Basically, the DAILY spiritual life IS using the steps in the section, "1Jn outlines God's Script" of Part I. The "God's System" link at pagetop gives you a short-yet-comprehensive overview to complement what Part I says. Additionally, if you are truly serious about learning God -- and don't do this UNLESS it's HIM Who interests you -- the tips below will make learning Him most profitable:
Another great monitoring device: PRAY as often as you can, in your thoughts. Prayer has many "offices": it's 'conversation', for God always 'replies' so you can learn more about His Son; it's a Crown Prince (YOU) expressing his Royal Voting (Opinion, request) Prerogative to the Father (cf Rom5:1); best of all, it's AWARENESS of Him, and that AWARENESS will shield you from temptation (because temptation becomes ever-more-boring compared to looking at Him). So, of course there's a ROYAL PROTOCOL for it: all prayer is addressed to the Father, just as Christ does in John 17; because we are bought by Christ, we pray IN THE NAME OF Christ; of course, be online using 1Jn1:9 during the prayer, and make sure what you ask lines up with doctrine. This protocol is due to the fact that we are "boldly before the Throne of Grace" so it's also a celebration, besides the proper recognition of authority. Christ did nothing apart from the Father's Will on it, so of course we shouldn't, either. Hence the protocol. Caution: If you ask for something you shouldn't, God might just give it to you to show you WHY it's no good! For, prayer is truly a weapon, truly effective, and as we saw in Corollary 3C, YOU have authority, too! It's the Royal authority and Royal intimacy the Lord bought for us which constitute the heart of the meaning of prayer. See, we are ROYAL Priests UNDER the Lord. We are thus given TREMENDOUS power. Use it wisely: and the only way to learn how to use it wisely, is to practice with REAL prayer, while online with the Spirit!
Study the John 17 prayer carefully. Note both structure and tone: analytical, tracing the INTEGRITY of the doctrinal bases through to their conclusions; intimate; confident; succinct; thorough. Note how He's not saying some set prayer (the inane bane of religion), but is actually THINKING. Note how the Lord's Requests aim at uppermost goals, rather than specific mechanics. Note how ORDERED His Thought process is, and how He doesn't use flowery words or empty phrases ("pray not as the Gentiles do, with their many words", He'd told the disciples). Note also how He's not shy about saying what He wants; note how His statements have the form of acknowledgement, HONOR. See, God needs no chanting, Uriah Heeps!
Second, "Baptise" (associate) whatever you see, hear, or think with something you know of Christ, of God, of the Bible. Make it a game, the way Christ did! For, such "baptising" is thoroughly enjoyable. With practice, DOCTRINAL ASSOCIATION BECOMES A NUCLEAR WEAPON against sin, as well as FOR more joy than you can imagine. This habit is the ultimate goal for all thoughts, the way to bring them into captivity to Christ. It is this habit which sustained Christ on the Cross, and thus enabled Him TO THINK DIVINELY, so to pay for our sins. For every thought, there will be a verse, or a doctrine "ruling" on it. Heh, God's Opinion! So you're "hearing" Him! Okay, How right is the thought? How wrong is it? What to do with it? Remember the 1st Commandment: God the Father hears each thought you think: will He be pleased? Will the Spirit groan at your thinking too much about "earthly things"? So, how to exploit, rule on that thought? See? YOU'RE RULING! And They hear you! Granted, it's extremely difficult to do, this association, but you'll grow to LOVE it: promise. Also, your spiritual life depends on this habit being developed. So, begin now, with whatever doctrine you know. Play with it, have a good time!
Any errors will be shown to you as time passes: God "waits" until you are ready to get the correction. He's VERY good at making a correction clear -- often, with humor! So this is fun -- not dreary. Remember, God's out to make you happy -- not to make you "sacrifice". So you don't have to worry about making mistakes. Christ died so you could GROW -- not so you could become paralyzed by guilt, like the paralytic in Matt9. Not so you could become obsessed with other believers' false ideas or sins, like the Pharisees. But so that you could "grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior"..2Pet3:18. Look at that verse -- it ends with GLORY. So will you, if you keep on learning Him. THAT pleases the Father. THAT obeys the 1st Commandment. So it doesn't matter that you will make mistakes, during your learning of Him.
What does matter: don't be bull-headed, don't be discouraged, don't give in to the peasant-argument you should be out there hustling for the Lord. Or, if you slip up (and we all do!), use 1Jn1:9. The Lord has a LOT bigger job in mind for the Church, than Satan's cheap "Brother Foot" garbage. After all, we have seen from Part II that works are just a mask for rebellion against God. So "works" is a minefield. Bible Doctrine will become your minefield detector -- IF IF IF you learn it. THEN you will be "mature, thoroughly furnished unto all good works". Not before. (Greek "artios" is variously translated in English Bibles. It means sufficiently-trained, hence mature.)
