Phrases like "creatures of habit", "practice makes perfect", and so on, should continue to highlight the theme in our daily walks and biblical discipleship. All throughout the Bible we read about a God who takes the time to invest in ordinary men and does extraordinary things with them. Does He need us to do his will? Of course not! Does He desire to use us for His good? Of course! Words like grace and mercy and justification and honor and integrity and courage should all be words that describe you as a legacy dad, as a man of God, as a disciple of Jesus Christ. There is a poem that I like from Frank Outlaw that goes like this:
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
If accept this poem as true in human nature, then we have to be careful and watch our habits because that could shape our character. That being said, I was surfing the internet and found this chart (inset to the right) that I really liked. The reason why I like this is because you can apply it to just about every aspect of our life:
- Eat Healthy
- Sleep Healthy
- and be social (God desires us to be in community)
- Exercise the Brain by reading and writing
- Healthy Sleep
- Have accountability in your life (to keep you on the road of healthy thoughts)
- Avoid sin
- Read the word daily
- Pray continuously
- Have accountability in your life (true accountability - not just a social hour of patting each other on the back)
- Listen to preaching and teaching of the Word
- Sing Songs, Hymns and Spiritual songs (with reckless abandon and act is no one else is watching but our Lord)
As a men's ministry leader, elder, legacy dad and husband and father, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I witness men getting out of healthy habits (routines) and how they are able to slip back into sin so quickly. Or other men, who shoot up so strong in their faith and yet fade away when temptations or anger sets in. Or men that have marriages that are barely holding on and instead of letting go and letting God they hold on tight to mediocrity? Honestly, sometimes this can be frustrating, and if I am really honest about this, then the frustrating part becomes when I realize that the very thing that annoys me about them - really annoys me because I can identify with that - meaning I can shift and fade quickly as well.
Jesus put it like this in Scripture:
Matthew 13 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Some may come to the Judgement Seat of Christ and say, "Lord, Lord" and Jesus will reply depart from me, I never knew you. Scripture is clear that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Don't misunderstand this reference because someone who is truly saved (born again) is always saved (Once saved, always saved - Read John for this one). Immediately upon salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us and promises to us gifts of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control....
We are called to examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith? Or if we ever were? Are you? Is your life-bearing the Fruit of the Spirit?
What if you are not? What if you are in the same rut, sin, shame every day? If you are not and all you see is the fruit of the Sinful nature, then pray and ask God to call you to be His (Read Romans 10).
If you are, but are slipping backward or finding yourself along the thorns of life, the rocks of life and or just away from the good soil, then try this on for size:
- Wake up an hour earlier
- Wait on the Lord
- Be patient and quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
- Read the Bible daily
- Meditate on the word
- Join a men's group
- Have accountability in your life
- Get involved with your family (put the phones, computers, video games and alcohol down)
- Start serving at your church
- Try this for 6 months (same cue, same routine) and email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell me your reward.