Categories
Christian Living

Start Each Day with God

Make Spending Time with the Almighty a Priority

God deserves our best, not whatever’s left over at the end of the day—if anything. This may be why he told the Israelites to give to him their first fruits, the first of their harvest (Exodus 23:16). That’s why we should start each day with God, with a focus on our Lord.

Here are some ideas to start each day with God.

Seek Him Before You Get Up

Before I leave my bed each morning, I turn my focus to God. I thank him for what happened yesterday, for the sleep that rejuvenated me, and the potential of the day ahead. I begin my day with a focus on him, which sets the foundation for what happens next.

Give Him Your Day and Invite Him into It

Before I arise, I thrust my arms into the air in a physical display of worship, giving the Almighty my day and inviting him into it. And the days when this feels the most difficult to do are the days when I need it the most.

Thoughts of trying to navigate the day without my Lord’s help are foolish.

Morning Prayers

At this point I’ve thanked God and prayed for my day. I’m up and have used the mindless task of shaving to shake the slumber from my soul. I’ve done some basic exercises and am (mostly) alert.

I now ask for God’s blessings on my family, for future generations of my family, and those closest to me. This prepares me for what follows.

Read and Study His Word

Next, I spent time reading and studying his Word. Sometimes this is part of a regular reading plan. I often make notes about key insights the Holy Spirit reveals to me from that passage. Though most people do this in a journal, I do it on my computer, organizing my observations by book, chapter, and verse. This way I can merge my thoughts for the day with observations from prior readings.

Other times my Bible reading and studying is in preparation for the book I’ll be working on that day. If I intend to write about a certain passage, I want to first fix my thoughts on it and meditate on it.

I’ve been doing morning Bible reading the longest and it’s ingrained into my day. It’s a lifelong habit that I formed. Only rarely do events distract me from it. I invest about fifteen minutes—though sometimes more—each morning focusing on Scripture.

This action is essential for me to best start my day with God.

Then Take Him Throughout Your Day

With these prerequisites complete, I feel ready to move into my plans for the day. But when I skimp on them, it’s not the best way to start each day with God.

End Your Day with Reflection and Thanksgiving

Though the focus of this post is about how we start each day with God, in some respects this effort begins the night before on how we end each day.

As I snuggle into bed my goal is to thank God for the day and what he enabled me to do. I pray for his blessing on my sleep and that even in my dreams I will hold every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).

This is what I struggle with the most. This isn’t because of a lack of will, but because some nights I fall asleep before I can take this step, or I slip into slumber halfway through.

In case I missed doing this or fell short, that’s why I try to begin the next day by thanking God for the prior one.

We should start each day with God and give him our best. He deserves nothing less and there’s nothing we need more. Click To Tweet

Start Each Day with God

We should start each day with God and give him our best. He deserves nothing less and there’s nothing we need more. Though I don’t always do this as fully as I’d like to, this is how I try to start each day with God.

I pray that you have a regular rhythm for your day that begins with and focuses on our Lord. And if not, use these ideas to encourage you to move forward and place your focus on the Almighty as you begin each day.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Be Careful If You Tithe

We’ve talked about tithing, giving 10 percent of our income to God. If we do it as a way to honor him or draw closer to him, then tithing with this attitude is a great idea and an example of a spiritual discipline.

However if you tithe because the Bible commands it, then be careful. You may owe a lot more.

First, know that the New Testament doesn’t command us to tithe. The early church effectively replaces the tithe with a spirit of generosity and good stewardship.

Whenever the New Testament writers mention tithing, they always refer to the Old Testament practice. Tithing is part of the Jewish Law that Jesus came to fulfill.

Today people think a tithe is 10 percent of their income. But the Bible says it’s one tenth of their land’s produce. People who lived in outlying areas would sell their tithe and give the proceeds to God.

However the Law requires multiple tithes at various times and for different purposes. There are two annual tithes and a third tithe every three years. (See Leviticus 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 14:28.)

So the result of all this tithing averages out to 23.3 percent a year, almost one quarter and far more than one tenth.

The three biblical tithes average out to 23.3 percent a year. Click To Tweet

Furthermore, if we are to be biblically accurate, we must present our tithes at the temple. So technically we have no place to give our tithes to today.

Perhaps this is why many pastors say we need to tithe to the local church. They reframe the Law of Moses to fit their context (and meet their church’s budget). Also, since we no longer live in an agrarian society, they restate that a tithe means 10 percent of income instead of the land’s produce.

They skip the parts about the second tithe and the third tithe every three years. Maybe that’s because they know it would be a hard sell to preach that people need to give 23.3 percent of their income to them. Of course if we’re not farmers and want to take the law literally, then our tithe is zero.

