Allowing our lives to reflect more and more the life of Jesus is the goal of spiritual training (II Peter 1:3-10). He serves as a reminder that God can use adversity to work for our good in the end (Hebrews 12:10, Isaiah 48:17).
Before You Continue...
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How do you train yourself spiritually?
Seven Ways to Boost Your Spiritual Well-Being
- Examine your spiritual foundation. You are merely asking yourself questions about who you are and what you mean when you explore your spiritual essence.
Why spiritual training is important?
“Therefore, because we are surrounded by such a large cloud of witnesses, let us throw aside every burden and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run the course that is set before us with perseverance.” 12:1 Hebrews
Endurance sports necessitate perseverance, or the willingness to run or bike a long distance. You can't sprint the first few miles of a marathon, then run out of gas and stroll the last 20 to the finish line. You certainly can, but you will not receive a reward at the end. To put on a good performance, you must resist exhaustion and keep going until the end.
When spiritual dryness sets in, setbacks occur, and temptation intensifies, you have the option of throwing in the towel or sticking to your convictions and pressing on toward the far finish line. You can either call it quits or switch to the steadier fuel of duty and discipline and keep going when the excitement and invigorating feelings that erupt at the start of the race begin to fade.
It won't be easy, but if the spiritual athlete perseveres, he can join the apostle Paul in saying, “I've fought the good battle, finished the race, and maintained my faith.”
Why Train the Soul?
“The utmost human felicity is to struggle with problems and overcome them.” The next step is to strive and earn the right to conquer; but he whose life has gone by without a fight, and who can boast neither success nor merit, can only see himself as a waste of time.” Joseph Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Samuel
We have implicitly set out the benefits of both types of exercise in describing the many parallels between training the body and training the soul.
Physical training improves a man's physical health and strength, giving him better physique hardness and toughness, higher mobility and agility, more activity options, the ability to complete daily duties, and the ability to survive and thrive in a crisis. Physical strength is something that every man should have.
Spiritual training improves the soul's health and strength by improving its ability to delay gratification and deny lower impulses in favor of higher ones, overcome weaknesses and temptations, act as an autonomous moral agent, make difficult decisions with dexterous wisdom, and willingly serve others. For, as 19th century physical culturist Georges Hebert put it, exercising both body and soul leads to a stronger desire and capacity to help others along the way, so that we can claim, like Georges Hebert, that we have gotten strong, to be useful.
The overall impact of both types of training may be summed up in a single word: strength. A man with a well-trained body and soul has the ability to accomplish more and be more. The ability to keep his equilibrium in the face of life's ups and downs. The ability to rise above current culture's petty status grabs and superficial entertainments. The ability to avoid the traps of lust, greed, and pride. The ability to live a virtuous, prosperous, and happy life in this world, as well as an eternal existence in the world to come, if one so believes.
What is spiritual development in simple words?
Over the course of two millennia, several theologians have attempted to define spiritual development. In the secular and multicultural world we live in, spiritual development can mean many different things to different people. Spiritual growth, in essence, is the development of an awareness of realities beyond the limitations of time and space, as well as a belief in anything beyond the material realm.
The objective of spiritual growth is aptly summarized in Romans 12:2, which exhorts us to “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be changed by the renewing of your mind.” Then you'll be able to put God's will to the test and approve it as good, pleasant, and perfect.” In all of our endeavors, God's truth and purpose transform the soul, spirit, mind, and strength. Everything we have is to be stewarded to God, including our knowledge, skills, talents, and capacities. God's goals for the world are progressively harmonizing with our story as we grow spiritually.
How do you train your soul?
12 Spiritual Exercises
- Feel thankful. You might keep a gratitude notebook or simply express your thankfulness to yourself before going to bed.
How do you grow spiritually?
1. Begin by humbling yourself and praying.
It's all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget how fortunate we are. You may maintain these positives in your mind by taking time in the morning (and again before you go to sleep at night).
Request that God continue to bless and protect you and your loved ones. This is also a good moment to ask Him for assistance in keeping your mind on His plan for your life. When we ask Him a question, we may find that we immediately see opportunities in front of us.
2. Study and Read the Bible
Consider your Bible to be a manual. The pages contain more information about how to live your life than you may realize. Proverbs and the letters to the churches (such as Ephesians and Philippians) instruct you on how to live a Christian life. Life lessons abound in the Bible.
