Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do.”
We form habits but then our habits end up forming us.
Most people have uphill hopes and downhill habits.
Hope is a great motivator, but it is not a strategy.
(Romans 12:2 MSG) Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Habit #1 – Come close to God.
Habit #2 – Control my thoughts.
I will never change my life until I change the way I think.
Change does not begin in the doing; it begins in the thinking.
Habit #3 – Keep my life aligned with my purpose.
Our lives must be in alignment with our purpose because there is probably not one thing that will affect more areas of life than your purpose.
✓ Because I have a purpose.
(Psalms 139:16 BBE) Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.
(Ephesians 2:10 NIV) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God had the thing for you to do first, then He made you!
We need to live by design, not by default!
✓ Because there is competition for my time and attention.
An overwhelmed schedule will often produce an underwhelmed soul.
(Ecclesiastes 4:6 NLT) And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”
✓ Because time is short.
Time is short for us individually but also in the scope of the time for the world.
Either way, we are all on limited time. Can’t be so casual.
(James 4:13-15 NIV) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” (14) Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (15) Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Mastering the Habit
- Decide what is important.
A lot of our lives are not being defined by the important – they are being defined by the urgent.
Life’s Priorities According to the Word of God:
- My relationship with God
- My relationship with my spouse
- My relationship with my children
- My relationship with my local church
- My job
- My social life.
(Philippians 3:7-8 NIV) But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. (8) What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
- Give calendar time to the important things.
(Psalms 90:12 TLB) Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.
- Make time for renewal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
- Make time for relationships.
- Make time for Heavenly reward.
(Matthew 25:21 NIV) “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
- Eliminate the non-essentials.
Ask yourself, “is this really helping my life be better?”
(Hebrews 12:1 NIV) …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
- Regularly take inventory.
Where is my life out of alignment?
(Psalms 39:4-5 NLT) “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. (5) You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to You; at best, each of us is but a breath.”