The Bible is a compilation of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a span of about 1600 years. I know, right?!
The Bible is not just a book, it’s an entire library. It’s full of stories, histories, and instructions for living. The Bible has been translated into more than 1075 languages and dialects and has sold over 5 billion copies. Amazing!
It can be difficult to read the bible from start to finish because it was never intended to be read that way. Stop doing that! You need to study the bible in order to get the most out of it; this means reading it in context with other parts of the bible and in chronological order as much as possible.
The Bible is a book with many words that can teach us many lessons. One of the lessons it teaches us is the importance of habits. Even though the bible does not directly mention habits, it does contain lessons about them: both good and bad. The following are stories in the bible that can tell us about how good habits can lead to great results in life.
DAVID AND GOLIATH
This lesson is taught through the story of David and Goliath. David is a shepherd boy who has never fought in battle before, but he has a strong faith in God and he takes on Goliath with nothing but his sling and five stones. He defeats Goliath because he has practiced his slingshot skills so often that it becomes second nature to him to hit his target every time.
The Bible teaches us that if we want to be successful then we must have good habits, as David did with his slingshot skills so that they become second nature and easy for us to do them without any effort at all.
Esther was a stranger in a strange land. She was taken from her home and had to keep her heritage a secret. In spite of it all, she kept up with her Jewish faith and practices. She still prayed to the God of Abraham. When she heard that her people would be slaughtered, she took that fight up with her God and relied on God’s word. She then took it up with her earthly master, the king. He was so taken by her honor and her beauty that he let the lapse in procedure go and gave her what she wanted. Her habit of prayer and keeping God first never wavered. She even became the queen of Persia, how’s that for God’s faithfulness!
The story in God’s word goes that Daniel prayed every single day with his windows open toward Jerusalem. People knew that and so they tried to set him up. His faith in God was tested when there was a law passed to stop everyone from praying to anyone, not the king. Daniel did it anyways. Daniel could’ve at least shut his window; he did not. He had the habit of praying to face Jerusalem and openly. He did not change it, not even for the law.
Jesus had a habit of going away and praying. He would isolate himself and talk to His Father. He would go to caves, to mountains, to hide under the boat, etc. This was a practice that would’ve frustrated me as a disciple. Can’t you see all these people need help? Why do you need to go away right now? Stay with us!
Jesus knew what he was doing. This habit was because he knew he could not continue to pour from an empty cup. He was working on himself so that he could have more to give to others. This awareness drew him nearer to the Father and improved his life and the lives of others around him. Let us also get that habit of going away to talk alone with God.
HABITS IN THE BIBLE
Habits are not mentioned in the Bible per se. However, there are mentions of things we should not do that can be characterized as bad habits. It says not to be overly drunk with wine. It admonishes us about continual grumbling and complaining. These are habits that God wants us to strive to rid ourselves of. Therefore, habits both good and bad habits make an appearance in the bible.
Good Habits to Cultivate
- Daily Prayer and Bible Reading. This is the bread and water of those who walk with God and read God’s words.
- Daily Silence. This is where we pause and reflect on what God wants from us today.
- Good Nutrition. This habit helps us to continue to engage with God and his people on this earth.
- Movement of the body God has entrusted us. This habit will keep us on this earth as His Example.
- Sunlight. This might be hard in the winter, but God created us to thrive in natural light. He wants us to have abundant health.
- Journaling. Reflection, especially on God’s word will make you grow strong in God.
These habits are not exhaustive, but they are a good place to start in trying to grow in the Lord and spiritual disciplines. It is good to follow God’s word and have good habits. Keep the faith and get to work. Faith without works is dead. What other habits would you add to this list? What habits would you like to share with others that would help them too?