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7 spiritual disciplines that can change your life

Unsplash/Lampos Aritonang
Unsplash/Lampos Aritonang

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always got.” I don’t know about you, but I want to partner with the new things God wants to do in my life this year, and I want 2024 to really count for something. And I want the same thing for you.

I believe that this year truly can be the year that changes your life — but it starts by taking ownership.

The word “ownership” can be defined as “intentional responsibility.” Taking ownership of your faith is about making a conscious decision to actively partner with the Holy Spirit when it comes to your spiritual growth.

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It can be so easy to place the responsibility for your spiritual growth on your church or on your pastor or on your family member, but the important truth is that you are the one who is responsible for your spiritual growth!

So, are you ready to take ownership of your faith this year? If the answer is yes, then here are the areas you should focus on.

Seven spiritual disciplines that can change your life

1. Prayer: This can be the year that prayer changes your life!

Prayer is our direct line to God. It's our means of communicating with Him, expressing our deepest desires, and acknowledging that there are things in our lives that only He can change. If you want this to be the best year of your life, be prepared for God to do things that you can't — things that are beyond your ability, because "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

Importantly, prayer isn’t just about talking to God. It is about listening to God! God already knows what we are going to pray before we say it out loud. He still wants us to share with Him, but He also wants us to listen to His response. What He has to say can and will change our lives.

2. The Bible: This can be the year that the Word of God changes your life!

"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

In a world where we're bombarded with messages from every direction, it's crucial to ground your life on the solid foundation of God's Word. It can be so easy to base our decisions on what social media says, or what the media says, or what our emotions say. But what does the Bible say? We cannot and should not base our lives or decisions on anything else. Let the Bible be the ultimate authority in your life. There are so many ways you can commit to this, whether by setting aside 20 minutes to read every day, joining a Bible study, or listening on the Bible app. You just have to start somewhere.

3. Community: This can be the year that community changes your life!

When I first became a Christian, it wasn't only the church services that helped me grow. I was transformed by the deep, meaningful connections I formed in my small group. My small group impacted me so greatly, in fact, that I am still in a small group to this day! Community is where growth happens — where we find accountability, encouragement, and support. If you want this year to be the year that changes your life, start investing in community.

4. Worship: This can be the year that worship changes your life!

Worship is more than a segment in a church service — it's a posture of laying your life before God. You can and should worship everywhere you go. Worship at your home, worship at your place of work, worship in your car… you name it. And even though worshiping isn’t limited to singing, I still recommend that you flood your life with worship music this year. Music is highly influential in our lives. It has the power to influence our actions, decisions, and words. Listening to worship music consistently can draw your heart closer to God and point you toward Jesus in every circumstance.

5. Evangelism: This can be the year that evangelism changes your life - and the lives of those around you!

Second Corinthians 5:20 tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ on this earth. That means that we have a profound responsibility: to share the good news of Jesus Christ wherever we go. But sharing the Gospel with the world has to start somewhere. It starts with just one person — the person in front of us. Imagine the impact we could have if each one of us shared our faith with one person this year. This would not only change the life of that person, but it would change our lives, as well. Let this be the year that you take ownership of sharing the gospel.

6. Service: This can be the year that serving others changes your life!

So many Christians are consumers rather than contributors and renters rather than owners. This year, take responsibility for what happens in your church and community. Take ownership of loving your neighbor and serving your city. God has blessed each of us with unique gifts, talents, and passions. It's time to ask Him how He wants you to use these gifts in service to others. Remember, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Mark 10:43).

7. Generosity: This can be the year that generosity changes your life!

We live in a world where everyone is trying to get something, but God’s Kingdom is all about surrender and giving. There are two seas in Israel: the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is teaming with life and is great for fishing, while the Dead Sea is full of salt and has nothing living in it. What’s the difference between the two? While the Sea of Galilee has water flowing in and flowing out, the Dead Sea only has water flowing in. This is what can happen in the life of Christians when the blessings flow to us but not through us.

God doesn’t want the blessings He gives us to stop with us. He desires the Holy Spirit to move in us and through us, touching lives and making a difference. "Give, and it will be given to you ... for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38).

Take ownership this year!

I’ll leave you with a question: Are you ready to take ownership of these spiritual disciplines in your life? If so, now’s the time to step up and step into what God has for you.

I will be teaching on this topic over the next couple of months at Rock Church. If you want to learn more about these disciplines and be encouraged along your journey, join us on YouTube @therocksandiego.

Miles McPherson is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also a motivational speaker and author. McPherson's latest book “The Third Option” speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.


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