40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 1 – Preparation

10 Comments

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

You are at the start of a journey that will require you to put aside approximately 15 minutes every day for 40 days (no activities on Sundays).  This may sound daunting at first but know that you can do this with God’s help.  What is this journey about?  Well, you will learn more about Disciplines that can significantly strengthen your relationship with God.  You will use the next four days to familiarize yourself with the eleven Disciplines to be discussed during the program.

This blog is a subset of a website that has been created to provide you with all the background information you need. Using the menu on this website you can access background information, a calendar showing what activities we will consider each day, and important information on the Disciplines.

Each year we use a different theme. This year our theme is “Overcoming Challenges”.  We are going to consider the challenges we usually experience when we attempt to habitually practise the Disciplines, and discuss how we can overcome these challenges.

So, let’s get started.  First, pray and ask God to be your guide.   Next, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Disciplines.  On the menu bar for this website there is a tab called “Disciplines”.  Click on the tab and you will find a link to a document which explains all 11 Disciplines we consider for this program. You have the next four days to get caught up, so you don’t have to review all the pages in one day.  You should be able to get through the summary of the Disciplines today though.  For those of you who have done this program before, it shouldn’t take you much time at all to reacquaint yourself with the Disciplines.

Today’s Question for comments:

What similarities do you see between pursuing Spiritual Disciplines and pursuing regular physical exercise?

10 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 1 – Preparation

  1. This is a great question! The Spiritual Disciplines and physical exercise require dedication and commitment. They are best performed in the morning before you start your day. After performing them, you always feel better. They make you “stronger” and better prepared to face the day. However, I would suggest, doing your SD first, as all blessings will flow thereafter!

  2. Similarities I see are.. 1. Do I see a need and understand the benefits of doing them. 2.. If I see a need how dedicated will I be.

  3. Spiritual Disciplines and Physical Exercise require determination and willingness to achieve specific goal. The spiritual disciplines’ goal is to receive eternal salvation while doing physical exercise leads to a goal of reaching certain standards for body toning and/or losing weight. Both involves challenges along the way, and cannot expect that everything would turn out easy. Patience as well as faith are important in attaining goals.

  4. Good Morning. Both spiritual discipline and physical exercise require motivation. The motivation must outweigh the sacrifices made to persevere and be successful in spiritual growth and overall health.

  5. We enter disciplines because we are hoping for change or we have grown accustomed to the change/s that occur when we apply them. Sometimes we do them willingly and other times forcibly. Our persistence depends on how well we keep the end result in focus.

  6. All comments are very helpful to understand that discipline is NOT easy to achieve but with determination and perseverance it can be done.

  7. I see the connection as relating to “what it takes to get the desired results.” With physical exercise, you are working toward a goal that requires not only the physical exercise itself, but life adjustments (ex. changing sleeping, eating, or water-drinking habits, etc.). Similarly, the spiritual disciplines target many areas of your life to bring about the best change in you!

  8. Thanks for all the comments. We are reminded that practicing the Disciplines can’t save us. I like the theme of sacrifice which ran through most of the comments. For both physical and spiritual exercise I saw words like dedication, persistence, patience, adjustments and perseverance. I am reminded of how much attention King David paid to ensuring that he “sacrificed” for God. In 2 Samuel 24:24 we read the following about David:

    “But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.”

    I pray for a deep appreciation of how much God sacrificed for me and an increased desire to sacrifice for him.

  9. This is easy. You get stronger. For example I attend spin class regularly. Now I have to find a new challenge because I have plateaued (as they say) – I lose little or no weight because my body is used to the exercise and I have to find new challenges. I also have bulging muscles.

    So too with spiritual discipline. You get stronger with regular practice. And soon enough you are ready to take it to a new level. And higher and higher levels. You are no longer on baby food (in a spiritual sense). You can eat like a grown up. Things that use to bother you, bother you no more. You don’t feel like you are missing out on anything. Ever. You soon find everything you need is in Jesus Christ. You don’t worry about the things the world worries about. Sure you have problems like everyone else. But God is bigger than your problems. You become buttressed from within.

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