The teachings of Jesus can be found throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and then the teachings of the disciples may be found throughout the rest of the New Testament. The Old Testament tells you about Jesus' ancestors as well as stories of people who had strong faith. The more you grow in God's Word, the less external influences will cause you to stumble.
If you have the opportunity, try to delve thoroughly into a particular book, either in a group Bible study session or online, in order to gather some truth nuggets. This will also help you understand how this fact affects your life.
3. Find a group of believers who share your beliefs.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to find Christian groups that meet for a variety of reasons. Christian book clubs, Christian counseling groups, and faith-based exercise courses are examples of this.
There's a cliché that says you become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose persons who have a deep relationship with God and can assist you in your spiritual development as a Christian.
4. Help Others
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,” Jesus stated in Matthew 7:12, “because this is the Law and the Prophets” (New King James Version).
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We've all heard the command, but how many of us actually do it? And what does it mean to serve others in order to get closer to God?
While on Earth, Jesus demonstrated how God wants us to live by caring for and serving others. Will people betray and injure us? Yes. They also harmed and betrayed Jesus. He continued to reach out to people and point them to God. We are feeding Jesus' chosen by feeding and clothing the destitute. “Feed my sheep,” Jesus stated to Peter after three times asking if he loved Him.
Please feed my sheep. It is our duty to look after others and to serve as the Lord's hands and feet. The key to a closer connection with God is obedience. “If you love me, observe my commands,” Jesus stated. (New International Version, John 14:15).
This does not, however, imply that if you are a victim of abuse, you must keep your arms in the fire. You can forgive others while maintaining a healthy distance from harmful connections. If you need assistance, talk to a Christian Counselor who can guide you toward a Christian lifestyle with healthy relationships.
5. Find out what spiritual gifts you have.
Each Christian has been given spiritual gifts, according to the Bible. Did you know that this can imply more than bodily healing and the ability to speak in tongues? Those are two of the most important biblical gifts.
You've also been given discernment, wisdom, faith, knowledge, and the fruits of the Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Some of the gifts are related to your mission. You can improve these abilities by engaging in particular activities. You can focus on aligning your spiritual gifts with your purpose and serving others as a means of deepening your relationship with God if you are aware of the spiritual gifts that God has given you.
These are your innate abilities and characteristics. Do you enjoy assisting others, whether it's through home visits or meal preparation? Do you have a natural aptitude for teaching? Do you regularly share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others?
Other spiritual gifts that you may discover in yourself or others include:
- Are you the person that everyone looks to in a crisis? Are you more of a take-charge leader than a follower?
- Administration – Do you enjoy leading a church function when no one else is available? Are you prone to delegating duties and organizing groups and events?
- Does it concern you when someone reads Scripture out of context when you're teaching? Do you ever have the feeling that you could teach others about a particular subject?
- Evangelism – Do you often share the good news of Jesus Christ with others? Do you coach others on how to do the same?
- Shepherding – Can you educate or lead while caring for and serving others? Do you feel a sense of responsibility for the persons God has entrusted to your care?
- Prophecy – Do you believe the Holy Spirit gives you special insight into a person or a group of people? Are you confident in your ability to express Biblical truths?
- Do you prioritize serving the needs of others in your church and community when you serve? Do you enjoy working on projects that require you to be hands-on?
- Mercy Do you sympathize with those who are in pain and looking for solace? Is it possible for you to provide a safe haven for a friend who is grieving or in pain?
- Exhortation Do you offer practical, Bible-based advice to people? Can you see the bigger picture and propose answers to a problem?
- Giving – Do you go beyond tithes and offerings to find methods to financially help ministries? Do you spend your time and money anonymously in order to build God's kingdom rather than to “show off”?
Consider visiting with a Spiritual Development Counselor who can assist you in developing a strategy to further each of your gifts. You may focus on serving others while also achieving your purpose if you discover the top three gifts God has given you for ministry.
Everything will begin to seem aligned when you are experiencing a spiritual awakening of these gifts. Your relationship with God will improve as you continue to work on these. Find folks who share your passions and can serve as mentors. A person with the spiritual gift of teaching who also enjoys writing, for example, could collaborate with a Bible study author to create content for their church ministry.
Make a daily commitment to incorporate each of these into your spiritual development plan. Nothing matters more than your spiritual awakening and your relationship with God. We hope that as you grow in your spiritual life, you will be able to carry that confidence out into the world.
