The Triumph Of Godly Habits

Habits are a part of everyone’s life, and a careful observer, even a “non-religious” one, will note that there are good and bad habits. Some of the good lead to success, but some of the bad lead to trouble, or illness, or even death. What we all must be aware of, though, is that many of our habits have an effect upon our spiritual welfare. This is an issue that needs to be addressed.
The Triumph Of Godly Habits
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

We all have habits and those habits are often sorted out by us as good and bad ones which respectively produce good and bad results. You and I know of people who have been successful because of good habits, and others who are either in jail, in trouble, are sick or are even dead because of bad habits. We see that our habits produce consequences in our earthly life. Habits play a most critical role in the spiritual realm.

Of course we are not saved unto Eternal Life because of our works. However, we are saved by the grace of God

through Christ that produces godly works, the very works of Christ. While it is true each real Christian can by God do the miraculous, the most miraculous and eternally beneficial is being truly redeemed in such a way that our life shows it. We need to get into the habit of doing what God wants us to do. Psalm 103:15-18 has three aspects to it that will encourage and instruct us to develop the life that God wants us to live.

I. Moments 15-16

“As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more."--NASB

Verses 15 and 16 describe general life on earth and not zestful life established by His Spirit that leads to Eternal life. In regard to this general life we physically live a relatively short time when compared to other aspects of God’s creation like Galapagos Tortoises, Bowhead Whales, and Ocean Quahog. I consider that to be a signal from God that we need to do His will during our short time here.

But unlike other creatures on earth, we live forever, either in Eternal Life or in shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2). With that, given the fact verses 15 and 16 speak of the brevity of our life here on earth, consider Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”


II. Mercies 17

“But the mercy of YHVH is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,”--NASB*

This verse is in contrast with the previous two verses of Psalm 103 in that it now brings us from the temporal realm to the spiritual realm. God’s mercy is something we should earnestly desire because, considering His judgment against sin and sinner, each of us need mercy.

We receive that mercy by fearing Him and the balance of Holy Scripture shows that means to surrender to Who He is and His will. Keeping in mind the temporal realm that was presented in Psalm 103:15-16, consider 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  This is the triumph of godly habits and is essentially the same as Psalm 103:18.

The last phrase of verse 17 presents an added benefit of one who fears God and obtains His mercy in that because the penitent did humble themselves to fear God their descendants will more readily receive the truth of God. Even if some or all of his descendants do not turn to God, in most cases an element of the righteousness of God still could affect the descendent’s life so things might go slightly better for them in this life. And, whether or not one has physical descendents, those who are born again by the Spirit of Christ have spiritual descendents in some sense.

III. Manners (Habits) 18

“To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.”--NASB

Psalm 103:17 and 18 is the Old Testament parallel of 1 John 2:17. It may be said that in order to get the triumph we must let Christ live through us. “Keep His covenant" speaks to the fact we must be truly committed to God through Christ and remain committed. If so, out of love we will obey Him and learn to habitually obey Him. 

To learn to habitually obey Him we will have to break many old habits that are displeasing to God and by His grace develop habits that please Him, which will become a blessing to us. Here are eight things we should learn to habitually do.

1. Always Give Thanks: Ephesians 5:20 (NASB) states, “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Yes, that is difficult to do when facing the negative events of life on earth, but the more we practice it the stronger we become in God through Christ.

One might well ask in what way can they express thanks in unpleasant situations. First know Who God is and thank Him for it. He does not change, He is faithful, He is merciful and more, are things of which we may thank God for in regard to Who He is. Led by the Holy Spirit, do that continually. Then, in most cases, we can thank Him that things are not worse. As you permit yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit you will be shown more ways in which to give thanks.

2. Worship and Praise: With thanks, learn to habitually worship and praise God all of the time. The first two verses of Psalm 103 give us the correct attitude of heart: “Bless YHVH, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless YHVH, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits." The Word of God has many references to worship and praise to God. During a most difficult time in his life, David by the Holy Spirit wrote, “I will bless YHVH at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Many of us enjoy music and even without head phones or audio plugs on often a song runs continuously through our heads. Learn to make it godly Christian music in your mind. As I type this, “Alleluia No. 1“ by Donald Fishel is “playing" in my mind. Godly music in our minds is a great way to wake up, go through the day, and go to sleep with. Doing so conditions our mind to be a person that habitually praises and worships God throughout their day.

3. Be Filled With The Holy Spirit: From Ephesians 5 :17-18, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Daily permitting the presence of God to fill you with His Spirit will empower you to make a habitual part of your life the other godly habits listed here. Read Acts 2 and 10, and believe that the blessing of the Holy Spirit, even to where you overflow in tongues, is for you today.

4. Read And Study The Written Word Of God: Get into, and stay in, the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures every day. Study them. Take notes. Ask God how to apply them to your life. If you need help with understanding the Holy Scriptures, see footnote {1} below.

