Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeAll The NewsHEALTHY CHURCH: Habits Determine Who You Are

HEALTHY CHURCH: Habits Determine Who You Are

Recently I was listening to the Making Disciples with Robby Gallaty podcast. It was the March 27, 2022 episode “Keeping the Fire Burning.” He stated that, “The habits you do on a daily basis create the person you are.” II Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” President of BMAA Global Missions Dr. John David Smith defines one of those daily habits, solitude, as “An intentional turning away from the demands of life in order to run to God for the refreshing of our souls!” In Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “Your habits shape your identity, and your identity shapes your habits.”

Is your soul being refreshed daily? Are you being renewed daily? If our identity shapes our habits, then what does that mean as followers of Christ? Robby Gallaty put it this way, “In order to see godliness, there has to be dailyness.” Daniel’s custom (habit) was to pray three times a day. One consistent habit of Jesus is found in Mark 1:35 (HCSB): “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there!” The key takeaway from James Clear’s statement is to “choose the small, regular actions that will help create the habits to get you there.”

Do you desire intimacy with Christ? Do you long to create a sacred place with Him? If so, you will have to build the habit into your life of a specific place and a specific time to meet with Him. Schedule a regular divine appointment with God and make it a habit. You must schedule it daily and make it a habit of “dailyness.” Robby Gallaty said that “dailyness is where the sacred meets the routine.” You cannot afford to forget that you will become the sum total of your habits, whether good or bad. That is why the Word of God tells us to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17) and to study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15).

Another one of James Clear’s wisdom nuggets is, “Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.” That causes us to consider the challenge of not being conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2). Clear forces us to examine our actual actions and habits, not our “best intentions.” I have never met a Christian who said, “Please help me out because I just pray way too much.” Jesus’ example in the area of prayer is seen again in Luke 6:12 (HCSB), “During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God!”

Consider some small changes you could make right now that will add up over time. As has been said by many, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” Robby Gallaty stated, “If you want to change your future you must change your present and you change your present by changing your habits.” The challenge is not only developing the right habits but improving the right habits you already have. How could you improve your quiet time with the Lord? What could you do to make your spiritual disciplines come alive and cause your spiritual flame to burn even brighter?

Bill Elliff shared this about prayer in Prayer With No Intermission: “Our problem is not that God won’t answer, but that we won’t stay long enough in the Throne Room to let His heart mold us to His will.” Maybe we need to improve our prayer habits by being silent a little longer, still a little longer and in solitude a little longer to properly discern and hear His voice. It is far too easy to fall in love with what you do for Christ more than in love with Christ. That is why we must intentionally, daily, create an environment of dailyness where we can encounter the living God. Psalm 63:1 (NKJV) says, “…O God, thou art my God. Early will I seek thee…”

Bill Elliff makes the pursuit of God’s presence the main purpose of our prayer life: “We fail to understand that the Word of God and prayer are God’s primary means of communion with Him!” He continued, “God is talking all the time! He is not silent, but there are few who get quiet enough to hear Him… There are few who listen!” John 16:13 (HCSB) states, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” He is not a maverick who guides people independently of the Father and the Son. His guidance will never contradict what the Father and Son say in the Scriptures.

One great habit to start immediately would be to ask someone to be your prayer partner. Ask God to place just the right person on your heart, then ask them to make it their habit to meet with you at a specific time to pray for one another. Another great habit would be to connect with three or four others to study the Scriptures together, pray for one another, then hold one another accountable for what each of you says you are going to do. Neil Cole described this discipleship tool as Life Transformation Groups, made up of two or three people, all of the same gender, who meet for personal accountability for their spiritual growth and development.

Habits determine who you are, and the habit of deepening your prayer life and the prayer lives of others is a game-changer. Bill Elliff challenged us to, “Determine before God in prayer to make this a year of great advance in your prayer life.” And it all begins with dailyness.