Applying the Old Testament Laws about tithing becomes a murky endeavor. To do so literally presents two problems since there is no temple and few people are farmers.

To apply its principles, a reasonable conclusion is to give it to the local church: 20 percent of our income every year and 30 percent every third year.

Or we could just follow the example of the early church to be generous with all that God gives us.

Read more about this in Peter’s new book, Jesus’s Broken Church, available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

The Dangers of Centering Prayer

Beware the Risks of Clearing Your Mind

Several years ago, my spiritual director recommended I consider centering prayer as a spiritual discipline. About the same time, a dear friend was exploring this technique as well.

The goal of centering prayer is to connect us with God. It’s more about hearing from him then him hearing from us. The idea of connecting with God more deeply on a spiritual level appealed to me. I read the recommended book that taught about centering prayer.

The process the author outlined unfolded as an involved series of steps to follow with exacting precision. As I recall, it would take several minutes, up to an hour each time I tried.

Vital to centering prayer is the instruction to clear your mind. The writer admitted that it would take a few months of concerted effort to achieve the desired results. And even then, the sought-after spiritual outcome might not always occur.

Just reading the book exhausted me.

Instead of approaching my Creator with joy, the prescribed approach would rob me of my delight in connecting with him. I decided not to pursue centering prayer. The whole thing didn’t feel right to me, but it wasn’t until later that I understood why.

Now I have a bit of insight as to why this spiritual practice felt misaligned with Scripture.

Take Every Thought Captive

In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul teaches them about spiritual reality. He reminds them that their battle is not in this world but in the spiritual realm. Among his instructions to this congregation, he encourages them to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5).

This is the opposite of what centering prayer teaches when it says to clear your mind. Clearing your mind strikes me as the opposite of holding every thought captive, as God’s Word commands.

Always Be Alert

In talking about the future, Jesus tells his followers to always watch and pray. In doing so they will escape what is to come and stand before him (Luke 21:36).

How can we follow Jesus’s command to always watch and pray if we empty our mind of all thoughts? We can’t. We must be alert and watch.

A House Swept Clean

When Jesus’s opponents criticize him for driving out demons, he responds by teaching them about the subject. He wraps up with the hypothetical case of an impure spirit leaving its host. When it finds no place to go, it returns to the person it left, finding “the house swept clean and put in order” (Luke 11:24-28, NIV).

It then goes and finds seven more demons, even more wicked than it. They invade the person, leaving them in even worse shape.

I wonder if the idea of a “house swept clean” is the same thing as a clear mind. If clearing our mind opens us to receive God in the spiritual realm, might it also open us to receive other spiritual beings as well? To open us to unseen supernatural entities that don’t have our best interest in mind?

I don’t know if this is the case, but it’s a risk I’m unwilling to take.

Connecting with God on a spiritual level to hear him and fellowship with him is a worthy pursuit. Click To Tweet

Centering Prayer Conclusion

The idea of connecting with God on a spiritual level to hear him and fellowship with him is a worthy pursuit, which can produce an amazing outcome. But I don’t think centering prayer is the best way to do that.

The way I learned to hear from God is much easier to do and much more effective. As a bonus, I don’t need to clear my mind contrary to what Scripture teaches and risk opening myself to negative spiritual influences.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Bible Insights

Do We Allow the World to Control Our Thoughts?

The Holy Spirit Gives Us a Sound Mind to Counter Fear

Through the Holy Spirit we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Sound mind means self-discipline, self-control, sound judgment, and wise discretion. We can claim all these as the Holy Spirit’s provision to us. In doing so we can direct our thoughts and not live a life controlled by worldly fear that produces irrational behavior.

Instead the Holy Spirit equips us to make sound judgments and not panic in the midst of pandemonium. Here are some ideas to guide us in this.

Focus Our Thinking

Paul encourages the church in Philippi to focus their thoughts (Philippians 4:8). We should do this too. But what should we think about? Fortunately, Paul gives a list: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, and whatever is excellent or praiseworthy.

We are to think of these things and dismiss the opposite.

Focus on Spiritual Things

In writing to the church in Colossi, Paul tells them to place their concentration on spiritual thoughts instead of worldly opinions (Colossians 3:2). The world—with all its worries and disruptions—seeks to distract us from God. We counter these distractions by tuning out earthly things and tuning in on godly ideals.

Focus on God’s Power

John also has some recommendations for us. He reminds us that we are children of God. As his children, our heritage comes through him. He has overcome evil, and as his children we can overcome evil too.