5. Control Your Thoughts: Much can be said here (which is true for all of these). Our mind is a great battlefield for satan {2}, the force of the world, and the desires of our flesh. Before we come to Christ we are conditioned to think in certain ways. For example, some people have been taught to put themselves first or to take vengeance when wronged. However, when we truly come to Christ we become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and God starts to renovate our mind as we permit (Romans 12:1-3). We learn that Christ must come first, not self. We also learn not to depend upon self for vengeance or even defense, but to develop meekness by trusting and depending upon Him.

Get to know the written Word of God and listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit tells you. Cast out any thought the moment it comes to your mind that does not meet the criteria of what the Word says we should think about. One set of criteria for thoughts we should permit is found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Ungodly thoughts will continue to plague you if you do not cast them out! The godly habit of casting out ungodly thoughts is presented in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing


into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Remember, then, to replace those thoughts with the ones God wants you to have. Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

6. Pray: Prayer is where God and you speak with each other. It is not just asking God for things, help, and so on. He will speak to you, Spirit to spirit. He will never contradict His written Word. While it is good to have a focused time of communicating with God, we should be in prayerful fellowship with Him throughout the day. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Like breathing, it is always going on. If you stop for a long enough time you are dead. It is the same way with praying. Stop communing with God through Christ and you will die spiritually.

7. Continual Godly Expression: Ephesians 5:19 (NASB), “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” Throughout the Holy Scriptures we are exhorted that whatever comes out of our mouth should give glory to God and edify those in the Body of Christ. Once we come to Christ, due to the renovation of our heart and mind by the Holy Spirit, how we express ourselves is changed by the grace of God through Christ to meet those goals.

As you can see,  Ephesians 5:19 deals with our vocal expressions to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. However, it can also be applied to ourselves. It is natural for us to “hash over” things in our minds and vocally carry on a conversation (or argument) with someone who is not present. But God desires to elevate us from the natural to the supernatural for His glory and our blessing. So a great habit to develop is to break the old habit of letting earthly things that bother us, or are hard to solve, continuously run through our minds, stop, and purposely praise God and quote Holy Scripture. I have had to do that many times. I actually command myself to stop and purposely start internal and vocal godly expressions.

When one is in Christ, the above practice fueled by the Holy Spirit is a wonderful way to eventually stop cursing. Before I came to Christ I and my whole family used foul language. Just about everyone I knew used foul language. I was the first one to come to Christ in my then immediate family. Though I readily accepted many changes God wanted me to make, because “everyone else” seemed to be doing it and I felt it was normal for conversation, I continued to use foul language. But one day a Christian friend pointed out to me I was disobeying Holy Scripture. So I asked God to help me to stop.

Being immature in the Lord I did not stop at once. The change was progressive. After a time, though the words did not come out, they would be in my mind. However there has been great improvement when I started to purposely stop myself and then express something godly with my mind and mouth. For more help on this point, please listen to “Interrupt Yourself.” {3}

8. Habitually Attend And Participate In Church: It is written in Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” First, “the Day” refers to that period of time after the apocalypse where Christ rules on earth for 1,000 years. The apocalypse nears. We need to be people that do His will.

If you are truly redeemed in Christ you will want to attend, and participate in, a local assembly of believers in Christ. But, endeavor to make sure these are real Christians, though they will be imperfect people like you and I. A God fearing, true Christian church will believe and practice that the Holy Bible is the written Word of God and it is all sufficient when coupled by the Holy Spirit in instruction unto true holiness unto Eternal Life; there is one God, Who subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Ghost), and only He should be worshiped; Christ is the only Way to God (John 14:6); we are saved by the grace of God through Christ and not by our own works; and holiness.

If there are no fellowships that believe and live those cardinal truths ask God to establish one near you. In the meantime seek God’s direction for possible fellowship through the Internet or some other means. But there may come a time when all such resources, including true local assemblies, will be unavailable. In such a case, daily worship and praise God, pray for others, and study His Word, setting aside a sabbath for a day primarily focused upon those activities.

Obey and Be Blessed

Someone might say, “Look, I am only human." So were the people in the Holy Bible that we deem to be saints! I recently saw this in a graphic from MyBible.com: ”Instead of using “I’m human” as an excuse to walk in the flesh, try using, “I’m saved” as a reason to walk in the the Spirit.” Throughout His life Christ did those eight things listed above {4}. If you are a true Christian, Christ lives within and His works reside in you. Take on the attitude and spirit of the heart of Paul who wrote by the Holy Spirit in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Notes:

{1} The more you read the Holy Bible the more you will eventually understand it. For assistance please see my four part series on understanding the Holy Bible that begins with “Foundational Principles For Understanding The Holy Bible” at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/foundational-principles-for-understanding-holy-bible.

{2} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

{3} The message, Interrupt Yourself, may be heard by selecting the correct link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M101 .

{4} Christ regularly attended and participated in the synagogues, the “forerunners” of today’s local churches (assemblies).

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by May 20, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M400 .http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M400

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 29-07-2016 156 2

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Whether we teach or work miracles, these abilities and ministries given us for the good of the community do not assure us that we are in the grace of God.
    reply 0
  • rubyhawk  11-04-2016
    I am not religious, but I believe we should all be peaceful and kind to others. My belief is that if no religions existed we would be better off and live in a more peaceful world. Almost every war has been based on religious differences.
    reply 0
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