Simplify Your Spiritual Life

Fence at Mission Ranch

Do you constantly feel “behind” or “in progress” or “guilty” or when it comes to mastering spiritual disciplines.  Maybe you find yourself aimlessly jumping from book to book in the Bible trying to find the “right approach” to regular Scripture reading.  Or like me, your night stand is stacked with precarious piles of half-read books. 

Donald Whitney writes in his book, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, “Does your spiritual life sometimes seem more like a burden than a blessing? Have your spiritual practices become ‘just another thing to do’ in an already overcrowded, stress-filled schedule? If so, then you need to simplify your spiritual life.” If we simplify our spiritual goals and how we accomplish them, they become much more attainable.

Master the Basics
Growing in God always boils down to the basics.  No matter what trial or season I hit, I need to learn how to apply the gospel in every new situation, challenge, and temptation. The gospel is what saved me and the gospel is what sanctifies me.  The channels by which we receive God’s grace to live victoriously day after day flow from the basics: Bible Reading, Prayer, Scripture Memory, Meditation, Solitude, Fasting, etc.

Make a Plan

  • Spiritual disciplines are not the goals themselves; they are the means to the ultimate goal – becoming like the Lord Jesus. The more we are like Jesus, the more we fulfill our ultimate destiny: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
  • Also known as spiritual sweat, these disciplines are hard to develop. Failure to plan is planning to fail. The Enemy wants nothing more than to keep you distracted.  Notice how overwhelmingly tired you are when you try to start the habit of getting up early to read your Bible?

Make it Easy

  • Simplicity leads to success. I recommend picking ONE to work on for a whole month.
  • Set yourself up for success. Start with baby steps until you can run, jump, and skip.  Focus on building the habit. Implement small goals:  I will get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier for two weeks. I will read 1 to 3 verses and pray.  Have your Bible in the spot you plan to read. Use a reading plan. If you are a newbie at this, daily Bibles are highly recommended.  All you do is open and read!  No time wasted searching for the “passage/s of the day.”

Check out:
 Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald Whitney

Recommended Resources:
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald Whitney
MacArthur Daily Bible New King James with Notes from John MacArthur

Please Comment:
What is your reading plan?  Why do you like it? What is the biggest struggle you face when trying to spend time in the Word?

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One thought on “Simplify Your Spiritual Life

  1. It was good to be reminded that spiritual disciplines help us with the larger purpose of glorifying and enjoying God. I know I can get stuck in a discipline for the sake of “being good”, but it’s really just prideful if I’m not using it for the aim of glorifying God. I also found it helpful to be guided to a specific devotional plan every day instead of reading random verses to rectify whatever feelings might be bothering me, e.g. worry, fear, resentment, etc. It helps to have a daily plan for devotions.

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