Written by Ilana Reimer

Our human purpose is both fascinatingly unique and wonderfully universal. Our shared responsibility is to love God with awe and reverence and obey His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

We know from countless examples in Scripture that the Lord welcomes us to get to know Him in a myriad of ways—from His Word, His creation, His servants, and from talking to God himself.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Spiritual disciplines help make tangible Christ’s command to abide in Him. They give us tools to interpret the world, know our place in it, and gain a deeper knowledge of the Creator of it all. Often they can be a marker of growth and spiritual formation as we discover more about God and how He views us.

But in the end, the practices themselves aren’t important. We can so easily settle into patterns of reading daily devotionals, prayer journaling, etc., because they make us feel we’re being spiritual. Nearly every discipline has the potential to become our main focus—either it makes us feel good or we do it out of guilt and obligation. However, the disciplines themselves are only as good as our heart motives. They are a means to an end, and the end is what matters—knowing God.

Within the pages of Issue 38 you’ll find the vibrant voices of many writers in our community who share their (sometimes differing) opinions on spiritual disciplines. They give us a chance to zoom in on specific practices and learn some of the difficulties and benefits that come along with them.

Read how Helena Mulder learned to embrace solitude as an extrovert, consider Robbie Down and John B. MacDonald’s insight on how to use Scripture as both a shield and a sword in this dark world, and discover how Shawn Naylor and Sarah Evangeline expand the definitions of worship and devotion to fit the cracks and corners of our everyday lives.

It is a mind-blowing gift that we get to interact with the Creator of the universe in so many diverse, rich ways. As you read, my prayer is that you are filled not with condemnation or pride based on someone else’s standard but rather with joy and curiosity as you consider new ways of engaging with God to find what best suits how you’re wired.