The Bible tells us to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Deut. 6:5, Matt. 22:37).
I want to do that…and if you’re reading this, I bet you do too.
But how exactly do we do this?
I’m learning that loving God isn’t a one-time choice we make. It’s a lifestyle. One we live out through our spiritual habits.
If you want to consistently seek God; and find the peace, joy, and power he promises in you everyday–keep reading! I’m going to give you some great tools for growing closer to God through spiritual habits.
SO WHAT’S A SPIRITUAL HABIT?
A spiritual habit is simply a repeated action you take to
connect your heart and mind with God.
Because of this, spiritual habits truly are the most important habits you could ever build.
There’s no comprehensive list of spiritual habits (also known as spiritual disciplines). Why? Because almost anything can become a spiritual habit if it honors God and draws you to him.
But there are some common spiritual habits. Do you ever
- pray? That’s a spiritual habit.
- read your Bible? That’s one too.
- go to church? Yep, spiritual habit.
I’ve divided some common spiritual habits into four categories below. To explore them, simply click the category images for descriptions, explanations, and additional resources.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
No one should build habits just to have them. Your habits should be leading you somewhere you want to go. So, ask these two questions before you begin developing (or revamping) your spiritual practices:
- What actions make me feel the most connected to God?
- What actions fit the best with my season of life?
I’ll walk you through each of these questions in the next two sections. But if you want a workbook to guide you through the habit building process (with more help to stick with your new habits), get our Spiritual Habits Builder here.
QUESTION 1: WHAT CONNECTS YOU TO GOD?
You have a unique personality, set of passions, and temperament. All of these will influence the activities that make you feel most connect with God.
So, begin by exploring the four categories of spiritual habits above. Then ask yourself, which of these do I feel naturally drawn to?
Next consider the activities you enjoy most:
- Like the outdoors? Consider spiritual practices you can easily take outside such as prayer and solitude/silence.
- Love creating? Maybe you should carve out some time to draw, write, or sing praises to God.
There’s no right thing to do. Focus on what’s natural. And please be sure you’re choosing at least one way to dig into God’s word regularly. The Bible is a compass that keeps us aligned with who God is and what he desires.
QUESTION 2: WHAT FITS YOUR SEASON OF LIFE
Each stage of life offers us unique opportunities and challenges. Parents of a newborn have a different lifestyle than empty nesters. Women working through major life changes have different days than women in a predictable life season.
It’s important to consider your season of life because it could influence which habits fit, how often you can practice them, and for how long.
These questions will help you choose well:
- Which habits seem to fit well with my season of life?
- What’s a realistic number of times I can practice this each week/month/year?
- Can I actually plan the length of my practice? If so, what’s reasonable.
Start small! This is essential to building any new habit.
OK, NOW HOW DO I STICK WITH IT?
Once you unpack the questions above, you now need a plan to stay consistent. This can take time and a little trial and error.
One of the main goals of We Abide Together is helping women live out their plans to stay God-centered and focused. So here are some tools I’ve created to help you:
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY SPIRITUAL HABITS?
Adele Aldberg Calhoun says spiritual habits “place us before God so that he can transform us.”
We serve a big God who we’ll never fully understand this side of heaven. However, he does tell us that drawing near to Him produces fruit. Here are some examples:
- Walking with the Spirit, is the road to peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
- Praying, giving thanks, and staying God-focused can bring peace (Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 26:3).
If you want to learn more about how spiritual habits have transformed real people in practical ways, check out these books. In parenthesis, I’ve list the specific challenges the author attacks with spiritual habits.
- Nice by Sharon Miller (people pleasing)
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer (anxiety and hurry)
- To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke (hurry)
- The Common Rule by Justin Whitmore Earley (anxiety and hurry)
- Full by Asherita Ciuciu (food fixation)
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (emotional wounds and false beliefs)
- Winning the War of Your Mind by Greg Groeschel (false beliefs)
- Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen (worry, anxiety, and false beliefs)
- The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman (making good decisions)
I pray that this post gives you the basic tools you need to get intentional with your spiritual growth. But before we close, I want to make sure you hear two important truths.
First, we don’t adopt spiritual practices to earn salvation or be “good Christians.” Jesus has already saved us. Spiritual habits are simply tools that point us to God, so that we can worship him and be changed by him.
Second, transformation takes time. Growing with God will take patience. He isn’t a genie; he doesn’t work on our timelines.
Our job is to be consistent. He’ll do the work he wants to do, as he wants. Be faithful and God may do more than you could ever think or imagine.