Why Practice Spiritual Disciplines

Why practice spiritual disciplines? Its important to answer this question for yourself before making any commitments to ascetic practices.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-17 Paul talks about the athlete who disciplines themselves, exercising self-control to run the race so they may obtain the prize. Do we view being a disciple of Christ as a race to run and a prize to be won? Are we that focused and set on committing our life to this purpose?  I have to say I'm not always there. Some days I'm focused on the race and I can feel the strength of the Lord, but other days I loose focus and get sidetracked in the worries of life. This is one reason why I find spiritual disciplines to be helpful. I need the constant reminder of fasting, solitude, or prayer to keep my mind centered on Christ. I am deeply concerned that the mindset today is often running just to stay ahead of others or to keep up the appearance of being a good athlete. Forget all that, throw off all the weights of religion, duty, expectations, worries, fears, insecurities, pride - and just run! Run to Christ, feel his Word growing in your mind, feel his Spirit lifting you up, filling you with strength, and urging you forward. Run with purpose, clarity, and focus that grows as we're transformed by Truth. To me, spiritual disciplines press me into a place where the Holy Spirit can do his work and make me a runner.

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