Thursday, February 28, 2013

The God Habit by Nina Keegan-Owens

(Proverbs 4:20-27)

My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you like having a particular daily routine so regimented that when you stray from it, you are like a fish out of water?

A Habit by definition is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

I have read where it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit. That seems like a pretty short period of time to alter part of our conscious minds. There are many negative habits that people suffer from today. They are strongholds that wreak havoc on our lives such as drinking, smoking, and overspending. These habits can be all consuming and to some become their most important priority. Bad habits can undoubtedly ruin lives and families. However, good habits can be vastly helpful and beneficial to our well being, like exercising and eating healthily. With that being said, why not get in the one habit that can change your life in amazing ways and forever? Get in the"God Habit"...

(Matthew 6:33)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

This verse in Matthew tells us not just to seek God... But to seek Him first! Give Him the best part of us, the first part of our days. It then states that ALL these things, good and wonderful things, like favor, blessings, and protection will be added to our lives. What an awesome promise. It's like God is honoring us for seeking to spend time with Him.

I am very much a routine kind of person. When I first wake up, I like to lay in bed a while soaking in the quiet calm of the early morning. I like to thank God for the day ahead. I pray blessings over my family, and over any and all concerns that I may have. I am not one that likes to be hurried or rushed. My time spent with God is so important to me. It singlehandedly dictates the way in which my entire day will go.

I steadfastly make my way toward the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, prepare for myself the daily usual, then as if on autopilot, I gather together my Bible, my scripture filled journal, my cozy throw, and nestle into my favorite place on the sunroom sofa. It's there that I wholeheartedly bask in the presence of my precious Lord and Savior. It's with Him that I declare victories, blessings, wisdom, ability, favor, protection, safety, knowledge, divine health, discernment, and enormous gratitude for all He has done and will do in my life and the lives of my family members. It's during my time of seeking God that I learn more about Him and His plans for my life. I will absorb from God through His word, the great messages He longs for me to comprehend. I know with an undeniable certainty that my day will be far better for having spent some time praising the one for whom all things are possible.

My habit, "God habit", is one that without, my day would never be the same. My time spent in prayer and reflection with God is like essential food for my soul. It jump starts my day, and fills me with abundant expectation. The word of God replenishes my faith and restores my joy. I can leave all my cares with Him and go about enjoying my day knowing that God is at work and that my morning prayers are a glorious life line of communication, faith and trust. I pray that He gives me revelation about decisions and questions I need answers to and that He orders my steps in the direction He would have me choose. I pray that He may bring someone to me that very day that needs to hear about the good news of God. I pray.... about everything!

The Bible says our prayers will not return to us void, and that God cares about every last detail of our lives. God is in the restoration business and wants us to be anointed with ease . He wants our burdens to be light. When we learn to operate in the supernatural realm of faith through time spent in prayer, we abandon our control and desire to handle everything in the flesh. Only when we have finally relinquished it all to God, will we dwell in the cherished peace and unspeakable joy that comes from the glorious knowledge of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 11:1 )
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

The Bible says we should strive to be more like Christ. We should imitate the ways of God. I personally cannot think of a better habit to envelope my life. Jesus himself even went off alone to pray to His Father. There in the peaceful quiet, Jesus sought guidance and strength. The more time we spend with God, the more knowledge we will obtain. His wisdom, His character, and His unconditional love will seep into our souls and we will be forever transformed from Glory to Glory in His image.

What happens however when our routines are interrupted? When my prayer routine gets altered and my day gets shifted in some way, I feel off balance. For instance, if I am traveling or have a last minute change in my work schedule and I miss time spent in prayer, my day tends to finish exactly how it starts, a day less than stellar in all areas. When I have not pursued my morning time with God, everything seems disheveled. I feel like those days tend to be a little bit more chaotic, a little more stressful, and things do not seem to flow as well. When I have not allowed myself my habit of spending time with God, I can tell there has been a noticeable paradigm shift. I see subtle changes in my character. It may be harder to hold my peace or I may become more easily frustrated. It appears, on these days, that I am having to do everything the hard way. I realize that I want to remain closely tethered to God... I want to be on His balanced, peaceful, and joyous track. I want to seek Him first.... Always!!

We have free will and the complete authority to choose to spend time daily with God. We can make it a welcomed habit of letting Him cover our lives in goodness and peace. We can change a bad habit into a good one by just spending more time with God and declaring that every promise in the Bible is true for us and it is still alive today.

Decide today that you will never veer to far away from the path God has drawn for you. When we do not stay focused on Him, our paths get blurry and much wider leaving more room for us to make bad choices. The more days that go by without spending time with God, the harder it becomes to squeeze Him in. It becomes more difficult to discern His voice. God time eventually becomes the last resort, maybe tomorrow, kind of time. With each day that goes by being wasted on our own prideful, time consuming, aspirations, our distance from God is greatly lengthened and it becomes harder to see with clarity the way that we should go.

(Matthew 6:6)
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

God is telling us that He desires us to spend time alone with Him. He wants our undivided attention. He longs for us to get in the habit of praying everyday and about everything. When we do these things, God will reward us!

I challenge you to get in the "God Habit!" I promise the more time you spend with Him, the greater, more faith filled, abundantly and richly blessed life you will have. Do not waste another day !

(1John 5:14-15)
And this is our confidence, that if we pray according to His will, He will hear us, and give us what we ask for, because our desires are in agreement with His thoughts for us.

Heavenly Father, we desire to be closer to you. Help us to focus our attentions on you and to come to you with everything that concerns us. Thank you for waiting patiently for us and for loving us. We praise you in Jesus name!

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