Ok... I know this is later than I wanted, sorry.
I wanted to think this whole thing more. The idea of how we as Christ followers become more like Jesus. Typically this is called some thing like discipleship, spiritual formation, mentoring, etc. There are tons of different ways to become more like Jesus. I have had to learn how to become a self feeder. I personally had to find ways to feed myself spiritually and not depend or rely on a Sunday school class, a small group, a cell group or some other group to provide for me pathways to spiritual growth. Now don't get me wrong, I love these things... but I personally love them more from the fellowship aspect than I do the spiritual formation aspect. I do like taking say a topic like the fruits of the spirit and discussing it in the group setting... but personally I have gotten more from my own personal quiet time from my own personal study of the scripture, from my own personal time of meditation on God's Word.
If you have not read Richard Foster's book... Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth then you need to. He takes the time and unpacks the whole idea of and why spiritual disciplines are so important to all of us. This book has quickly become for me a staple in my own personally relationship with Jesus Christ. As being in full time ministry, my schedule at times can become crazy, way too fast. This book, has helped to show me new and exciting ways to spiritually feed myself... especially during times when I need it the most.
I personally find the use of spiritual disciplines, much more effective in my personal discipleship/ spiritual formation than any other small group or Sunday school class. But here is the kicker that I struggle with and may be you do as well... it takes time! I am not talking about some 5 minute prayer time that we just unload all of our daily burdens on God. I am talking about taking some serious time and intentionally spending that time focusing on God. It is time, where focusing on prayer... silence, listening for that small, still voice from God... and scripture meditation.
This has been a key reason why, I have become what some would call a heretic. I have come to realize through these avenues... that Jesus was a heretic of his time. He was revolutionary. He was different than the rest of the world.
I would challenge all of us to spend more time with God during the first 30 days of the new year. I would challenge all of us to get out bed early or to take some thing out of our schedule [i.e. TV, video games or dare I say Internet!] and spend at least an hour with a combination of prayer, silence before God, reading & meditating on scripture. In my next blog post today, I am going to go through Galatians 5:16- 26 for an example of how to do this.