By Jennifer Heeren, Crosswalk.com
When the second half of the year rolls around, it may be time to dust off some of those resolutions that you wished for back in January. Time hasn’t run out. There is still time to do something about them. It’s always good to make the most of every opportunity, act purposefully, and understand what the Lord wants you to do (Ephesians 5:16-17).
After you dust off a resolution, pray about it. Ask God if He still wants you to pursue it. If you sense that He does, then ask Him to help you renew that resolution. Ask Him for the strength to take the necessary steps it will take to fulfill this goal. When your goal is in line with God’s will, He will help you accomplish it. And if the goal is not in line with His will, He will help you to change it into a better goal. God loves faith and sincerity. Cry to Him aloud. Cry to Him from your knees. He will always answer in one way or another for your good and His glory.
Here are five habits that God will always help you to accomplish.
1. Bible Reading
God will always help you to read more of His word. Even a chapter a day will increase your hope and joy. Sometimes even one line of scripture can pierce your heart and teach you something. Begin each bible reading session with a prayer like this: Teach me some of your thoughts, Lord. Show me your ways. I desire to know more about You, Lord.
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. - Psalm 119:37 NLT
Ask the Lord to help you be consistent in the steps you know you should do for a better life. Consistency in good habits can give you the energy to fulfill God’s will for your life. Performing good habits as regularly as possible will take you from point A to point B before you know it. You might ask God for help with reading His word daily. You could ask Him for help eating healthfully most of the time. Sometimes it’s helpful to wake up at the same time every day so you have plenty of time to read your bible, pray, and be ready for the day.
When you regularly read your bible, you will gain a desire to let your life reflect the principles you learn. Actions consistent with beliefs are a beautiful thing. Obedience is an everlasting virtue to pursue. Choose to be faithful and pray for God to help you along the way.
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. - Psalm 119:35 NLT
3. Prayer Walks
Prayer walking is a great way to combine worship, prayer, and exercise into one glorious activity. When you’re walking outside, nature is all around you. This leads to worship of the One who created all of that beauty. The act of walking stretches and strengthens your whole body in one of the best workouts that you can get. As you walk you can meditate on God’s goodness. You can pray over any worry that is clouding your mind. You can pray for people that you see. Pray for the people that live in the houses you walk by. Whether you know the people or not, you can pray for their household to know God better. God may lead you to speak to them sometime in the future. An open heart can be used mightily by God.
Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NLT
4. Slow to Speak
Another good habit to practice is being slow to speak. James 1:19 tells us we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. And Luke 6:36 speaks of being compassionate just as your Father in heaven is compassionate.
Don’t be quick to vocalize your own opinion. There is a place for that later, but the first step when conversing with another is to listen with your heart as well as your mind. Ask them questions to get at the heart of what they’re saying. The root of most opinions can be understood by all, even though the initial words may be off-putting and seem very far from your own opinion. After you fully listen to what they’re saying, pray that they will listen to your side as well. You just might come to a peaceful understanding of each other and be able to work together.
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. - Proverbs 15:1 NLT
5. Trusting Even When You Don't Understand
In a fallen world, there are many why questions. Why did God allow this to happen? Why did that person do wrong to me? Why do people do evil things? Why does God allow those evil things? Why questions are an unfortunate part of life because we are so small in the scope of eternity. We only see in part. Even the disciples that walked with Jesus for three years on this very earth didn’t understand everything that happened. They had questions and doubts at times, especially when they saw their rabbi being flogged and killed. But after the resurrection, the Spirit gave them clarity to understand more and then share it with the rest of the world.
Our eyes can’t always see. Our ears can’t always hear. And our minds cannot even imagine all of the things that God has prepared and is preparing for those who love Him. But the Spirit can give us glimpses into God’s deep secrets. In time, God will show us more and more. His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts. You can trust Him to do things for your good even when you feel like you’re in the dark.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. - Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
These five habits will help you to love God more, and therefore you will feel closer to Him. Then you will be able to see more clearly His will for your life.
Can you think of any more good habits that you would like to implement in your life? There’s still time, even in the rest of this year. All it takes is a willing and open heart toward change and active feet to move you closer to your goal, step by step.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Emma Simpson
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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