What are the 7 spiritual disciplines?
Spiritual disciplines are practices that are intended to help people change their lives. Their goal is to help us grow spiritually as Christ's disciples and improve our relationship with God. They're similar to spiritual training activities. However, just like any other form of exercise, we must choose to perform it on a regular basis in order to feel or see the benefits. So, what are these practices, exactly? Consider the following lists from two of the most influential publications on the subject from the twentieth century:
Dallas Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives
- Abstinence disciplines include seclusion, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, confidentiality, and sacrifice.
- Study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, and submission are the disciplines of engagement.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to structure these lists of spiritual disciplines, as well as which disciplines are included. So, how did these practices come to be? Because they've endured the test of time, the majority of them are considered spiritual disciplines. Finally, Christians have decided to incorporate these disciplines into their spiritual lives because they are practices that Jesus himself practiced or taught about, according to the Bible.
How do you build your soul?
The importance of being present in the moment has been emphasized throughout this article. It's because we only have the present moment. It helps to just sit motionless, listen to our own thoughts, or even become as mindless as possible for a few moments.
A quiet settles over your body, mind, and spirit, allowing you to let go of everything. Even a brief period of meditation can be extremely beneficial. The longer and more frequently you meditate, the better, more calm, and more present you will feel.
- Allow your thoughts to come and go as they please, then restore your attention to the breath.
- Take a seat in a position that is comfortable for you. Make sure your back is straight if you're seated.
- To ensure that you can focus and relax while meditating, find a safe, peaceful area. It can happen in any location, including outside.
Read Inspirational Books, Watch a Happy or Inspirational Movie
Consider what it was like to go to bed as a child. Before falling asleep, you were nestled in and told a midnight story. You probably fell asleep easily because you felt secure and relaxed. That is still a possibility.
Watching movies or reading books will help you escape your own thoughts and immerse yourself in a fantastic adventure or inspirational story starring someone else. Even if the difficulties and tribulations are fictional, reading or seeing someone else go through them might help motivate someone who is trapped or down on their luck.
- Don't force yourself to finish a book or movie you don't like. Instead, look for a book or movie that speaks to you more deeply.
- Try to stay away from films with a lot of violence. Your brain will believe it is witnessing it for real, and you will become even more agitated.
How can I reach my soul?
Introspection is one of the most effective ways to search your soul. It opens doors to your thoughts and the viewpoints from which you view life's varied facets. It's a type of self-reflection that allows you to see into your own mind. What is your outlook on life? What is your perspective on the world? Who are you? Why are you the way you are? Answering these types of questions will help you gain a better grasp of your personality and worldview.
What is spiritual development example?
Enlightenment is a result of spiritual progress, according to the view of spirituality offered here. It would be a mistake, however, to believe that the path to enlightenment is always linear or predictable, or that enlightenment is always complete. Many people describe their spiritual paths as having periods of crystal-clear illumination followed by periods of difficulty. But, in a manner that others who simply think about or aspire to enlightenment cannot, a person who has experienced total illumination, however brief, knows that enlightenment is a real possibility. The capacity to be deeply present without assumptions or judgments, as well as constant awareness of oneself as being pervaded by the ground of all being, are two key characteristics of enlightenment.
In 1944, Aldous Huxley published “The Perennial Philosophy,” in which he provided convincing evidence that the fundamental views on the nature of human spirituality held by the mystical strains of each major faith group, Eastern or Western, could be traced back to a common underlying set of understandings about the human spirit that originated thousands of years ago in India. Personal realities are always incomplete representations of spirituality, according to this viewpoint; intuitive, mystical connection with the ground of being is superior to simply thinking about the ground of being; the human spirit has a divine nature, and a person can come to identify with that universal Self rather than the personal ego; and the ultimate goal of spiritual development is to experience no separation from the ground of being.
As a result, spiritual growth can be defined as a progression toward ultimate possibilities, with the highest levels of spiritual development occurring in the development of a capacity that allows consciousness to transcend the constraints of body, language, reason, and society. Movement toward ultimate possibilities entails a shift from simple imitative and dependent spiritual thought and behavior to a personal mental picture of spiritual issues that integrates both inner and outer life spiritual experiences; a shift to a subtle, contemplative, and transcendent understanding of the common ground of both inner and outer life experiences; and a shift to being fully united with the ultimate ground of all being. Spiritual growth is a process of transcendence that can be viewed as a spiral of ever-increasing knowledge and experience of oneself and the cosmos.
