Her name was Lisa Allen. She had started to smoke and drink by 16, she struggled with obesity, in her twenties she was heavily in debt and couldn’t hold a job. Then things changed. She quit smoking, began exercising, lost 60 lbs, ran a marathon, completed a master’s degree and bought a house. Wow! What happened?
Charles Duhigg tells of this amazing turnaround in his book The Power of Habit. There he explains that Lisa had become convinced she needed to quit smoking. She replaced it with jogging. That change set off other changes concerning how she ate, worked, and slept. Habits that have a cascading impact on our lives are known as “keystone habits”. Those critical habits are not always easily identified, but researchers consider exercise, eating together as a family, and making your bed in the morning as keystone habits.
Spending honest time with God, listening, learning and even lamenting (I needed another ‘L’ word) is a spiritual keystone habit. It is by real communion and sincere reflection that we hear God’s Word to us and are thereby equipped to build our lives on a firm foundation. We become people who have the mind of Christ and know how to conduct ourselves as Jesus would, if He were living our lives. We are granted wisdom from above for both the good times and those times when shadows cover our way.
Scripture is a gift from God to affirm us and to correct us. Meaningful interaction with Scripture is chiefly how we come to hear God’s Word and become equipped to handle life. If regularly reflecting on Scripture is new to you, then I would recommend the Discipleship Journal’s 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan. This plan is within the reach of most, requiring less than 10 minutes of reading five days a week.
It is important when seeking to establish a new habit, like regular reflection on Scripture, that you begin with small, attainable goals first. Early success will encourage you to continue growing in a new habit. However, if you try to accomplish too much too soon, early failures will sink your ship.
For those who are already interacting with Scripture regularly, there are numerous plans to ensure a freshness in method as you seek to hear God’s Word for your life situation. Ligonier Ministries has compiled a helpful list of various Bible reading plans.
I would love to hear in the comments what helps you maintain a regular connect time with God.
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