Habits

Introduction:
When was the last time you set a goal and achieved it? It feels pretty good and why not, none of us likes failure. Rarely do great things happen in life without goals. Study successful people and you will see that they set goals and developed the discipline to go after those goals. Maybe you have set a goal in the new year. What do you have to start doing today to achieve that goal? There are steps, usually incremental steps that can make the seemingly impossible, become really possible. Those incremental steps require discipline and changes in the way we do things to be effective. Often it requires us to change our habits as well.

Something To Talk About:
None of us can change our lives without the power of the Holy Spirit. So making a transformation in your life requires that we develop the habit of trusting God. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.“ We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives. The easier habit to acquire is trusting ourselves and the idea that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. We have the choice each day: Will we let the Holy Spirit lead us, or will we be controlled by something else?

Proverbs 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” And that includes the changes, whatever they are, you wish to make in your life in 2015. Remember no athlete competes without training. No musician performs without practice. And a Christ follower can’t truly follow God if the Bible isn’t a regular part of their journey with Him.

Questions:
1. Do we fully understand why we do what we do? What triggers the problem or challenge? Do we understand what changes will be necessary to change our lives? Once we make a decision to change, what is the first thing we must do?
2. Share a good habit you’ve been able to establish in your life? What motivated you to establish this habit, how did you go about it and what are the benefits to you now?
3. Share a bad habit you’ve been able to break in the past? What motivated you to break it, how did you go about changing it and what are the benefits to you now?
4. Do you believe it is your responsibility to lovingly approach someone with a bad habit and encourage them to change? What are some ways we can help and support those struggling with an addiction or problem of any kind?
5. Pray and ask God for His guidance and support as you attempt to make changes in your life.

Take One Thing Home With You:
OK, Marty, you’ve convinced me. I am going to take the small steps to make some changes in my life. But several weeks later I noticed something. My life hadn’t changed much. In fact, it may not have changed at all. I want to change my life, but I am having trouble doing so. What now?

Here is something to consider. Has it occurred to you that your level of spiritual growth may be exactly where God wants it? Nobody becomes a mature Christian overnight. It takes time and a whole bunch of small steps to get there. If you are obeying Christ today and trusting His power to change you, then you are exactly where God wants you to be. Don’t agonize over the “results” you feel you lack. Especially If you are a newer Christian.

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 says, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” Several years earlier, Paul had led many of those Corinthian believers to Christ. At that time he didn’t expect them to be mature, spiritual believers. But instead, he wanted them to follow a normal growth pattern of spiritual maturity for a Christian. That is my goal for you.

So wherever you are in your Christian walk, trust and obey the Holy Spirit and continue to take the small steps as He guides you. Over time God will get you where you need to be.