Friday, April 22, 2016

Chapter 1: Celebration of Discipline: Door to Liberation

Just completed a session teaching this class with some awesome students and thought I would share my notes from when I attended the class myself in 2010.

Hello there,
I’ve just started this class in Bible school (for the second time) called Celebration of Discipline.  Sounds all serious and somber, right?  Don’t get scared, I’ll break it down for you:
Merriam defines Discipline as:
1: punishment
2: obsolete : instruction
3: a field of study
4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c: self-control
6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity

Liberation is defined as:
1: the act of liberating: the state of being liberated
2: a movement seeking equal rights and status for a group
Looking at their definitions you don’t readily connect them as working hand in hand or one leading to the other but as opposites of each other. Discipline is seen as a restriction of some sort, a necessary evil and liberation is seen as freedom from restriction.
 Spiritual Discipline is probably seen as worse, since anything Godly is anathema to some in today’s climate of me, my, mine and more. However, when you examine the intent and follow through by practicing the spiritual discipline, you realize it’s not about restriction but about freedom.  So what are the spiritual disciplines anyway?
Broken down into three sections, they are:
  • The Inward Disciplines
    • Meditation
    • Prayer
    • Fasting
    • Study
  • The Outward Disciplines
    • Simplicity
    • Solitude
    • Submission
    • Service
  • The Corporate Disciplines  
    • Confession
    • Worship
    • Guidance
    • Celebration
Why should you adopt spiritual disciplines as a part of your life?
If you’re one of the people who have gotten sick and tired of a favor for a favor, fake people, shallow conversations or the “what about me” mindset and can’t seem to find human kindness anywhere? Then this is where it all begins. Your ticket to freedom from how all of that affects you and to becoming the person you want to be, not the person you are sometimes constrained to be. Once you begin practicing (because no one is a master at it, there is no advanced status or need to be particularly well versed or considered a spiritual mucky muck) you begin a new phase of your life. You become more sensitive to the people and things around you because you are spending more time with God. You find yourself interceding on behalf of people and you take yourself less seriously. You are better equipped to see and realize what real liberation is: the freedom to wholeheartedly bask in the presence of God with no interruptions or distractions because you will have made it a priority to set aside time for God.
There is one caution though. Don’t allow your enthusiasm to take you the way of the religious leaders of old who mastered the art of the outward showing. Trust me, once you’re practicing, there will be a difference in your attitude and outlook that will speak clearly without you creating opportunities to “show” what you’ve learned or how you’ve become.
This is just the overview, stay with me as I go through each discipline one by one and share my discoveries. Hopefully, you’ll get just as excited and try it and make discoveries of your own.


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