Contrary to what many believe, God and Satan are not equal but opposing forces. God is the creator, while Satan is part of creation. God is greater than the devil. And God is in us. Through him we can overcome the opposition (1 John 4:4).

Let us not forget that we are on the winning side.

Focus on Making Our Thoughts Obedient to God

A final consideration comes from Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. Here Paul writes that we are to fight against any notions that are contrary to God. We do this by taking every thought captive and forcing it to submit to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The Bible shows how we can reorient our thoughts from the wrong thinking of the world to the right thinking of God. Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

Though the world tries to pull us down, we are on the winning side, and the Bible shows how we can reorient our thoughts from the wrong thinking of the world to the right thinking of God.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Philippians 1-4, and today’s post is on Philippians 4:8.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Is Suffering a Spiritual Discipline We Should Pursue?

Some People Avoid Persecution and Others Pursue It

In my post that listed spiritual disciplines, I explained that spiritual disciplines are an activity we willingly pursue to draw us closer to God or to honor him. After listing seventeen examples of spiritual disciplines, I wondered about four more possibilities.

One of those is suffering. Is there a spiritual discipline of suffering?

Though it’s true that some people suffer needlessly for their faith, it’s more correct that sometimes people unavoidably suffer for their beliefs under repressive regimes and in oppressive cultures.

They have no choice in this, so we can’t really say it’s a spiritual discipline because they didn’t willingly embrace it. Or can we? Consider our possible attitudes and responses to suffering.

Choose to Suffer

For us to consider suffering as a spiritual discipline, it must be something we voluntarily practice, perhaps even intentionally pursue. We have a choice in this. We can choose to avoid going places, taking actions, or making statements that open us up for verbal criticism and physical attack.

When it comes to taking a stand for Jesus, we opt to remain inconspicuous. In doing so we don’t pursue the spiritual gift of suffering.

The opposite occurs when we look for opportunities to go places, take actions, and make statements to tell others about Jesus or serve him with intention—regardless of the outcome.

This boldness to stand for what we believe—despite the possibility that we could face persecution as a result—is a full embrace of the spiritual discipline of suffering.

We see the early church doing this. They ask the Lord for boldness to push past the opposition they face so they may advance the kingdom of God. He answers their prayer by sending the Holy Spirit to empower them for bold witness (Acts 4:29-31).

They celebrated the fact that they were good enough to suffer for Jesus. Click To Tweet

Celebrate Suffering

Another consideration of what the spiritual discipline of suffering may entail is in our response to endearing pain for the cause of Jesus. Perhaps we didn’t willingly choose to face persecution, but we can choose our reaction to it.

When faced with criticism or harm after taking a stand for our faith, do we bemoan our pain or praise God that we’re worthy to suffer for him and his cause?

The early church also exemplifies this. Hauled in before the religious counsel, the apostles must explain their actions that offend Jewish leaders. Peter speaks boldly about Jesus, his sacrificial death, and Holy Spirit power.

The Council wants to execute the apostles, but after discussion, they decide to merely whip them and command them to stop talking about Jesus. His followers leave celebrating the fact that they were good enough to suffer for him (Acts 5:40-41).

Avoid or Embrace the Spiritual Discipline of Suffering

In many cases, we can choose to remain quiet and keep our faith a secret, therefore avoiding suffering for our faith. The opposite is looking for opportunities to speak about our faith with openness and boldness, choosing to do so even if persecution may result.

This is the spiritual discipline of suffering.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

What Are Spiritual Gifts?

God Equips Us to Grow His Kingdom

The Bible talks about “gifts of the Spirit,” which we commonly call spiritual gifts (not to be confused with spiritual disciplines). Paul teaches about spiritual gifts extensively in his first letter to the church in Corinth. But what are spiritual gifts? Here’s what we can learn from him.

They Come from the Holy Spirit

God’s Holy Spirit supernaturally endows us with special abilities. This includes different types of service and work, but they’re all the result of God at work in us and through us (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

They Are for the Common Good of Jesus’s Followers

The gifts of the Spirit that God gives us are intended to benefit others, not ourselves. They help the church community, or they serve others outside the church. Sometimes they do both. When used properly, our spiritual gifts advance the kingdom of God, for his glory (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Sovereign Allocation

God doesn’t equip us with the same supernatural abilities. He gives each of us the spiritual gift or gifts needed to accomplish his divine purpose. Though we may wish to be gifted like someone else, we would be wrong to desire that person’s gift or begrudge them.

God gave them the gift he did and us with our gift because he is sovereign (a good sovereign), able to do whatever he wishes (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).

One Body with Different Parts

Paul gives the Corinthians—and us—an example to help us understand how and why God allocates spiritual gifts the way he does. Think of a person with different body parts: a head, ears, eyes, hands, feet, and so forth.

