The Daily Disciplines
How to cultivate a burning heart of passion in our everyday journey with the Lord.
As believers, we know the Great Commandment is to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). Of epic significance, this mandate from heaven should fuel us to invest much in living it's fulfillment.
I meet many people who really want to love God, want to have a passionate heart for Him and want to fulfill their destiny. Yet, they either don't know how or don't take the time to walk out a consistent journey of meeting with Him.
Paul was imprisoned in a place called Caesarea where the prison was located very near a track where athletes trained. Still today you can see the ruins of his prison and the athletic stadium.
Paul wrote these words recorded in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, likely inspired by what he saw outside his window, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (NKJV)
Paul exhorts us to discipline ourselves to obtain an imperishable crown, much greater in significance than a medal won in an athletic event.
Through the years of this journey with Jesus, I have found five different daily disciplines that are helpful in cultivating a burning heart of passion for the One worthy of all of our devotion.
Soaking, or being still and receiving in the presence of the Lord, is a beautiful way to receive from God. Isaiah 40:31 states it this way, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (NKJV) Practically speaking, I put on anointed music each morning and spend time just bathing in the place of His presence. I have an iPod always beside my bed, on which is loaded my favourite soaking music. Spending time in the presence of the Holy Spirit means we are spending time receiving of the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:20). Simply put, we all need more of that.
We were all created to worship. Worship is agreeing with who God is. I love the place of corporate worship and since I lead the Catch the Fire Toronto House of Prayer I get to be surrounded with 18 hours a week of anointed worship. However, we can all worship wherever we are. In what is known as the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to worship simply as He told them to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9 KJV) That is worship.
Andrew Murray defines humility as dependence on God. Prayer is a form of humility. We come to Him knowing we need Him. We come to agree with what He wants to do in us and on earth. We are to be persistent in prayer (Luke 18:1),we are to pray continuously (I Thessalonians. 5:17) and we are to pray in faith (James 1:6). Prayer lists are important ways we can remember to consistently pray into things very pertinent in our lives. For example, I use the Prayer of Jabez every day to pray for my husband and children inserting their names, “Oh that you would bless me indeed...” (1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV) . I also believe in what I call prophetic decrees – declarations in agreement with the will of God. Job 22:28 states, “You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you. So light will shine on your ways.” (NKJV)
I have daily declarations I make which I know are the will of God. For example, one of them is, “Our children are passionate lovers of God, marry only who the Lord has for them, walk in fullness of destiny and have spouses who are passionate and walk in destiny.” Other ones over myself include, “I look great, I feel great, I weigh what God has called me to weigh. My hair colour is naturally beautiful. I am youthful and energetic. I walk in perfect health. I sleep well.” The power of our agreement with heaven.
If you exercise the gift of hearing God's voice on a daily basis, not only will you be richly blessed with revelation and wisdom, you will grow greatly in the prophetic gift. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice and they know Me and follow Me.” (NKJV) I start my journaling with an open ended question such as, “Father, what do you want to say to me today?” Then I wait with pen and paper in hand and listen. Since God's thoughts towards us are as numerous as the grains of sand (Psalm 139), hearing His heart for us is very available and always of blessing (Jeremiah 29:11).
The Word of God is life-giving and necessary for our spiritual growth. Read a portion from the Old Testament and New Testament daily asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate its meaning to you. Turn your Bible reading into dialogue with God. Come to the living Word through the written Word. Jeremiah 23:29 (NKJV) says, “Is not My word like a fire? says the Lord. And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Indeed, God's word is like a fire that burns inside of us and stirs us for greatness. His word is like a hammer that breaks up the lies we may have believed.
Another great quote from the Apostle Paul is found in Philippians 3:12 & 14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid a hold of me... I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)
Let's press on in the daily disciplines to lay a hold of the greatest prize, the pearl of great price – Jesus Christ.