Colossian Blog
November 1, 2017 | Jennifer Vander Molen

Life in Formation: Spiritual Formation 101

We tend to think that more information will solve our problems. But you can’t read up on marathons and then go out and run 26 miles without training. Likewise, we can’t expect to live a Christ-shaped life without engaging in discipleship.

At The Colossian Forum, we’re helping people move beyond stockpiling information to intentionally allowing God’s spirit to form them, especially in pressured situations. Godly formation is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It occurs when we allow the Spirit to guide what we participate in and how we participate.

Through practice, we can grow to be more like Christ. Living an unintentional life is much like shifting your car into drive and allowing it to steer itself. You’ll still go in a direction, but probably not a good one!

How do we practice spiritual formation?

Start by examining the practices you already inhabit. Are they moving you in the right direction—to a deeper love of God and neighbor? Are you displaying the fruit of the Spirit in everyday situations? Are you living a life worthy of the call you’ve been given in Christ?

Next, consider if a few of your current activities or habits can be altered, re-directed, or replaced in order to steer your spirit in a more life-giving direction. Wake up and visit a prayer website or read Scripture instead of immediately scrolling through your newsfeed. Or begin the day in prayer, asking God to set your priorities instead of looking through your to-do list or calendar.

Intentional Christ-forming practices also ready you for times of conflict. Rather than marshaling your well-honed argument or information arsenal to win against your neighbor, ask what it would take to bring this person one step closer to God.

We believe the church can be more beautiful—not only for us in the church but also for the watching world. We long for something better for ourselves and for our Christian communities. That “something better” is the goal of Christ-empowered formation.

What about you?

What are some ongoing God-centered routines, traditions, and habits in your life? How do they nurture your spiritual sensitivity and growth? What do they look like day-to-day? Let us know; we’d love to hear about it!

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