Posted by: whereintheworldismike | December 20, 2014

The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Formation, Pt 2

IMG_0311   Yesterday we took our friends from various parts of Japan to the Getty Museum. We were interested in Rubens Eucharist tapestries. It was pretty interesting and amazing in its production but really not my style of spiritual engagement which centers on intimacy with the Living God. Today we

IMG_0318This morning we took Kaz, Ken, and Miki to Santa Anita for breakfast while watching the horses workout.

Spiritual formation that results in greater sanctification leading to greater intimacy with God, and spiritual fruitfulness is included in the Lord’s Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20). However, this has been sorely neglected in most churches in developed countries especially, and is reflected in decreasing societal influence and a corresponding declining “spiritual birthrate.”

Effective spiritual formation must affect the heart and hands as well as the head of Christ followers. This will take more than lectures. So many jokes have been made about pastors’ lectures putting listeners to sleep it is not necessary here to repeat them to make the point. Church systems that effectively develop the emotional health and ethical character of disciples are needed. Relational networks must be developed organically to supplement doctrinal teaching that most often seeks to affect the cognition of learners exclusively.

Like any good communicator, the Apostle Paul thought about the underlying assumptions, values, and knowledge base of his hearer when he wrote to his protegé Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15 NKJV). This verse emphasizes the priority to develop the comprehensive spiritual discernment necessary to determine what is the source of demonstrated power and how to deal with it/respond to it.


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