Here is the second installment from Dr. Rick Spencer about spiritual formation. How are you working on your own spiritual health this year?
Four Legs to Stand On (part two)
(Components of Spiritual Formation)
A table or chair with four legs presents an object which provides stability and functionality. A sturdy table and chairs can be used for dining, drawing, playing games or provide the setting for building community. In the current discussion, each table leg represents one of the most important ingredients in spiritual health. In the previous article, two legs of the table representedScripture (Spiritual food) and Spirit (the breath of spiritual life). As we walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:18), we find that Scripture is a “light unto our path” (Ps. 119:105).
A third Leg—Community addresses the human need for family and the related essentials of intimacy, accountability and support. In Heb. 10: 24-25, the writer states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
As these verses encourage community among believers (meeting together), what are believers admonished to do? How will you spur someone onto “love and good deeds” today? Who are three people who need encouragement? Will you write a note, send a text or make a call to these people?
Who are people with whom you are involved in accountability? Why is this essential? Are you inviting others to join you in spiritual growth with a workable plan for accountability (such as reading passages of Scripture together or reading and discussing a book)? A strategy developed by Neil Cole is called “Life Transformation Groups.”https://www.cmaresources.org/index.php?q=ltg
A fourth Leg—The fourth leg vital to a stable table signifies the exercise of the spiritual life—Service. After he had completed the menial task of washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus addressed them with these words: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-15). In another setting, he said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (Mk. 9:35). And service is directed by the Spirit, informed by Scripture and a blessing to the community of faith and Kingdom of God.
One of Paul’s favorite metaphors for the church is the Body of Christ with the emphasis that every member plays an important part in building up the Body. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” How are you using your spiritual gifts and talents to serve others?
As important as exercise is to physical health, service in Christ’s name is essential to spiritual health.
The four table legs which support Christian health areSpirit, Scripture, Community, and Service. These are the food (Scripture), breath (Spirit), family (community) and exercise (service) of a healthy spiritual life.
Dr. Rick Spencer serves as Regional Coordinator for Texas BSM.