Some writers on spiritual development emphasize the fact that it is a lifelong process. Spiritual development, according to Zen master Joko Beck, arises from the daily practice of sitting meditation and the application of present-moment awareness to everyday life. “Enlightenment is not something that can be attained. It's when something isn't there. You've spent your entire life advancing toward something, seeking a goal. All of that is being abandoned in the name of enlightenment. But talking about it is pointless. Each person is responsible for their own practice. There are no alternatives. We can read about it till we're a thousand years old, but it won't help us” (Beck, p. 5). “Attention is the cutting, blazing sword, and our practice is to use it as much as we can,” says the author. (See Beck, p. 32.) The emphasis here is on the process rather than on progress or attaining higher levels of spiritual awareness.
Others believe that spiritual growth can be broken down into stages. Fowler, for example, saw adult spiritual development as having three stages: an individual-reflective stage in which the self begins to turn away from external sources of spiritual authority and toward the development of an internal moral and spiritual orientation that has personal meaning for the individual; and a conjunctive stage characterized by greater acceptance of paradox and ambiguity, a deepening sense of understanding, and disillusionment with spiritual authority. Fowler believed there was a link between life stage and spiritual development, with the individual-reflective stage occurring in early adulthood and the conjunctive stage appearing in midlife and later. He did not believe that many people had achieved the stage of universalization.
Wilber saw spiritual growth as advancing from sensory knowing in childhood to various stages of reasoning knowledge in early adulthood, and finally to contemplative knowing in midlife. Children, for example, frequently get their first mystical experiences through sensory sources such as communing with nature, listening to religious music, or witnessing a breathtaking sunset. Adults can later receive immense inspiration from written and spoken words through their minds, oblivious to the fact that the stillness between and around those words may be vital to their sense of spiritual connection. Most people adopt some type of discipline as they go on their spiritual path, a regular action that allows them to transcend their self-consciousness and experience inner serenity.
The call, the search, the struggle, the breakthrough, and the return are the five stages of spiritual development outlined by Moody and Carroll. When an inner yearning for connection, or a greater connection, with the spiritual Self arises, the call is heard. The call may begin as a sense of an empty part of oneself, eventually evolving into a sense that one's spiritual nature is not yet completely formed. Finding and exploring a spiritual path is part of the search. The search may take place within the context of a conventional religion or it may entail an investigation and sampling of a variety of religious traditions. Overcoming the ego's opposition to transcendental meditative or contemplative techniques is a common battleground. The myriad arguments and hurdles the mind develops to obstruct the experience of quiet mind can cause great anguish in beginning meditators. When the impediments or objections to transcendence are overcome, even if only temporarily, breakthroughs occur. People are more likely to stay motivated in their aim to be open to experiencing these qualities as part of their awareness once they have experienced pure mindfulness and transcendent consciousness.
People who gain transcendent knowledge do not usually disappear from the world. Instead, people go about their daily lives as usual, but their viewpoint on them is altered. The return entails bringing into the world the spiritual insights gained via transcendence. The form that such service takes is largely determined by the spiritual path chosen. A devotional journey can lead to being a devotional exemplar. Being a teacher or a leader may be a way to return to a road of awareness and understanding. The ability to perceive the world from a nonpersonal perspective that is open, unselfish, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, and clear-minded, among many other attributes, is a trait shared by everyone who have broken through. Bringing these traits to everything one does in life can have a significant return effect.
The sequence described by Moody and Carroll does not imply that there is only one course to complete before becoming enlightened. Rather, it's a cyclic process in which one grows increasingly enlightened by going through the full process they explain whenever a need for deeper development arises.
But how can one be sure that their spiritual experiences are genuine? After all, the human mind is highly adept in persuading one to misinterpret a wide range of events. For starters, millions of men and women have claimed to have felt a global presence as a part of themselves across thousands of years and in a wide range of historical eras and cultures. This inner experience is described as a direct link that bypasses the verbal mind, making it less vulnerable to personal or cultural bias. Second, by collectively commenting on individual spiritual experiences, spiritual communities provide an important function. Sharing spiritual experiences and insights with others in a spiritual group is a vital safeguard against mistaking spiritual realization for a subtle ego agenda.