Devotions from James Smith’s book Embracing the Love of God

Our body was designed to interact with the spiritual realm. When we do certain spiritual exercise (all of which involve our bodies) we nurture and develop our souls and spirits. This is called spiritual formation.  Spiritual formation is happening all the time, even when we are not aware of it. Each day our spirits are being formed. As we turn ourselves to God, engaging in activities and spiritual exercise, we will begin to reflect God in our everyday lives.
Six exercises that have a great effect on our lives are:

  1. Keeping the Sabbath. This is when we take a day of the week, or an afternoon or two, when we schedule a time to do nothing.  It’s a time of abstaining from work which teaches us to live in trust and let God take care of us.
  2. Solitude.  This is a time to withdraw from other people for the purpose of becoming more attuned to our inner heart. It makes us more sensitive to the world around us and creates a space for us to be still.
  3. Silence.  This is a means of centering our spirit and quieting our souls.  By keeping a period of silence we become more focused on the things that we say without words.
  4. Prayer.   Prayer is the most transforming activity we can engage in. God has given us this gift so we can commune with Him. We can take all our needs and concerns and questions and doubts to Him who welcomes them
  5. Study.  Through study we focus our minds on Him and what is true, honorable, just, and pure. ( Phil. 4:8)  It is good to take a passage of scripture and memorize it and let it speak to our hearts.
  6. Practicing the Presence.  This is an exercise that involves becoming consciously aware of God’s presence daily. We are often focused on many other things that God is far from our minds.  So when we take time every few hours to consider His presence, we open the window for God to be more a part of our lives.

Tomorrow I will share what a typical day looks like when we care for ourselves.