It’s time to get back to basics, Christians, and Richard J. Foster is here to celebrate as well as explain how we can all get back to our spiritual roots, which we all know are in place to bring us closer to the Lord and that is the foundation of the entire book.
First, Foster says he is profoundly struck by “the fact that God can take something so inadequate, so imperfect, so foolish as words on paper and use them to transform lives” (Foster, 1998, p.5: Celebration of Discipline). If you are thirsty to get back or to begin your spiritual walk with God there are three basic avenues to venture down and on these avenues are the disciplines.
The Inward Disciplines
The Outward Disciplines
The Corporate Disciplines
The Inward Disciplines follow a certain order. Meditation will lead to prayer, from prayer to deeper connection through fasting and finally you are lead to study. However and whatever the order, it forms a loop. You need all of these to grow closer to the Lord.
The Outward Disciplines follows from the Inward. If you have the Inward, the outward should follow. Yet the author does not leave us in the dark with what he means. For instance, as Christians we must learn to live the life of simplicity. What does this entail? Does it mean to not have much or anything at all?
To live a life of simplicity you should:
• Buy things more for their usefulness rather than status.
• Reject anything that produces addictions in you
• Give things away
• Refuse to be propagandized to buy more gadgets- and more(92)
Solitude, submission and service also flow from this format. Not catering to wild needs and living simply, drives the clutter from where God needs you.
Next, the Corporate Disciplines are what we tend to do in fellowship with each other. We are to confess to the brothers and sisters we trust, be free to worship as one, be proper guides to help others as God leads us and finally we are to live a life of celebration.
Celebration seems most important as God enjoys our praise to Him. However I highly recommend this book for anyone yearning for a closer relationship with the Lord and growing in your walk with him.