Personal Spiritual Exercises
Just like physical exercises help strengthen and stretch our bodies for healthy living, these spiritual exercises are meant to move us spiritually in ways that may be new so we might experience inner growth. Since God longs for us to experience Him with our whole selves—mind, body, spirit—we invite you along each week to strengthen your souls with suggestions and prompts. Next week in your Life Group, take a few moments to share how either of these exercises may have changed your outlook on your daily life.
Exercise 1: Remember God’s past faithfulness. At key moments in Israel’s history, God asks them to construct monuments so they and the generations to follow would remember what God had done for them. These “markers” would stand as tangible reminders to them in times when they were afraid or doubted that God was with them. A good spiritual practice is to find “markers” that remind you of God’s faithfulness in your past. Perhaps it is a hospital bracelet you saved that reminds you of God’s healing, or a note of encouragement from a friend that came at the right time in hard circumstances, or some other tangible object that reminds you that God is faithful and with you. Put this object in a place where you will see it frequently or, if possible, keep it with you wherever you go this week. Whenever you see it or touch it or read it this week, reflect on God’s presence with you during that time. Take time to pray and thank Him for His presence and strength that helped you through that scary or difficult circumstance. Ask Him to help you remember what He did for you the next time you encounter a similar situation where you need to have courage.
Exercise 2: Reflect on who our God is. One of the ways to develop a heart of courage is to understand who the God is who is with us. A weak, uncaring, unintelligent god would not engender courage in times of difficulty and distress. But our God is not like that. He is almighty, loving, and all wise. A good exercise this week is to take some time in solitude and reflect or journal on these three qualities of God—His might, His love, and His wisdom. Pay particular attention to how these three qualities of God can lead me to be courageous in those tough times. Tell another person (ideally people in your small group) the results of your reflections.