Salvation is the first doctrine to learn, because Scripture's authors frequently use it as an analogy to explain more-advanced teachings. They are building on the basics, building on what you would first know. For example, the term itself (sozo, verb; sotereia, cognate noun) has a WIDE VARIETY of meanings: to save, to deliver, to save from, to deliver from, to save to, to deliver to, to save (accumulate), to save (cost), etc etc etc. So, careful review of the verses with these words in them shows that "save" and "salvation" have EVERY kind of meaning, because saved to-Heaven BEGETS every other kind of saving and delivering, down here! Doctrine learned 'saves' you from sin, for example, in that it delivers you from carnality (one of 7 types of 'death' in Scripture), because you are looking at the DOCTRINE more than looking at the temptation; hanging on to the rope of Doctrine ('rope' being a metaphor for a type of Hebrew word for 'faith' in OT), and being pulled out of the chasm of sin. Saved, as in saving money, too: for, Doctrine is ultimate wealth ("riches" and "wisdom" verses). So you are saved and saving and being saved CONSTANTLY, in the sense that you are always growing in WEALTH if you keep using 1Jn1:9 and study under your right pastor.
It's downright humourous, all these plays on "save": like Paul told Timothy to save something, "guard the noble deposit" (Bible Doctrine). Since guarding is for the purpose of saving something from attack or harm: LOL, we save Doctrine? YEP, we do! Hoarding it, even, delivering it from being a mere book in a hotelroom drawer, "redeeming the time"! See all the fabulous wordplay you can make with "save"? Awesome, beautimous Doctrine!
My pastor often alludes to this use of 'save' by means of a doctrine he teaches I find more 'saving' than almost all the others: what he calls, "the 4 Decisions". The moniker references the STRUCTURE of the Lord's Decision to take on Humanity (1Tim2:5, Greek), and also, His Thinking on the Cross: atonement, propitiation, reconciliation and redemption. Doctrine CONSTANTLY does all these things when used: an inviolable SPIRITUAL law -- FOR GOD, and FOR YOU. If you search on and then click on the "Fixes" links on the Home page, and then search on "4 Decisions" you'll find a LOT more is said there about this most important topic.
Sadly, many Christians don't recognize the writers' use of salvation as analogy-building-block. As a consequence, Christians thus draw wrong conclusions, e.g., one can lose salvation. For example, Paul teaches eternal security by means of a fortiori logic in Romans 5:1-11, then builds on that to show how the royal rewards tie in, in the 2nd half of Romans 5 -- but again, starting with our death in Adam, and salvation. Check it out...
Notice how the stress is on learning God, not trivia like whether women should have their heads covered with hats, or with long hair. (Every doctrine is important, but not all have equal priority. God is first, and by far, MOST Enjoyable.)
Caution: don't read these books in public, unless you like being pestered with the request, "Where did you get that book?" Some of my acquaintances told me they were been pestered dozens of times.
See, we are each different. We don't all learn Truth the same way, to the same extent, on the same topic, at the same time. So you will be 'ahead' of others on some truths; they will be ahead of you on others. Even, if you are younger than they. Even, if they are younger than you. So the trick is, to "cut some slack", "give the other space", and -- give YOURSELF the space, too. For, you will also fail to meet your own standards. But, you are human. But, you can't meet Divine Standards, and every attempt you make, you will always fail. But, with each attempt you make, you get CLOSER, if 1Jn1:9 is used, and you're studying under your right pastor. Just like with physical exercise. So, things won't meet standards, either; nor will people. LIFE GIVES US ALL TIME TO GET ENOUGH EXERCISE. That's GRACE!
See, if you LOVE the Standard, you are YOURSELF expressing that love by trying to OBEY that standard yourself. If you DON'T love the Standard, you are trying to get benefit from others obeying some standard which gives you pleasure. What hypocrisy. How common. How depraved we all are! For who of us has NOT been guilty of this fake-love? So, we failed our own standards, but expected others to obey? Thank God for 1Jn1:9!
