Developing Good Spiritual Habits
We grow when we develop good spiritual habits.
I cannot over estimate the importance of us building good habits in our lives. If we build good habits in our life, we're going to have good character. Our habits determine what we are and what we are determines where we go in life. Our character is the sum total of our habits. We can't say for instance, "I'm a kind person. I have the character quality of kindness" unless we’re always kind, unless it's habitual to us. It's our habit to be kind. If we're only kind 25 percent of the time, we're not a kind person.
If we say, "Well, I have integrity. I'm honest." If we're only honest 25 percent of the time, we don't have integrity. Integrity means we're habitually honest. We are habitually doing the right thing. Partial faithfulness is unfaithfulness. Partial obedience is disobedience.
How do we develop habits? Well we develop them by repetition and by practice.
John 13:17 (NIV) Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
If we do them. If we practice them. We don't get God's blessing for knowing the right thing to do. We get God's blessing for doing the right thing. For practicing the right thing and for making it a habit in our life. The way we build any habit in our life is 2 ways. Through repetition and through practice. Study after study shows it takes six weeks for us to develop a new habit. Six weeks.
One of the reasons we have a lot of problems in our life is we often make bad decisions because we don't know which thing to do. Do I do this or that? Is this right or is that right? Is this wrong or is that wrong? How do you make wise decisions?You become spiritually mature, then you know the difference.
1 Corinthians 9:25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
Of course, there are dozens of good habits we need to develop as we grow to maturity. But the foundational habits must be learned first in order to grow.
First the habit of weekly large group worship. Then the habit of small group fellowship. Then the habit of a daily time alone with God where you pray a little bit and you talk to God and you read the Bible and let him talk to you. Then the habit of memorizing God's Word.
These four will change our life more than almost any other thing in our life.
Habit of weekly large group worship
Habit of small group fellowship
Where did we get that idea? From the Bible. It's the way all the churches in the Bible are organized.
Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Then the other two habits are
Habit of a daily time alone with God (Bible & Prayer)
Habit of memorizing God's Word.
In the Bible, God promises and guarantees success if we meditate on His Word, and obey His Word.
Joshua 1:8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. He's talking about the Bible. You need to study it. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
The most practical and powerful way to get believers headed in the direction of spiritual maturity is to help them establish habits that promote spiritual growth.