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22nd June 2022


Spiritual Styles / Preferences

God is seeking to make us ever more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).
It is a process of sanctification & godly change & transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:1-2).
In our spiritual formation ‘In Christ’ each one us develops in slightly differing ways.
Our defaults & strong preferences being either Word (head), Emotion (heart), Symbol (mystic) or Action (social justice).
Today we will explore a little more about WORD.

God is constantly at work through the indwelling Spirit seeking to make each one us more like Jesus.
Our minds being renewed to impact all of our attitudes & actions. Conforming us to Christ in character & conduct.
This takes place to differing degrees & at differing speeds dependent on how readily we respond to the Lord.
Part of this process takes place in our heads & thinking.


For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2


WORD (Head – learning / knowledge) – The way of the intellect & understanding.
Words & thought are central to this style of learning & spiritual development.
Faith tends to grow & increase as learning & knowledge about God increase.
Words & how they are used are important & crucial to this style.
Primarily it is a thinking & reflective spirituality. The mind & rational thought playing a key role.

The Scriptures are highly valued in this approach as is theological study.
Accuracy & precision are important, as is clarity. Concreteness of thought matters.
The meaning of words & how & why they are used all mean a lot.
Expository preaching will be the favoured style & preferred method of these individuals.
The articulation of beliefs & doctrine are also treasured by these people.
Spoken & written words are central to the spiritual lives of these believers.
Knowing God more is facilitated & helped by knowing more about God.

Clearly this style & approach to spiritual formation will help us engage strongly with the Scriptures.
It will aid us in our understanding of the Christian faith & give us a firm grip on what we believe & why.
It is a style & approach based heavily upon that which has been revealed & can be known about God.
A danger is that we could become too dogmatic in our views or too reliant on our rational thought & intellect.
It is likely that many of the teachers & theologians in the Church are highly influenced & motivated by this style.
Let us give thanks for them & their ministries in our midst.
Let each one of us also seek to be more open & receptive to word-based spirituality.


For Reflection

  • How powerfully are you influenced & affected by written or spoken words?
  • How important to you is it to study the Scriptures in detail?
  • Meditate on the word (head) based approach to spiritual formation.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You are seeking to make me more & more like Jesus.
Lord Jesus draw me closer to your heart, teach me Your ways oh Lord.
Holy Spirit lead, guide, equip & empower me to keep renewing my mind,
Keep me actively growing & maturing in my faith,
That I may know Father, Son & Spirit more deeply.
This I ask in, & through, Your mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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