Much of what is considered "success in life" is determined by the discipline an individual practices or develops over time. There are literally no "overnight wonders" when it comes to success. This is true in literally every aspect of life from education to exercise, good nutrition to drugs and alcohol, to our handling of money and keeping out of debt.
Spiritual disciplines are exactly the same. The Bible encourages us to exercise healthy spiritual disciplines in order for us to enjoy the life God has given to us and protect us from evil influences. (Romans 12:9-12)
Spiritual disciplines may be confused with spiritual legalism but they have completely different motivations and entirely different outcomes. Legalism can be defined as excessive spiritual and moral rules that are imposed by a religious system that impugn our religious liberty. On the other hand, spiritual disciplines are those practices that the individual chooses to follow in order to correct, mold or perfect his or her moral character.
These spiritual disciplines don't make us right with God; we don't get right with God by the good things we do but through faith in Jesus Christ. Spiritual disciplines however do make us more like Jesus as He regularly practiced them all as well.
There are at least seven spiritual disciplines that are found in the New Testament. All of these are activities that when practiced and perfected enable the believer to become more like Christ - - ultimately the single most important definition of success in life.
The spiritual disciplines include:
* Service (Voluntarily meeting the needs of people)
* Prayer & Fasting (Two similar activities that elevate our relationship with God)
* Chastity (Includes modesty and a proper respect fo God's plan for sexuality)
* Stewardship (An understanding that God is the the owner of all things)
* Study (Equipping ourselves with practical, useful and Godly training)
* Community (Cultivating a life that is shared with other believers)
* Simplicity (Voluntarily maintaining margin in our lifestyle)
If you are interested in becoming the person that God wants you to be, the journey starts with these spiritual disciplines. Your quest can start with some very simple questions, "What do I believe God is calling me to do that I'm presently unable to do?" and, "What are the disciplines that I need to develop in order to be used by God and grow in my faith?"