Each part has a key purpose, and without one or more of our body parts, we would struggle to fully function.

The same is true with the church—that is, the body of Christ. For the church body to function as it should, all parts must be present and work together, each doing what it is designed to do. Just as the human body has diversity in its components, so does the church.

Through a diversity of people with various spiritual gifts, our church can become a unified whole (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).

A Pursuit Higher than Spiritual Gifts

Now that we know what are spiritual gifts, it’s exciting that God gives us special abilities (spiritual gifts) to equip us to serve and to work. Yet we should not overemphasize or become proud of the gifts he gave us.

Something is more important than any type of spiritual gift. And this is something for all of us. It’s something we can all do. Paul calls this the most excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31).

What is it? Love (1 Corinthians 13).

Read more in Peter’s book, Love is Patient (book 7 in the Dear Theophilus series).

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

The Spirituality of Silence

In Today’s Noisy World We Need to Reclaim the Ability to Deeply Listen

We live in a noisy world, with too many things vying for our attention. Though we can’t help some of it, much of the noise that permeates our existence is the distractions we create.

We can’t stand silence, not even for a couple seconds, so we fill that void with the clutter of sounds and activity: television, music, social media, and more. It’s time we embrace the spiritual discipline of silence—the spirituality of silence.

Consider the Noisy World That Surrounds Us

Look around at social gatherings and public places to see how many people pull out their smart phones at an instant to occupy even the smallest of lulls in conversation or spaces in activity. There’s a constant assortment of inputs that attack our ears and assault our minds.

And increasingly, one input is not enough. It’s checking email or social media, while having a conversation with someone else. Or it’s talking on our phone as we talk to the person sitting next to us. There are even people who go down a rabbit trail on their smartphone as they listen to a sermon.

There’s also a two-device mentality, such as watching TV and surfing the web.

With this constant deluge of sounds and attempt at multitasking, we’ve lost the ability to truly hear. We need to learn how to deeply listen and to recapture the gift of silence. This is not only practical, it’s also spiritual. It’s the spirituality of silence.

When we can embrace a gap in sounds, we’ll regain the ability to listen to what happens around us. This readies us to hear anew.

Silence Prepares Us to Hear Others

How many times have you been talking to someone and sensed they weren’t really hearing you, that they had ceased listening? It’s like we’re having a one-way conversation in the presence of another person.

They stop responding and cease giving visual and verbal cues that they’re listening to.

When in the presence of others, turn off all devices and stifle distractions. Allow a moment of silence to be part of our interaction. This provides time to think about what we’re saying before we open our mouth. It gives the space to hear, truly hears, what other people want to tell us.

And then it prepares us to properly react with thoughtful responses and insightful thoughts.

Silence Prepares Us to Hear Ourselves

Not only does our noisy world prevent us from truly listening to others, it also interferes with our ability to listen to ourselves. How often have we heard or thought, “There’s so much noise that I can’t hear myself think?”

For most of us, we surround ourselves so much with sights and sounds that we’ve overwhelmed our ability to think deeply. And most of the time, we don’t even realize we’ve done it.

While in a recent moment of downtime, an action plan to a longstanding dilemma formed in my mind, well clarity for several book concepts came into focus. This occurred in a minute or two.

It only happened because I had removed all other stimulus and opened myself to the possibility of truly hearing what I was thinking.

To give God our full attention and open ourselves to listen to his still, small voice, we need to remove our world of distractions and immerse ourselves in silence. Click To Tweet

Silence Prepares Us to Hear God

Even more important than us hearing others and hearing ourselves is hearing God. God is always with us, and I suspect he’s always trying to tell us something. He’s always speaking, but how often are we listening?

Though he could shout at us over the noise that we surround ourselves with, he seldom does. It’s not his way to force himself on us.

To give God our full attention and open ourselves to listen to his still, small voice, we need to remove our world of distractions and immerse ourselves in silence. When we have settled our mind and focused our attention, we can listen to our Creator and Savior.

This is the spirituality of silence, as it opens us to hear what matters most. When we shut out our noisy world and embrace the spirituality of silence, we prepare ourselves to truly listen to others, ourselves, and to God.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Can Technology Hurt Our Relationship with God?

God doesn’t want part of our attention; he deserves 100 percent

As the main speaker talked at a business conference, I looked around our table of eight. Seven people had their smartphones out, pushing buttons with intention and staring at those tiny screens as if they showed the most essential of images.

Why were they doing this? They paid a lot of money to be there, yet they weren’t fully there. A few, no doubt, had checked out, either bored by the speaker’s message, or they presumed their smartphones’ news was more important.

