An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

Strengthening Your Walk – Lesson 4: Developing Spiritual Disciplines

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Memory Verse: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2

Lesson Aim: To introduce the importance and benefits of developing spiritual disciplines.

What are spiritual disciplines? A spiritual discipline is a habit or regular pattern in our life that repeatedly brings us back to God. Spiritual disciplines are tools that work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, opening us up to what God is saying and doing.

Why do we need to develop them? We need to develop spiritual disciplines because they are the tools we use to win the battle. They train us to stay on a godly course and help us keep the channels open. Spiritual disciplines help keep our hearts turned toward God, keeping our relationship with God in good standing and developing intimacy.

Some of the spiritual disciplines we should use to develop us into mature Christ-like believers include: Bible study; prayer; fasting; worship; silence and solitude; meditation; and submission.

Our first lesson addressed the importance of the Word and the need to read and study the Bible. It is our life. Subsequent lessons will address prayer, fasting, praise and worship. In this lesson, we want to consider the overlooked spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude, meditation, and submission.

We live in a busy world. Hearing the still, small voice of our Creator can become difficult when we are continually preoccupied with work, school, our “to do” lists, ministry, crowds, TV, radio and entertainment. It is necessary for us to take time to pull away and be alone with God. Jesus did. Silence goes with solitude. There are times we just need to be quiet and listen.

Combined with prayer, fasting and solitude, meditation is one of the powerful ways that God speaks to us. Through meditation we can get to a place where we know His voice because we have spent time seeking His presence and desiring to know His heart and mind. When our heart begins to contemplate and consider a biblical truth or passage or just the goodness of God, meditation allows the truth to become rooted in us, allowing it to become alive and practical.

Submission is not a popular word these days, but it is necessary in order to be like Christ. The Greek word hupotasso, translated as “submit” means “to place in an orderly fashion under something.” Submission is a necessity in the body of Christ, but sometimes it has also been misused. The greedy, prideful or covetous have used submission to take advantage of people. Others have completely rejected submission and live as an island, independent of accountability and responsibility. However, the misuse and rejection of submission in no way negates its necessity.

The congregation is to submit to the elders, the wife to her husband, and the children to their parents. We are  to submit to the Word of God whether or not the pastor, my spouse or child confronts me with truth. When I submit, I place myself under the authority of another because of the truth of God’s Word.

Interact with God’s Word:

  1. If a new believer approached you and asked, “How do I become more like Christ,” what instruction would you give?
  2. In general, why is it necessary to develop spiritual disciplines? 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Psalm 119:11; 2 Peter 3:13-14
  3. What does it mean to meditate? Luke 2:19; Proverbs 4:26-27.
  4. What are some benefits of meditation? Psalm 1:2-3; Joshua 1:8-9; Romans 12:2
  5. How did Jesus use solitude in His life and ministry? Luke 5:16; 6:12; Mark 1:35; Matthew 4:1-2
  6. In what ways and at what times might we pursue solitude and silence? Psalm 4:4;  77:6;  139:18;  Galatians 1:16-19
  7. How does learning to submit help free us from our demands to get our own way? Philippians 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Romans 12:10