“If we want to have an impact on others and to minister to them, we must be living, dynamic demonstrations of God’s work in our lives. This comes because of disciplines which are present which God promises to reward.” God was talking to me. Yesterday was the first session of the Advanced Seminar (click Here for more information) which our church is hosting. You may recall that we hosted the Basic Seminar this past fall. It’s the first time for our kids, but my husband and I have attended before, though not for a few years. I marvel at how the Lord can take familiar information and “make it new,” causing it to challenge me!
Yesterday, I heard again “for the first time” about God’s Rewards for Scriptural Disciplines. I’ve been slipping. Not a lot. Not horribly. Just letting some “disciplines” (like reading through the Bible in a year) go by the wayside. And fasting every Monday. “It doesn’t really matter if I do it every week, does it? I can start up again any day!” So I say, and, pretty soon, something that was a great benefit and boon to my spiritual life has dropped completely out of my life. The words discipline and disciple are closely related!
What about you? Are there any spiritual disciplines that you used to practice, that, “now that you think of it,” really strengthened your walk with the Lord. Is there a spiritual discipline that isn’t disciplined anymore? Yesterday, I was encouraged to reinstate some dropped disciplines, and maybe start some new ones. Here are some Scriptural Disciplines to practice and the rewards which God promises.
- Daily Bible Reading produces Spiritual Growth. Sometimes when you hear the most obvious truth, it really hits you between the eyes! 1 Peter 2:2 Like a child needs more food as he’s growing, and we are to “desire the sincere milk of the Word” like a baby, so I need to “eat up” God’s Word and I will grow spiritually! Of course! If I want to GROW in faith, in power, in boldness for the Lord, in spiritual maturity, I need to feed myself the Word of God!
- In memorizing God’s Word, He promises Purity Psalm 119:1-11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
- Meditating on God’s Word leads to Success. Joshua 1:8 “Thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Psalm 1:2-3; 1 Timothy 4:15
- Making analogies and applying God’s Word in my life brings the reward of Answered Prayer. Joshua 1:8; John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” As I apply the Word to specific situations in my life, I’ll be changed, I’ll see things in a “new” way. It’s as though He’s drawing me to His side, and with one arm over my shoulder, He points and says, “Look there! Do you see what I see?” and causes me to see something completely “new” and wonderful in the Bible. I can apply it to every area and every problem! Applying His Word causes my prayers to be more in line with His will, and He promises to answer those.
- Fasting regularly and secretly, has many rewards, including health, longer life, bringing hormonal systems back into balance, but most of all it produces a Spiritual Alertness and Awareness. Isaiah 58 Fasting is a wonderful discipline for, among other things, bringing the lust for food under control and I was very interested to hear also that it is useful in regulating our hormones.
- Praying is rewarded by Power. James 5:16
- Giving is rewarded with Blessing. Malachi 3:10 “…prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
- Early Rising is rewarded with Productivity. Psalm 57:8; 63:1 This is one of the disciplines which God asked me how long I’m going to keep fighting. Even though I get up early, I’ve been doing it grudgingly, and waiting til the last second to get up. God reminded me of the rewards He has for me if I’ll seek Him early and joyfully, and be disciplined about it.
- Reading Revelation is rewarded by Blessing. Revelation 1:3
- Witnessing is rewarded with Eternal Fruit. Proverbs 11:30
- Honoring the Sabbath Isaiah 58
God’s Word is filled with promises of blessing when we obey Him. He’s not trying to make my life miserable. He reminded me how He’s blessed me in the past when I practiced some of these Scriptural disciplines and I was encouraged to practice them once more.