GOOD HABITS

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Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

My little boy is learning to talk at a breath-taking pace at the moment. He loves to copy mummy and daddy and it seems new words are emerging every day! I was reflecting earlier on hearing his first ever ‘baby sounds’ at six months, and how that occasion brought with it such a heart-bursting, joy-filled ‘wow’ moment for me. Hearing his little voice ‘talking’ for the first time brought alive a whole other facet of his personality; so precious! It made me reflect that God loves to hear us, as His children, talking to Him too! Zephaniah 3v17 says “He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing”. How amazing that he delights over us! He loves to hear me when I pray.

I’ll admit that I’m not good at praying. It takes a discipline and a focus that doesn’t come naturally to me. However, I am incredibly good at worrying! I know I spend a good portion of my time every day (and certainly when I can’t sleep at night) worrying about my health or the future. Our recent studies and talks in the women’s ministry have helped me see that this is a bad habit that I need to work on with God’s help. 1 Peter 5v8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. I can relate to this! The devil would much rather I stay in a place of worry and fear and if I am not ‘spiritually alert’, he is able to achieve that.

How can I fight this habit and choose to move forward in faith? Kathy’s list of practical applications is already helping.

  1. Romans 6v6 reminds me I am no longer a slave to sin. I don’t have to be ruled by worry. In Christ, I have freedom from sinful bad habits!
  2. Romans 8v13 tells me I need the power of the Holy Spirit to ‘put to death’ the sinful bad habits in my life. I can’t do it in my own strength; I need to ask God by His Spirit to help me.
  3. 1 Timothy 4v8 reminds me that I have to enrol myself in ‘godliness training boot camp’. It’s a choice! I’ve already admitted that I’m not a disciplined person, so I know it won’t be easy, but this Scripture reminds me of the eternal value in doing so.
  4. I have to humble myself before God and admit I have a problem. The identification of the habit of worry, and its root of fear, in my life is the beginning to being able to work on it.
  5. Applying Scripture, like a bandage on a wound, will help me to be able to fight the habit. We know the Bible is our ‘sword of truth’ (Ephesians 6v17); I need to pick it up and fight!
  6. This is key for me. I am determined to replace worry (my bad habit) with prayer (a good habit). Just as I love to hear my little boy’s voice, God longs to hear my voice giving my fears and worries to Him. I have begun to ‘shoot up’ prayers to God every time I feel the fear or worry begin. I can already tell you I need to get MUCH better at this!
  7. Kathy reminds us to be accountable to each other. Here’s where I need you, friends! Please will you hold me accountable? Ask me how my prayer life is (I slightly wobble as I write this, knowing I’ll have to be truthful when it’s not going so well!) and please encourage me on my journey as I move towards cultivating the good habit of prayer. Let me know what bad habits you’re trying to kick with God’s help, so that I can encourage you too.

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