The others, I’m quite sure, thought they were multitasking. (Even though many experts say that true multitasking is a myth.)

They were attempting to listen to the speaker with their ears and read email with their eyes, while their minds compartmentalized both. I suspect neither activity received the attention it deserved.

Yet, how often do we treat God this way? Does our desire to stay connected with the world impair our ability to connect with the Almighty?

The Bible says to “be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10).

This doesn’t mean we need to just keep our bodies at rest; we need to keep our thoughts still as well. We must occasionally stop all we are doing, to still our motions and our minds, so we can be fully present in his presence. Then we can best know him; then we can best hear him.

Does our desire to stay connected with the world impair our ability to connect with God? Click To Tweet

How often do we ask God for answers and then allow distractions to keep us from listening? Yes, people can distract, busyness can distract, and life can distract, yet I suspect today’s technology might be the biggest distraction of all.

I’m not against technology. I rely on technological tools every day to work. I tap social media and email to connect with friends and followers of Jesus, and I use online resources to study and write about God.

Yet I wonder if sometimes I need to disconnect. Should we occasionally fast from our technologies so we can fully focus on God?

How long could you go without technology? A few minutes? An hour? A day? What might you learn about yourself and God if you did?

Turn off the smartphone and tune into God.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Is Tithing a Spiritual Discipline?

Last Sunday I asked if going to church is a spiritual discipline. I surprised myself. As I wrote to discover the answer, my opinion shifted from “no” to “it could be.”

Today I ask the same question about tithing. Remember that a spiritual discipline is something we willingly do to draw us closer to God or to honor him.

While stewardship is a spiritual discipline, as is service and sacrifice, none directly relate to the Old Testament command to tithe. Though some may claim that the spiritual discipline of stewardship is merely a codename for tithing, they miss the point.

A tithe is an Old Testament legal requirement to give ten percent; the New Testament does not mandate tithing. Stewardship is a biblical principle found in both the Old and New Testaments where we use our blessings to bless others.

This may be through giving money, but it also refers to sharing our material possessions as well as our time.

Too many people write a check to appease their guilt and do nothing else. I was that way once. I thought that as long as I gave money to the church, I met my obligation. I didn’t need to concern myself any further with true stewardship or actual human need. The church would do that in my stead.

That is legalism. That is the Law of the Old Testament. That is tithing.

Is tithing a spiritual discipline or a spiritual snare? Click To Tweet

Yes, people can make a willing decision to give money to God in order to draw closer to him and worship him. That would qualify as a spiritual discipline.

But if they tithe because the Old Testament Law says to or, even worse, because the preacher insists upon it, then their tithe ceases to be a spiritual discipline and becomes a spiritual snare.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

Is Going to Church a Spiritual Discipline?

Two weeks ago I wrote that a spiritual discipline is something we do to draw closer to God or to honor him. To be of value we need to do this willingly with joy and in anticipation. I gave 17 possible disciplines to consider. Going to church wasn’t on the list.

Should going to church be included as a spiritual discipline? Reflect on three spiritual disciplines that touch on the practice of church attendance:

1. Community

This is simply spending time with other people who follow Jesus in order to form meaningful spiritual connections. This can happen at church on Sundays; at least it should.

Yet at too many churches community doesn’t happen at all, and for other churches the community is superficial. Plus true community can happen at times other than Sunday morning. And that community is often richer.

2. Sabbath

We treat one day a week differently than the other six. I’ve been looking at the Old Testament Law about the Sabbath. I keep reading that it’s a day of rest; I also see that we are to keep it holy, but so far I’ve not read that we are supposed to go to church on the Sabbath.

Besides sometimes we pack our Sabbaths so full with well-meaning spiritual activity that we end the day exhausted, not rested. I doubt this pleases God.

3. Worship

A third spiritual discipline that could relate to Sunday morning church attendance is worship. Yes, we can worship God at church on Sunday mornings; we should worship him there. But we can also worship him on other days, at other times, and in other places.

Is church attendance a spiritual discipline? Click To Tweet

I go to church on Sundays in expectation of community, and sometimes I worship God while I’m there, but I don’t find it restful.

I do go in hopes of drawing closer to God and to honor him, so I meet the first two parts of this being a church discipline, but the willingness factor is often missing, while the attitudes of joy and anticipation are things I must strive to conjure up.

I pray for all three of these mindsets each Sunday morning.

I suppose that going to church on Sunday mornings emerges as a spiritual discipline for some people. That might explain why I attend, but as spiritual disciplines go, I do a poor job at it.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Exit mobile version