"Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not." - St. Augustine
Our knowledge and experience of God is participatory. Transformation comes when we cooperate with the Holy Spirit through “training our souls”.
Like any good relationship, our relationship with God requires time and intentionality. Throughout church history, different practices to connect with God have been called spiritual disciplines. In his Good and Beautiful God series, James Bryan Smith names these “Soul-Training Exercises”.
Calling them “Soul-Training Exercises” expresses both the purpose and our necessary participation. Having the perspective of engaging in spiritual disciplines as soul-training exercises, keeps us focused on our goal to deepen our relationship with God and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to allow Him to transform our lives.
We pray that these soul-training exercise resources will encourage and equip you for the journey from curiosity to Christoformity.
Please remember there isn’t actually anything “spiritual” in the soul-training exercises themselves. They simply create the space for God to work in our lives and our Christian spiritual formation.
Richard Foster says: “By themselves, spiritual disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God’s means of grace. God has ordained the disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we place ourselves where he can bless us.”