Recently, I read an article about making exercise part of a regular routine. (find the article by clicking on the link: Exercise – How to Make it a Habit – Dr. Weil.) In it, the author suggests NOT waiting until you have the energy or desire to exercise to start. He mentions that it will not be easy, you will have to force yourself to stick to the routine. It doesn’t sound like a great advertisement for exercise, that’s for sure. However, by exercising we build more energy, feel better, and help our bodies work more effectively and efficiently. Once you develop the habit and start seeing the benefits of it in your life, you will not have to “force” it, but it will be a part of how you take care of yourself daily…not as a chore, but as a reward.
As I was reading the article on exercise, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently about developing a habit of daily devotion time with the Lord. We were discussing how hard it is to get in the habit and making it a daily priority. I told my friend…It is not going to be easy. The key is to NOT wait until you have the “time”, energy, or desire to start…just start anyway. At first, you will just do it, as a chore, like homework. Having the self-control to spend time with the Lord amid the busy lives we have brings about perseverance. As you continue, your spiritual “strength” will build and give you the “energy” for your life in Christ. You will gradually see the impact of being with God, studying His Word, and praying to Him, in your every day life. You will be energized, feel better, or more hopeful, and be more effective and efficient in His purpose for you. You will begin to value, cherish, and crave that time…it will no longer be a chore, but a reward.
the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:3-4)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (1 Peter 1:5-7)
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. ( Romans 5:3-5) *Not that we are “suffering” by spending time with the Lord, but when developing this new habit, it CAN feel like a chore. If we think about this small sacrifice, our minor “suffering” by giving up our time, as something that will produce perseverance, character, and hope…it makes its necessity more apparent.