You Need To Like P.E.W.S. Do You?
Peter Firth, one of our leaders here at Gospel Of God Ministries, is going through our two-year internship. He wrote an article based on what he learned from the timeless work Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. We pray that this article leads you toward greater Godliness.
Prayer & Journaling – These are two of the most basic and foundational disciplines that a Christian should make available to his or herself. Maintaining a personal prayer life with God is vital, and in fact, it is a command from God; “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Martin Luther claimed, “As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.” Journaling as many ideas, thoughts, and experiences that God gives to a believer is a great discipline. Journaling provides the user with documented proof of one’s spiritual growth, or the lack there of. Either way, it provides efficient material for self-examination.
Evangelism – Evangelism should be the natural desire of every born-again Christian. Donald Whitney identifies evangelism as “presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to sinful people, in order that they may come to put their trust in God through Him, to receive Him as their Savior, and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the church.” Jesus commands us to evangelize (Matthew 28, John 20, Mark 16, Luke 24), but some people suffer from “evangelophobia.” Some symptoms of this phobia are as follows: false belief in a need for specialized training; fear of public speaking or speaking to strangers about Christ; lack of confidence in biblical knowledge; inability to deal with hard questions; and fear of rejection. The power to witness comes from the Holy Spirit. The most powerful witness of God’s saving grace is that of the changed life of the converted soul. At every moment in a Christian’s life, he or she should be ready to give a testimony as to what God has done for them and what God can do for the lost person.
Worship – The central theme of worship as a discipline is that we were made and required to worship God. Worship is a privilege and a duty. We are to worship God in truth and in spirit (John 4:23–24). There are two main categories of worship: public (corporately) and private. Bible reading and preaching are the main aspects of public worship. Quiet time alone with God by reading, praying, and meditating on God’s word are examples of private worship. The role of the Holy Spirit plays an important role in the act of worship. In fact, no one can worship God without the Holy Spirit residing within a regenerated heart. We must ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance in every aspect of our life, and particularly in the worship of the almighty God.
Serving – Serving God is not for the “casually interested” or seekers of a part-time occupation. It is costly to serve God, and He demands that He be our number one priority. In other words, there is no short-term responsibility. Our service to God and others continues until we leave this world or the Lord comes back to earth. Not all service is of a high and lofty nature; most of the service lies in the realm of lowly tasks that are often mundane. We don’t serve in order to earn our way into heaven, but rather, because God has saved us in His mercy. We have a sense of indebtedness that we can never repay. But what drives our service is a deep and abiding love and gratitude to God, which motivates our “works” and demonstrate our love and commitment. We not only serve God but also serve fellow man: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthews 22:39). Our motivations for service are the same—because we love God. There should be a love for the lost, and serving provides a powerful witness to those who are without Christ. However, we should be aware of the dangers of the “flesh” when serving God. They are the sins of sloth and pride. But the spiritual discipline of serving, with the power of the Holy Spirit, will overcome the flesh.
The other spiritual disciplines unmentioned were not omitted because of a lack of importance. Much can be said about the need of other disciplines, but time and space does not permit that discussion here. I have learned much about these spiritual disciplines, and hopefully I will be able to incorporate them into my daily living for the Lord. I challenge you to also apply the above P.E.W.S. and then pick up the book for yourself to start applying the other disciplines. Go proclaim the Gospel to see a life transformed.
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