So, the essence of grace is, "My standards apply to ME, no matter how right they may be for others. So I must live up to them (or improve); no one else is EXPECTED to meet my standards." That's HONOR talking. That's LOVE talking. That's GRACE talking. That's GOD TALKING (see 2nd half Rom5): for, again, the better benefit of studying is to learn how God thinks, and why He thinks as He does. It is extremely RELAXING and FREEING to know what Grace really is; how BIG it really is; how PERVASIVE and UNCONDITIONAL it really is; not simpering, whimpering, wimpy or pimpy. You don't give up common sense, you don't let the criminal go free, and you don't judge him, either. Boundary lines are essential, to understanding Truth, His Seeing -- and apart from grace orientation, the Christian will never make it out of spiritual childhood: such a legalist or hedonist will forever see things in black-and-white terms; that is to say, childishly. If you evaluate yourself to be in this category, don't worry, for GOD GIVES GRACE to grow you up (2Pet3:18)! So, just keep on keeping on with God's Script. For, it's OK to be a spiritual child, it's just NOT okay to REMAIN there, lol. And you won't remain that way, if you keep on with God's Script.
So specialize in both Grace Orientation, and Doctrinal Orientation: the GODO team will 'save' you from spiritual childhood, 'deliver' you into spiritual adulthood; you won't have to wait for Godot, which is Satan's SATIRE of God's Grace and Truth (play by Samuel Beckett)! But, if you don't WANT to learn GODO, then..you'll wait forever for the fantasy of works/ emotionality/ whatever to 'pay off'. But if you DO want to learn GODO, then you will learn LOVE. Keep on keeping on, then, for "the law came through Moses; but Grace and Doctrine, through Jesus Christ" (Jn1:17); and "Confidence never disappoints, for the Love of God is poured out into our Hearts by means of the Spirit (Rom5:5)! [I'm quickly typing from memory, so maybe the quotes are a bit 'off'. However, "Doctrine" is depicted by many keywords in Bible, like "faith", "truth", "wisdom", "Word". I'm using "Doctrine" for such words, for Truth is ORGANIZED. GOD's DOCTRINE, not man's or Satan's. So also, "Hope" is a pregnant Greek word "elpis", and means "confident expectation"; Paul tweaks Plato's Philebus when he uses "elpis", for Plato had a wimpier definition of "elpis"; since, all man's doctrines are wimpy, compared with God's. Sadly, the English translators only translate parreseia (sp) as "confidence"; so the English reader who sees "hope" gets a WIMPY meaning!]
Do what David always did, ever since he was a lad keeping sheep. Remember 1Jn1:9 (cf. Ps32:5), and talk with God (prayer, really, but conversationally) about what you think you're learning. After all, the entire Godhead Indwell you. Play with the concepts, ask the Father questions, pretend you're supposed to explain the doctrine you are learning "to" Him. The Spirit won't reply in "voices" or "visions", of course, but you'll be surprised how often you suddenly see the answer. (Holy Spirit recalls to your mind doctrinal principles which answer, prove, give insight: John14, 1Cor2.) Of all the believers I know, the most-advanced ones are always talking with Him about something. Why not? He's not a figment of our imaginations. ['Maybe don't talk to Him out loud in public, though..people won't understand :)]
Don't avoid God, no matter how bad you feel about something; instead, pour your heart out, like David did, remembering what Peter says in 1Pet5:7 (Greek says throw your troubles on God as if He were a pack animal!); like the Lord poured out His Heart, in Hebrews 5:7-9. (Nerd Note: "perfect" in v.9 is mistranslated -- should be "completed" in spiritual growth.)
Lack of conversation with God will kill your spiritual life, even as it kills any other relationship. People don't talk much with someone if they've got a problem in the relationship. So, this is where every Christian hits his big 'glitch' in the spiritual life, so he never learns LOVE. Instead, he gets his eyes stuck on earthly things, this world this humanity -- and especially, the DEFECTS thereof. He concludes, like Satan, that self-getting ought not to PERMIT what displeases. What a trap that is. And how difficult, to avoid! For, it's easy to love something or someone who pleases you, but NOT easy to love what displeases. Doctrine, Grace, Truth displease the sin nature; displease the one who wants, OF HIS OWN EFFORT, to be important before God.
If you want to wreck your spiritual life and thus your happiness, engage in the fake-knowledge pitfalls, below. EVERY believer is hit by them all, in varying degrees, during his spiritual life. Read Corinthians, Timothy, Peter to see why these pitfalls are so destructive to your spiritual life. Also: folks who are self-trapped in these pitfalls become brittle, prickly, as they "age" in them. Their tempers flare easily, and their tolerance narrows. Where possible, and unobtrusive, "[a]void such persons as these", Paul warns (2Tim2:26-3:7). Paul oughta know: see Philippians 3:8 in the KJV.