In Habits for Our Holiness, Philip Nation highlights how the practice of spiritual disciplines need to be inflamed by a love for God and His people. Furthermore, Nation argues that none of the spiritual disciplines are beneficial if undertaken in a self-seeking or unloving manner as this defeats the entire purpose of growing in holiness. The author focuses on several different disciplines including solitude, prayer, and fasting while also discussing lesser considered aspects such as leadership, submission, and simple living. The book does not aim to be comprehensive in outlining the numerous approaches to developing a spiritual habit but instead links the different disciplines under the unifying thread of God’s love which we receive and extend outward into our communities. Nation believes that growing in spiritual maturity is not cultivating one’s own holiness in a vacuum but to express the abundance of God’s grace and love through our interactions with others. Thus, the disciplines are never to be practiced in isolation but should be ultimately displayed at home, church, and community. Throughout the chapters, the author is careful to offer practical advice without establishing rules that one needs to follow rigidly. In doing so, everyone is free to adjust these habits to fit into their circumstances while understanding that it does take careful effort and perseverance to grow in holiness.
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to grow in greater love for God and others. Despite the negative connotations we may have regarding the spiritual disciplines, we are confronted with the many commands and exhortations in the Bible emphasizing the pursuit of holiness as God’s requirement for all His people. What motivates us to grow in spiritual maturity is the love we receive in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross by which He purchased His Bride with His own blood. Moreover, His Spirit is within us to guide and strengthen us to mature together and be sent out to minister to unbelievers around us. Every spiritual discipline is not intended merely for personal edification but to display God’s radiant glory as shown through His Son.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.