Last Sunday I mentioned in the message on Psalm 133 that having relationships where you attach your heart to others of faith (unity) is one of the four essentials habits of sustained spiritual vitality.
I want to tell you about all four.
The first habit is having regular encounters with God. I describe a God-encounter as any time I gain revelation or insight about who God is, what God is doing in me, or how God is working in the world. This happens most regularly in Church gatherings and personal prayer/study times. It can also happen in the woods, on a walk, listening to music, and lots of ways.
The second habit is transformational relationships. Our faith gets shaped by our relationships and it is essential to have a community of faith where I am having faith-shaping conversations with people I trust. This is best in a mid-sized group, small group or a coffee table with one or two friends, but it is an essential part of ongoing spiritual formation in our lives.
The third habit is personal spiritual disciplines. Our faith gets established in our hearts and lives as we wrestle with the Scriptures (hear it, read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and apply it to our lives), wrestle with God in prayer, and deepen our reflection through journaling, fasting, solitude and other spiritual disciplines.
The fourth habit is meaningful service to others. Our faith gets energized when God uses us to impact someone’s life. He has given us gifts and experiences and when we use them to bless others, our own faith gets fresh fire. All addiction recover experts know that helping other addicts is a key to ongoing recovery.
When you practice these four habits - as a lifestyle - your will still travel through peaks and valleys, but your spiritual vitality will trend up and to the right over your lifetime. It is impossible to live these habits and stay stagnate in your spiritual life for long periods of time.