Dallas Willard, the guru of spiritual formation, says, “Thoughts are the place where we can and must begin to change.” How is your thought life doing lately? Are you thinking about things that bring you anxiety? Or are you bringing those same thoughts to Jesus and allowing him to transform them? See, our minds are powerful and can be used for great good or great evil. We have the power to change our entire life trajectory with a single thought for better or for worse. But change must begin first in the mind. And this is why our spiritual growth requires intentional habits that not only impact our soul but our mind.
God’s goal for you is spiritual transformation.
Just like when exercising our bodies, we must make it a habit to exercise our spiritual muscles. When we do that, we develop “muscle memory” in our spiritual lives as well. That means we need to be intentional with who and what we let into our minds. Who are you allowing to give you advice? What podcasts are you listening to? Are you seeing a switch in your mood just based on the music you’re listening to? One of the reasons we read, study, and meditate on Scripture is for the transformation of our minds. That’s where spiritual transformation begins. But how do we do it?
Habits help you become who God wants you to be.
As the saying goes, practice makes permanent. The more we spend time with God, the more we learn how to listen and walk in step with Him. You don’t build muscle overnight, but your dedication to wake up every morning, get to the gym and work out creates that muscle. The same is true with your spiritual life. Your commitment to spend intentional time with the Lord, in scripture, worship and prayer, creates that necessary habit. What habits are you forming lately? Are they pushing you closer to God or pulling your attention away from him?
Practically, let me encourage you to start small. We must start somewhere and oftentimes that is with small habits that turn into larger ones. Little shifts in our lives can make big lasting impacts. So, start where you’re at. If you don’t read the Bible much, start reading it one minute a day. Then after a few weeks, grow the habit to five minutes. I recommend 15 minutes a day in Scripture and 15 minutes in prayer and journaling. Once you create these habits, along with other spiritual practices, watch how God transforms you from the inside out! Trust me, it’s worth it!