YOU CAN THINK OF SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE as a way to maintain a healthy relationship with God. Beth and I have been married for more than twenty years and have been friends for more than thirty years. Yet if one of us neglected the relationship — never talking, rarely coming home, squandering money, and so on — the legal marital relationship would remain for a while, but the quality of the relationship would be pretty poor, and the foundation would crumble fast!
So it is with our relationship to God. God is faithful and has done everything for us that we need to know and grow in God. Yet we have plenty of impediments to mature faith, including fear, mixed motives, stubbornness, and an inability to see the future. The Bible itself indicates that God can seem silent and distant at times. People faithful to their relationship with God have times of doubt, trouble, and anxiety, as we’ve seen from the Bible psalms and stories —so much more for those of us whose prayer life, fellowship time, charitable giving, Bible reading, and so on are “catch as catch can.” Meaningful spiritual discipline helps us grow and remain open to God’s Spirit.
– Paul E. Stroble
You Gave Me a Wide Place
From pages 142-143 of You Gave Me a Wide Place: Holy Places of Our Lives, by Paul E. Stroble. Copyright © 2006 by Paul E. Stroble. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What are you doing to maintain your relationship with God? Share your thoughts.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Genesis 25:34, NRSV
This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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