Living disciplines such as prayer, reading, and fasting characterized the life of Jesus. So, too, they must characterize ours. Every year millions make confessions of faith. But there’s a problem. Their habits of life are appreciably the same after conversion as they were before. Why? Because of the accumulated deposits of life experiences that remain entrenched in their embodied selves. They “have the desire to do what is good” but “cannot carry it out.” In sum, willpower is insufficient to eradicate the layers of sin embedded in our embodied selves. Living disciplines can do what force of will cannot. They are the means through which we may sow to the Spirit instead of sowing to the sinful nature. As the Apostle Paul took pains to explain, sowing to the sinful nature reaps ever-escalating corruption. Sowing to the Spirit produces life.
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