In this lies the heart of the rule: to love Christ, to shun wealth, to remain close to the heavenly king, and to be gentle towards all people.
- Comghall, Rule (Irish, 6th century)
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
- Matthew 22.37, 39
When we think of people living by a "rule of discipline" we typically have in mind folks living in monasteries. Like Comghall's monks.
The rule helps them to organize their time and spiritual exercises so that they maintain a continuous fellowship with the Lord and are able to grow in Him.
For Comghall, head of the great sending monastery at Bangor, the rule of his monks had four purposes: to nurture love for Christ, to defeat the lusts of the flesh and the world, to maintain close communion with the King of heaven, and to nurture love for neighbors.
Sounds like a pretty good program to me.
A personal rule of spiritual disciplines is like a covenant you develop in communion with the Lord to guide the development of your walk with Him. If your personal rule is not written, it's probably non-existent. You may have some disciplines that you practice regularly - reading Scripture, prayer, worship, and so forth.
But if you've never consciously considered how your spiritual disciplines relate to your calling in the Lord - your Personal Mission Field - how can you be sure that what you are practicing is adequate for what God has commissioned you to do?
Developing a Personal Rule of Spiritual Disciplines, in the light of your Personal Mission Field, can help to make sure that your spiritual exercises are growing you for the specific calling God has set out for your life.
The more disciplined we become in seeking the Lord, the more likely it is that we will be disciplined in living for Him.
We can help here. Write me and request the worksheets for A Personal Rule and your Personal Mission Field. Working through these two documents can bring greater focus, vision, and direction to your growth in the Lord and your daily walk with Him.
Rules are not just for monks, any more than a calling from the Lord is just for monks. We all have a calling from the Lord. But we'll be better prepared to fulfill that calling - and know the great joy and peace that can bring - if we plan our spiritual disciplines specifically to prepare and equip us for our daily ministries in the Lord.
And today's as good a day as any to map your Personal Mission Field and write your Personal Rule as a covenant with the Lord.
So let me hear from you.