Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed

Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed

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by Donald S. Whitney
     
 

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Are you overwhelmed by the weight of the world? Let's face it--we live in a complex world. Technology improves daily, and with it, the pace increases. Surrounded by driving forces, it is no small wonder that our spiritual lives take a hit. But if the weight of the world is hindering your walk with the Lord, maybe now's the time to step back and evaluate. Life on… See more details below

Overview


Are you overwhelmed by the weight of the world? Let's face it--we live in a complex world. Technology improves daily, and with it, the pace increases. Surrounded by driving forces, it is no small wonder that our spiritual lives take a hit. But if the weight of the world is hindering your walk with the Lord, maybe now's the time to step back and evaluate. Life on earth was less hectic in Jesus' time. He faced incredible challenges and suffered agonizing trials, but there was simplicity in His relationship with His Father that we can emulate. And in that simplicity, we can realize our greatest fulfillment as believers. If your Bible study seems as tedious as filing your tax return and your prayer life as wearisome as trying to understand your phone bill, stop. Take a deep breath. Let author Donald Whitney show you how rewarding the simple Christian life can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576833452
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
06/23/2003
Series:
Living the Questions Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
509,613
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

SIMPLIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE

Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed
By Donald S. Whitney

NAVPRESS

Copyright © 2003 Donald S. Whitney
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57683-345-3


Chapter One

Simplify Your Spiritual Life

Does your spiritual life sometimes seem more like a burden than a blessing? Does your spirituality seem to exhaust you as often as it refreshes you? Have your spiritual practices become "just another thing to do" in an already overcrowded, stress-filled schedule? If so, then you need to simplify your spiritual life.

We should expect part of true spirituality to exhaust us, for it exists not merely for our own edification, but to serve the glory and purposes of God. Jesus' spiritual labors occasionally so fatigued Him that He could remain asleep in an open boat in the middle of a lake during a life-threatening storm (see Luke 8:22-25). Likewise, the apostle Paul knew the depletion of inner resources that results from the willingness to "spend and be spent" for the sake of the souls of others (2 Corinthians 12:15). All aspects of externalized spirituality -serving people's needs, doing good works, taking the gospel to the spiritually lost, working in church ministries-expend the reserves of both body and soul.

There's a problem, though, when the inflow of spiritual renewal doesn't replenish the outflow of spiritual ministry. Our spiritual life should be the source of inner recreation and restoration because it is the way we most directly experience the Lord Himself in daily life. Through our spiritual disciplines (rightly motivated and practiced) come many of the most refreshing blessings of knowing Christ.

An example of how the spiritual disciplines can be an ongoing means of reinvigorating the soul is depicted in Psalm 1:2-3. Frequent meditation on (and not just reading of) God's Word so continually refreshes the meditator that "he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."

However, as everything else in our lives becomes more complex, so can our spirituality. As one writer observed, "The pattern of over-involvement, clutter, and busyness that is a part of our lives at home and at work will follow us into our spiritual lives unless we are vigilant." With increasing prosperity and technology come increasing opportunities and options-even in our spiritual practices-that weren't available a short time ago. For instance, instead of simply sitting in a comfortable chair by a sunny window with our Bible, journal, and pen, now we can

receive devotional readings sent daily by automatic email.

read the Bible in several of the many translations we possess, including those on our computer.

make journal entries on the computer by keyboard or voice-recognition software, inserting interesting graphics along with the text.

develop our devotional experience with worship-enhancing audio and/or video.

But it all needs to be done faster than ever before because of the strangling demands on our time.

The growing frustrations of hurry and complexity affect the practice not only of our personal spiritual disciplines, but also of our congregational spiritual disciplines (the ones we practice with other Christians). There's less time for church involvement than previously, and yet there are more church activities to choose from. We're so far behind in so many things that sometimes we wonder if what we receive from church is worth the overwhelming effort just to get there.

In some ways we're doing more than ever spiritually, but enjoying and profiting from it less. Many areas of our lives are productive and prosperous, yet we've never felt so spiritually withered. Our calendars are full, but our souls are empty.

The time has come to evaluate whether what we are doing in our spiritual lives is taking us where we want to go. There is hope. Read on.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SIMPLIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE by Donald S. Whitney Copyright © 2003 by Donald S. Whitney. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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