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Struggling with spiritual disciplines? Start with your habits

Do you find that someone recommends a book to you - you buy it, love it, and are suddenly number one fan?

And then it turns out that others already knew about it.

Don't we all have that stack of books on our shelf? If you're like me, there's an inner cringe when someone you admire or respect suggests a book title. (Note to self, disable Amazon 1 click account).

I believe we often read a book "in season".

It's the right time for us. It's Holy Spirit guiding us in that right time to use the book to look at an area we need to grow in. Peel back one more onion layer.

And so it has been with Atomic Habits by James Clear. It might have been published in 2018, but if it's only come on my radar now, then I'll take that.

Let's put this in perspective.

"By the time we are adults, we rarely notice the habits that are running our lives."

Isn't that true. The things we think we do (running anyone?) but actually we don't have a habit for it, so it's weeks before we pull out our dirty running trainers.

Praying for others? How have we built this into our habit? Or is it a sporadic tendancy to say an arrow prayer every now and again?

One man I'm inspired by is Daniel. The book of Daniel talks about a man who is consistently asked to abide by the current law of the land and the king. He was surrounded by people who didn't know God, didn't love God, and pressured him into becoming absorbed into the ways of the land. Daniel both honoured - and stood his ground. He knew what his God was calling him to.

I'd like to suggest this was based on his habit life, which became his prayer and spiritual disciplines. He was used to asking the Lord what to do. He was used to hearing the Lord. He was used to not defiling himself.

Why? Because he practised it often, not occassionally.

What if the one thing that's standing in the way of our destiny - and growth in the Lord - is a poor habit life. None formed and consistent... instead scatty ways of doing the things we want to do, but lacking intentionality.

James Clear, as secular writer, shows much wisdom as he quips, "All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision."

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