“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my anxieties;” Psalm 139:23
I read this morning that the average American adult makes 35,000 decisions each day. If you’re someone who hates to make decisions, that can bring on a tremendous amount of anxiety. I don’t think we realize this because we do so many things out of habit. Yet operating out of habit is a decision in itself. There’s this line in one of my favorite movies, Riders of the Purple Sage, “the habit of life is stronger than life itself.” If this is true, we better make sure we’ve got good habits.
I had a scare yesterday. As my habit is, after I get my husband off to work in the morning, I go to my recliner and spend about an hour in Bible study and prayer. During the last few mornings, when I got up from this chair, I’ve experienced a sickening weak, numb and tingling feeling in my lower body and legs. Yesterday morning it lingered for a longer time and interfered with walking so it got my attention. I’m not sure what is going on other than maybe my herniated disc is acting up when I sit in that chair, at that angle, for that amount of time. So, I decided today I would change this habit.
As I type this, I promise you, I am sitting up quite straight in my office chair hoping this new habit of sitting will prevent any medical attention. When a habit no longer serves you well, change it.
Godly habits are good things as long as we don’t rely on the habit more than the abundant life they were supposed to help us achieve.
To present a spiritual parallel, consider some things we think we do for God without noticing that the life has gone out of the effort. Consider going to church, out of habit, and not being the Church. Isn’t it just like us, walking like the living dead, going through the motions, all the while not being fully present?
And what about our prayer habits. Isn’t it just like us to take our prayer time and spout out requests without taking the time to consider that we are addressing a holy God that blesses those who come to Him in pureness of heart? (Matthew 5:8)
Yes, Christians should go to church. Christians should pray. But if these good habits have lost their “life” – what has eclipsed their original intentions? Let’s make it our new habit to stop thinking about what we can take out of church and start thinking about what we can bring into it. After all, it is all about Jesus, isn’t it? Let’s sing our hearts out, worship with undistracted hearts and minds, fellowship with our forever family like it really matters. Because it does. Let’s start our prayers with praise and adoration for the God we’re addressing and maybe the request list won’t be so long.
The habits of life should not be stronger than life itself. Godly habits are good things as long as we don’t rely on the habit more than the abundant life they were supposed to help us achieve. Habits are tools we can use for positive change. If the habit is no longer producing the result intended, change it. With God’s help, we can. The habits of our days are well known by God. Read all of Psalm 139 and you will see how well your Heavenly Father knows you.
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16
Before we were conceived in our mother’s womb we were known by God. Every day that we live has been fashioned by God. All our days have been creatively constructed by the wisest, most intelligent Creator with so much love for us that He would rather die than live without us.
All our days. The good ones when we hum “Oh, what a beautiful morning….everything’s goin’ my way…” like the Oklahoma musical; and the bad ones when we just can’t get out of bed and we want to smack those hummin’ that tune. Give them all back to Him because He’s with you and knows just what you need and when and how you need it.
Let’s get out of our comfy recliners that aren’t doing us any good, any longer, and do something brand new for Him. God’s searchlight is on us right now, nothing escaping His view. Let’s fashion fresh, new habits that will help us grow closer to Jesus and help others along the way. I’m in, how about you?