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Spiritual Formation
Archived – March 3, 2024

Spiritual Formation

March 3, 2024

What is Spiritual Formation? 

Christian Spiritual is:

“A process through which people are inwardly transformed in such a way that the personality and deeds of Jesus Christ naturally flow out from them when and wherever they are. In other words, it can be understood as the process by which true Christlikeness is established in the very depths of our being.” -Dallas Willard

The process of being formed into a person of love in Christ – John Mark Comer

Romans 8:29 NASB1995 – For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren 

Galatians 4:19 NASB1995 – My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you— 

Romans 12:2 NASB1995 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • Be with Jesus
  • Become like Jesus 
  • Practice the ways of Jesus.

  • Do this to get 10,000 new followers in a month!
  • Try this to get your music played on Spotify playlists!
  • The five things every millionaire does each morning before they have their first cup of coffee!

Spiritual formation is not exclusively a Christian Thing…

It’s a HUMAN thing.

John Mark Comer – Spiritual formation is not optional. Every thought you think, every emotion you let shape your behavior, every attitude you let rest in your body. Every decision you make, each word you speak, every relationship you enter into… the habits that make up our days, whether or not you have social media (if you do, how you use it). How you respond to pain and suffering, how you handle failure or success… All these things and more are forming us into a particular shape. Stasis is not on the menu; we are either being  transformed into the love and beauty of Jesus or malformed by the entropy of sin and death. to believe otherwise is an illusion and to give no thought to this is to come dangerously close to wasting your life”

Isaiah 64:8 NASB1995‬ – But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and all of us are the work of your hand” 

If you look around You may or may not have noticed that there are many “potters”

How Is My Spirit Being Formed?

You have the potter of Technology

We have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and x all constantly working tweaking their algorithms to incessantly pull and draw us in with the headlines.

Ecosystem of Interruption Technology 

AW. Tozer – “When you kill time, remember it has no resurrection”

When we place ourselves as Clay on the potter’s wheel of a person, a relationship, an ideology, a system, an experience, or anything else that takes the place of God In our life, it’s going to create conflict, disruptions and delays in an already slow process of Christian spiritual formation in Christ likeness.

  • You have the potter of a false understanding of who God is… which is the root cause of why so many people treat God like a Santa Claus or like a genie in a bottle… and the relationship becomes primarily transactional. God if you do this for me… I will do this for you.
  • But finally one of the sneakiest of them all is the Potter of the “Self”


Self Seeking

This excessive focus on the self is absolutely going to shape our interactions with others and God.

Self Grandeur – thinking more highly of yourself than you ought (Romans 12:3)

Self gratification – I’m not saying as Dr. Josh clarified correctly a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t care for ourselves. Of course we should 

Which leads to the worst self of all… self-righteousness

  • This ultimately comes from the root belief that we are self-sufficient.

But the REALITY is Self Sufficiency is an Illusion!

John 15:4-5 NASB1995 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 

“You will be tempted to believe that you can live your life off your gifts and not do the deep work of character formation. Your gifts can take you only so far. But there are no such limits when it comes to a life marked by deep character.” Rich Villodas, The Deeply Formed Life

The question is how do we follow Jesus?

The primary emphasis is not actually on how the believer acts. That doesn’t mean that actions aren’t important, it just means that the external is not where we begin. 

 “ It is who we are in our thoughts, feelings, dispositions, and choices – in the inner life that counts.” Dallas Willard. 

Spiritual formation does not automatically happen to us!

But Macho, how does this transformation actually take place? Yeah I know it’s from God I know it’s not something I can accomplish in my own strength but why am I not experiencing the transformation that I deeply desire? I love God, I come to church, I read my Bible, what more am I supposed to do?

Richard foster celebration of the disciplines

1. The Inward Disciplines  


  • Philippians 4:8-9 NASB1995‬‬Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. [9] The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 


  • Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
  • James 5:13 Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray


  • Matthew 6:16-18 NASB1995‬‬ – Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.


  • 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


2. The Outward Disciplines


    •   Matthew 6:25 NASB1995 – For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing.
    • Philippians 4:11 – 13 – I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. … I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 



  • Luke 5:16 “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”


    • Ephesians 5:20 NASB1995 – always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father
    • Proverbs 3:5 NASB1995 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.


    • Matthew 6:2 NASB1995 – “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 

3. The Corporate Disciplines  



  • Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6 


  • Hebrews 12:11 – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Celebration (Fellowship / Community)

  • Philippians 4:4 – 13 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:8 – Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 


For the next 5 days you can start with the disciplines of:

  • Solitude
  • Prayer
  • Meditation  
  • Fasting *bonus points

Matthew Chapter 6 – Lectio Divina

  1. Monday – Charity ( giving, acts of service)Verses 1-4
  2. Tuesday -Prayer- Verses 5-14
  3. Wednesday – Fasting- Verses 16-18
  4. Thursday – Simplicity- Verses 19-24
  5. Friday – Submission Verses 25-34


© Rosario Ortega, 2024

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