“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” —Mark Twain
A long time ago, in a house far, far away, my kids learned to walk. First, a “scootch” became a crawl. Then, a crawl became a stand. Then, a stand became a step… followed immediately by a fall. Then another step, followed by another fall. Then, one day, two steps in a row! Then three! Soon enough, the stumbles became the exception. By the time they were taking 25 to 30 steps in a row, we knew they had it down.
They had learned to walk, just like we are learning to walk in holiness.
You see where I’m going here, don’t you? Meditate on the words of Paul again:
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him… In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. …offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. —Romans 6:8, 11, 13 (emphasis mine)
Most experts say it takes 25 to 30 days to create a new habit. After that, things become more automatic. By tapping into the power of a habit, one step at a time, the rest of your life can be changed.
- Believe that you live with Him.
- Count yourself dead to sin.
- Offer yourself to God as His instrument of righteousness.
Believe, count, offer. Believe, count, offer. Believe, count, offer. Believe, count, offer… It’s the God-given pattern that draws you into dependent intimacy with Him moment by moment, and makes walking in holiness a natural habit.
Twenty-five to thirty days. Want to stay on the floor or are you ready to take some steps (and some stumbles) to learn the walk? Each morning for the next 30 days, write these words in your journal, or place them on a card by your mirror, or on your dashboard. Remind yourself of this great truth and ask the Lord to make “Believe, count, offer” your way of life.
Holy Spirit, I believe that I live with You. I want to walk in Your holiness as naturally as I have learned to walk on the ground. I am willing to make the jump, but I am fully dependent on You to make it happen. In the month ahead, when the sliver of indwelling sin and my flesh shows itself, I am counting on You to remind me that I am dead to that sin, and then I trust in You to take my body and use it as Your instrument of righteousness. Make it a habit, Lord, again and again and again! Amen.
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