Your Worship Personality is Ascetic

Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity

You love God best in solitude and simplicity. There’s just something about being alone with God that makes you feel closer to Him.

You probably feel the need to spend time apart from your regular commitments and interactions, and you may find the early mornings to be your favorite part of the day. You probably struggle with distractions, and seek out environments with low levels of sensory input so you can better focus on your prayers and Bible reading. And you’re more likely to seek out spiritual disciplines than spontaneity in worship.

In the Old Testament, the Nazarites vowed to abstain from certain foods and activities that as an external manifestation of their internal commitment to be set apart to God (Numbers 6). John the Baptist lived a mostly-isolated like in the wilderness, and Jesus spent time in both solitude and fasting (Matthew 4:1; 14:13, 22-23; 26:36).

Other Ascetics throughout history include John the Baptist, Jerome, St. Francis of Assisi, Brother Lawrence, Henri Nouwen, Michael Card, and more.

As an Ascetic, some of your biggest spiritual struggles are overemphasizing personal piety and seeking to gain God’s favor. But asceticism, when surrendered to the Spirit and understood in the context of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, can be a tool used to wean your heart from worldly desires and fix your affections on Jesus.

Here are a few creative worship ideas for you as an Ascetic:

  • Rise up early in the morning for prayer in the stillness of night
  • Create daily rhythms that center your heart on Jesus; this can include saying a prayer as soon as you open your eyes, reciting a specific passage each day as you dress, reading from a devotional book at every lunch, etc
  • Practice silence by not speaking AND silencing the soundtrack in your mind
  • Fast from food and use meal times to pray
  • Clean out a closet and donate items to a relief organization
  • Practice “heart cleaning” where you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sins that you’ve harbored in your heart and you repent of them
  • Practice solitude on a regular basis, getting away from people, phones, social media, and chores for a quiet respite to “be still and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10)
  • Look around your house and bundle together any surplus you have to make basic care packets (shampoo, gloves, socks, oatmeal packets, nuts, etc); give these to homeless people standing on street corners
  • Spend time on a night watch, staying up a portion (or all) of the night to focus on prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and listening to God
  • Live on a tight budget and give the surplus to families in need and organizations you believe in

Please keep in mind that this list is NOT a to-do list to earn God’s favor. Jesus already did that. God won’t be impressed or more pleased with you if you do any or all of the above. Really, He’s after the heart. But if your heart is right with God, this list will give you ideas to seek Him in new ways that may open up fresh paths of communication with Him.

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