Every morning, I get up, brush my teeth, get my coffee, and sit down with my Bible and journal to spend time with God. I don’t think about it or decide if I will follow through. This time set aside for prayer and Bible study is part of me. It’s been a habit for so many years that I don’t even entertain the idea of any other way to start my day. It’s a holy habit.
Pursuing God through Holy Habits
I didn’t always start my day this way. Early in my marriage, I allowed other distractions to pull me away from my time with the Lord. Sleep, food, television, other people, even my own mood–all of these have at one time or another taken precedence over Bible study and prayer. But the further I got from God’s Word, the more I started depending on my own strength to get through the day. And you can imagine how that turned out. I was grumpy, impatient, frustrated, and miserable.
Eventually, I slipped into sinful patterns of thinking, speaking, and doing. When we are not abiding in Christ, we can do no good thing. The spiritual disciplines are not for checking off a list or feeling good about ourselves. They are holy habits of abiding in God and His Word so that we are encouraged and empowered to bear good fruit.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5, ESV
I became so desperate for the peace and presence of God in my life, that I determined I would never again begin the day without seeking Him first through prayer, worship, and Bible study. Yes, I was still working full time. Yes, I still had small kiddos at home. Yes, it was a sacrifice. But it was so worth it.
Forming Holy Habits
For me, morning was the only time I could get alone with God to be still, to read and study without distractions, and to pray and worship Him. I tried other times, but I couldn’t make it work. So, I set my alarm a little earlier and made it a habit to seek Him first every day for the rest of my life. And you know what? God showed up.
That Word came alive to me as I began to pray and study. The wisdom and truth contained in those holy pages transformed my thinking. His Word comforted me when I was troubled. His truths shaped me to be a wife and mother after God’s own heart. My circumstances didn’t change, but I did. And even on the days when I didn’t feel like it, His heart for me drew me to that secret place with Him because the habit had been formed.
A habit is there for you when the desire is not. We may not always feel like reading the Bible or making time for prayer and worship. That’s why making a daily habit of the spiritual disciplines is so important. The habit is what keeps us centered and overrides the obstacles to growing our faith.
So, how can you pursue God through holy habits?
First, understand that spiritual growth is a process. Our sanctification is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit by which we are being formed into the image of Christ. It takes time, so be patient as you are learning and growing.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.2 Thessalonians 1:3
Second, know that the end goal is to grow your relationship with God. It’s not about earning salvation or striving for favor. We are made righteous with the Father at the moment we repent and confess our faith in Christ. The purpose of these holy habits is to grow in godliness because we love Him and want to please Him.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…Colossians 1:9-10
Third, God’s grace is sufficient when we fail Him. And you will fail Him. I have mornings that I rush through my quiet time or my mind is distracted. I still fall into sin and make a mess of things. But because I have a habit of daily time in the Word, I am quickly convicted and drawn back into fellowship with Him.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.Philippians 3:12
Pursuing God through holy habits is all about making our spiritual growth a priority. When we seek God and His kingdom first, He takes care of all those other priorities we worry about–our lives, what we will eat, what we will wear.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33
Pursuing God above all else is the highest calling and the surest way to be the wife, mother, and woman of God He has called you to be.
Want to learn more about forming holy habits? Get my FREE Quiet Time Guide and learn how to simplify your daily time with God.