Spiritual formation is the intentional practice of opening ourselves to God's grace so the Holy Spirit can shape us into Christlikeness.
The intentional practice of opening ourselves to God's grace . . .
"Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer." Mark 1:35, CEB
As God come to earth in human form, Jesus is our example for how we should live. Personal Prayer, Study of Scripture, Worship, Holy Communion, Fasting and Christian Conferencing need to be a part of the life we live by practicing these Spiritual Disciplines on a regular basis.
. . . so the Holy Spirit can shape us . . .
"Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts . . ." Ephesians 5:18b-19, CEB
Spiritual disciplines should not only be practiced individually but corporately too, in order to further allow the Holy Spirit to shape us, producing a happy, mutual encouragement to praise God, and a healthy, mutual relationship with people.
. . . into Christlikeness.
"The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, CEB
Jesus' mission on earth was to teach, preach, set an example for us and be the sacrifice which atones for all our sins. Since Jesus' sacrifice was once for all we should concentrate on the mission he gave us . . . to go and make disciples by teaching the gospel messsage. As we go we are to follow his example of transforming the world with a balance of Works of Mercy and Works of Piety.