This past Sunday, we talked about the Spiritual Habit (or Discipline) of Study. Having a Church on a college campus- study isn’t the habit that many are eager to jump into because of the study that is done throughout the day in preparation for class (Ok- I’m hopeful that our students are studying for class!). I think that study and prayer are the primary habits that Christians have practiced over the centuries as a means to experience God’s presence.
We defined study as an act where we fix our mind on an object in order to be changed. For the Christian, then, this means fixing our eyes on the things of God through Scriptures and spiritual writings. Romans 12:2 says:
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When we study- when we fix our hearts and minds on the things of God- our minds are renewed and we are transformed. When our minds our renewed and transformed- then we will be able to test and approve God’s will.
The challenge for disciples of Jesus in an age where we have instant access to books, magazines, music, pornography, movies, and television shows is to be aware of what we are filling our minds with. It becomes very difficult to hear from God when there is so much digital noise in our lives- and even more so when that which creates the noise pulls us away from God. We would be good to use Philippians 4:8 as a filter:
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Author, Richard Foster, writes that the purpose of spiritual disciplines is “the total transformation of the person.” This total transformation into the God-life is difficult if we are fixated and conformed to the things of the world. We must become disciplined to fix our eyes of God and the things of God- putting us in a place to experience total transformation.
Evaluate the music, television and other media you listen to this week- how does it stack up to Philippians 4:8? What are you studying to grow closer to Jesus this week?