Five Techniques (to spirituality)

Just as God gives grace only to the undeserving, He gives strength only to the weak. Until we understand our own weakness, we will not be able to appropriate the power of God that resides in us with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That appropriation is a process that should continue for the rest of our lives, but it will not just happen. We need a way to make it happen; we need techniques. The five techniques that follow are progressive; they have to be learned in order.

  1. Confession. God wants us to come boldly to the throne of grace when we sin, in full assurance that all our sins were paid for at the cross (Heb 4:14-16). He is not honored when we come crawling and cringing into His presence, begging for something that He has promised to give. When we confess, we are immediately cleansed and can walk away confident that we are restored to fellowship, filled with the Holy Spirit, and empowered for His work (Psa 32, 38, 51; 1Co 11:28-31; 1Jo 1:7-10). Confession is the first habit we need to learn in the Christian life because without confession we cannot be filled with the Spirit, and apart from the filling of the Spirit we do not have the power to live the Christian life.
  2. Spirituality. After we master the technique of confessing and being filled with the Spirit (Eph 6:18), we have to master the technique of staying filled—of walking by the Spirit (Gal 5:16). The mechanics are spelled out in Eph 1:23, Eph 3:16-20 and Eph 4:1-16. Basically, it requires obedience to two commands: do not grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30), which we do by sinning, and do not quench the Spirit (1Th 5:19), which we do by being apathetic to the Word. Dependence on the filling of the Holy Spirit leads to disciplined study, prayer, and application.
  3. Faith-rest. Once we confess our sins and have entered into the supply system of the filling of the Holy Spirit, then we begin to take hold of the Word of God We learn to rely on the promises, the principles, and the doctrines of the Word, and that reliance produces inner rest, peace, and tranquility (Mat 11:29). Apart from grace (which comes from the Holy Spirit) and truth (which comes from the Word) in balance in the soul, there is no power in life. When we learn to apply the Word to our lives daily, then we enter into the function of the Daniel-in-the-lions’-den kind of power, the power that brings inner rest in outer turmoil (Phi 4:6-7; Heb 4).
  4. Living in the Word. "Living in the Word" means that we have come to the realization that everything in life but the Word of God is a detail (Mat 4:4). We understand that we can live without money, without health, without friends, but we cannot live without the Word, and so we make the Word our priority (Psa 119:103; Psa 119:105; Psa 138:2). We make a decision to saturate our soul with the Word. This involves personal study above and beyond anything we do in church. Study and application of the Word brings spiritual growth (2Ti 2:15; 2Ti 3:16-17; 2Pe 3:18); spiritual growth brings conformity to Christ (Rom 12:2; 1Co 2:16.) The only way to be conformed to the living Word is to feed on the written Word.
  5. Occupation with Christ. When we reach the point at which we are occupied with the person of Jesus Christ, we are fulfilling the command to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mar 12:30). If we are occupied with things, with people, or with ourselves, then we have not yet learned this technique. In Hebrews 3:1, we are urged to "consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession." "Consider," katanoeo, means "to bear down with the mind, to concentrate." Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to keep on concentrating on Him. We are commanded to study and imitate His life (1Co 11:1; 1Pe 2:21). The only way to avoid growing weary and losing heart, the only way to finish the race set before us is by coming to an intimate personal knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ (Phi 3:10).

This material was originally a highlighted topic in "The Basics".

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