When it comes to physical growth and health, you have two kinds of practices or disciplines. You have trainers and you have doctors. Through nutrition and exercise, trainers help you get further than you were. They help you make progress physically. But when you get sick or maybe injure yourself, you need a doctor to get you back on track. You need trainers to get you forward from where you were; you need doctors to get you back to where you were physically.
We need the same things spiritually. There are spiritual disciplines that are more like training – disciplines by which you grow into the person God has meant you to be, such as meditation and prayer. But there are other spiritual disciplines that are more defensive. That is, they’re ways of treating problems and difficulties. This is what we find in Psalm 42-43. We learn about a specific condition to which we are susceptible and then we’re given a set of cures for this condition. Becoming skilled at dealing with this condition is absolutely critical if you’re going to make spiritual progress.
This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on April 21, 2002. Series “Psalms; Disciplines of Grace”. Scripture: Psalm 42:1-43:5.
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