The beginning of spiritual discipline always involves the study of God’s word in Scripture. My week begins with a small group study at my church where we review and exegete the gospels and the Pauline letters. Through an elder instructor, I receive weekly updates to check Scripture first by my initial reading before class and then take notes to bring to the group. Through this method, I “Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.” (Job 22:22).
During small group study, we discuss and question the meaning of Scripture in context to the author and audience and to our lives where applicable. Our goal in group study and the weekly sermon “is to “keep it,” that is, to do what God says and thereby develop in Christlikeness.” Having an elder and a corporate setting to reflect on God’s word prevents my perspective from interfering with the simple message studied.
The reading of Scripture is a steady discipline I practice in the company of hearing God’s word. I know I can grow in understanding since “Being made in his image, we have within us the capacity to know him.” As an imager of the Lord, I know this increasing understanding allows my growth in my Christian walk, with perfection being life’s goal. I am to speak the truth in love and in every way grow up into him who is the head, into Christ (Eph. 4:15).
After a Bible study session, I prefer to write the passage on paper and take notes on the message and interpretation. These notes serve as a source of prayer and meditation. In meditation, I contemplate the purpose of God’s desire to make himself known and my role in his process. To ruminate and meditate on the weekly Bible study also requires the discipline of silence and solitude, and I am fortunate to have these resources.
To contemplate is to meditate, and while I have dedicated sessions of these efforts, I incorporate shorter sessions throughout the day to ask God for additional insight. My weekly chaplain encounters with patients help immensely to comfort the grieving and the terminally ill by being equipped to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion and to take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
During my weekly worship regime, prayer is central to living. I strongly desire to commune with the Lord daily in gratitude and for guidance. I combine prayer with the above disciplines of meditation and Bible study for the knowledge of the Spirit. My gratitude is for the abundance of life’s gifts, opportunities, and relationship with God by his grace alone. God’s presence and grace is a gift that often are unrealized. Bray says, “Few of us stop to consider that if we did not have a personal relationship with God, we would have no access to the Father, and prayer of any sort would be useless. The usefulness of daily prayer and reflection on all of God’s general revelation continues to provide nourishment. A nourishment I am compelled to bring awareness to others.
Bray, Gerald Lewis. The Doctrine of God. Contours of Christian theology. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
Tozer, A. W. The Pursuit of God. 1st WingSpread Publishers ed. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread Publishers, 2006.
Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Revised and Updated. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014.
 Unless otherwise noted, all biblical references use the English Standard Version.
 Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Revised and Updated. (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014), 23.
 A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, 1st WingSpread Publishers ed. (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread Publishers, 2006), 14.
 Gerald Bray, The Doctrine of God, ed. Gerald Bray, Contours of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 208.
see also: Hearing from God