A Habit That Cannot Be Shaken - Day 22

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Luke 6:47-49, NIV


Those who have made a study of the subject generally agree that it takes about 3 weeks for a new practice to become a habit. It doesn't matter if it it good or bad, your mind can be trained to almost run on auto-pilot after you have been doing something for three weeks. So, whether it is a destructive habit like smoking or drinking, or if it is a good habit like brushing your teeth or giving up sugar, twenty-one days is the "magic number" for practice to become habit in most people.


I bring this up because yesterday was the 21st day of your thirty day commitment to read through the New Testament - are you "addicted" yet? While addiction may be too strong a word to describe your new habit, most will admit that the practice of going to God's Word on a daily basis is becoming less burdensome and far more pleasant than it was during the first few days. There are several reasons for this. First, any good habit will make you feel better after a transition period in which ,initially, you may actually feel worse. Think about the cravings that a drug addict has, as well as the unpleasant withdrawals that go hand in hand with quitting a bad habit.


At the same time, reading the Bible has instant gratification, for just about everyone agrees that it is something they should have been doing all along. But the good things that one accrues from this good habit go far beyond a mere easing of a guilty conscience, for the blessings that come from reading the Word are as infinite as the love of God. When we immerse ourselves in God's Word it begins to change us. One day at a time, one verse at a time, and before we know it our entire life has changed. We begin to see with new eyes the spiritual perspectives that God knows we need and wants us to have. Because of this new perspective, events that once might have brought our little worlds crashing down over our heads are simply not that big of a deal in the big picture of this life.


And, we begin to appreciate the blessings of God, both large and small, that we at one time were hardly even aware of. And best of all, as we begin to actually understand the Word of God (because such a devotion to finding His will really does bring wisdom and knowledge), we realize that this world is just a jumping off spot for the eternity that we were created for. We are going to Heaven, if we will apply the things we are learning from the Bible, because God wants us to be there. The perfect efforts of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are guaranteed to work, so the only missing piece to our being with them forever is our part.


And our part is what we have been reading about for the last twenty-one days. And, it is becoming a habit! This is something most worthy of giving God glory and praise for, is it not? The 22nd day's readings are Paul's inspired letters to the churches in Ephesus and Philippi (Ephesians and Philippians). Savor these readings, because these inspired verses from God's Word are not only your new habit, they are your new life. And, I think you will agree, it is a good life!