Each January, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions for things that we want to do in the new year, or focus on aspects of ourselves that we want to change. Often times, these things include physical activities such as going to the gym or going on a diet. Other goals might include reading a book each month, getting control of your finances, or becoming more involved in your community. What we sometimes overlook, though, is adding spiritual goals to our list of things to do in the coming year.
In Christianity, these spiritual goals are often referred to as spiritual disciplines. Much like lifting weights helps us to grow and enhance our physical body, spiritual disciplines help us exercise our spiritual muscles – our heart and our soul. These disciplines include reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, reading daily devotionals, writing in a journal, attending church service, participating in a small group, or fasting.
As we proceed through this period of Spiritual Emphasis Week, now is an excellent time to start engaging in these spiritual disciplines. Although it’s not the beginning of the calendar year, the beginning of the academic year provides a natural time for us to start anew and begin exercising our spiritual muscles. As your family may be developing a schedule for managing the daily grind of school, work, sports, extracurricular activities, and spending time with family and friends, I encourage you to make the spiritual disciplines part of your routine. Jesus gives us an example of this in Mark 1:35 which says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” As you get started, remember that just as bodybuilders aren’t created overnight, becoming a prayer warrior won’t happen immediately either. However, we can take joy in the journey.
by Paul McCullough
Paul and his family came to Kingsway four years ago, after moving back to the United States from an overseas military tour in Japan. He has been with his bride, Heather, for 21 years and they have been blessed with two great kids, Paul IV and Sarah. Paul is passionate about ministry, working full time at the American Bible Society and engaging at Kingsway in KLS, Growth Track, Next Steps, and LifeGroups. He enjoys spending his spare time reading, building nanoblocks, and watching great movies.