or answered. You first want to accept the spirit of adoption and understand that your Father will hear you. Then you want to develop this relationship of prayer, by creating the habit of going to God in prayer before you seek out another source. As you strengthen this habit, it will become easier to pray. You will then transition towards seeking God’s Word and praying it over your life and those of others. And then even a step further by praying what and when the Holy Spirit directs you.
“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Matthew 6:17-18 NKJV
Just as with prayer, you can begin to fast persistently. Now I am a firm believer to always do as the Holy Spirit leads. So if you feel that your flesh is getting out of control, seek the Holy Spirit and your Bible for solutions to help you overcome it. Often times, fasting is a great way to make your flesh submit to the Spirit of God. Fasting should not be without prayer. Let me say this again, fasting and prayer go hand in hand. You will notice such a shift and strength by persistently fasting, that it will become easier and easier to do more rigorous fasts. You also will break things in the Spirit and trust me, God showed me that demons even know this fact. Which is why they try to keep us from fasting! Also you can choose to live a fasted lifestyle, where you refrain from overeating.
There are many others ways to develop discipline, however I believe that these are the three that could be used in a practical way to get you started.