Updated: May 19
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV)
A Christian is a godly person who has chosen to abstain from sinful lifestyle and live a life- separated and consecrated unto the Lord. The 12 habits discussed here refer to the basic disciplines that strengthen a believer’s intimate relationship with the Lord.
A habit is a recurring daily practice that transforms your life and predictably leads you to a sure destination. The twelve basic habits will be discussed under three major categories that “connects to God” and lead believers to “walk with God” and “work for God.” .
A) HABITS THAT "CONNECT TO GOD"
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.1 John 3:14
The test of your connection to God (the Head of the Church) is your relationship with His body (the Church.) You cannot claim to love the head and hate his body. The proof of your dedication to God is to be dead to your selfish interest and be alive to the things and the people of God. It is not enough to be born again. We need to be planted and committed to the body of Christ at the expense of personal comfort (Amos.6:1.)
1. Lifestyle of love for God (Matt 22:37-40)
A new life in Christ calls you to a lifestyle of love for God and your neighbours.
You will not only love God with all your heart and soul and might but will also love your neighbour same way you love yourself. That means, if you genuinely love God, you will also:
· Love the Word of God. (Psalm 119:97-100)
· Love the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33)
· Love the House of the Lord. (Psalm 84:1-2,10; Psalm 122:1,9)
· Love the People of the Lord. (Hebrews 12:2)
· Love the Things of God, sharing specially the passion of Christ for lost souls. (John 21:17)
You will love to stay connected to God as you walk with Him and do His work.
People will see love radiating in every aspect of your life.
Can people see the level of love operating in your life and conclude that you are a child of God?
2. Lifestyle of depending on the Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8)
You cannot do well what God calls you to do until you are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit is there to enable, strengthen and empower you (Zech. 4:6).
Can people see the supernatural power operating in you and know that the Greater One truly operate from within you (1 John 4:4)? Considering your relationship with the Power Source, the Holy Spirit, are you sufficiently empowered to carry out your Christian duties and personal purpose in life?
3. Fellowship with other believers (Heb. 10:25)
You cannot claim to belong to Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, if you do not regularly fellowship with His body (the Church.) Are you a genuine member of a Church, taking part in her spiritual, financial and social well-being or you are just a charlatan and a parasite going there to fleece her? Connecting with the people around us is a way of communicating our belonging to Christ and His body- his family. Christ-like disciples realise that we are not called to be lone rangers, but rather to be rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:14-20). Thus, it is both a responsibility and blessing to share all things in common with God’s people as we grow mature into the full image of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:11-16). A genuine Christian seeks to fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis (Rom 15:14).
If you attend your work organisation or social relationship the way you attend Church, will you be considered serious? Can people be convinced of your Christianity through the love you share with other members of your Church fellowship (John 13:35)?
4. Lifestyle of forgiveness (Mark 11:26)
Nothing tests our bond with God like our willingness to forgive other people. If you fail to forgive others, you will also be unable to obtain forgiveness from God (Matt.6:14-15.)
In fact, one of the advantages of Church fellowship is the ability to grow mature in the fruits of the Spirit like love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal.5:22-23.) How can you claim to be long-suffering if no person is testing your nerves in your relationship? Forgive others that you may continue to enjoy forgiveness of God. Nothing disconnects a man from God and earns God’s wrath like the inability to forgive others.
B. HABITS THAT HELP “WALK WITH GOD”
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, [a]sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 NKJV)
5. Lifestyle of faith (spiritual consecration) - Hab. 2:4
The just shall live by his faith (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38)
Without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord (Heb.11:6)! Believers are expected to live in faith not by sight for it takes lifestyle of faith to connect to the Lord and the spiritual realm. Many things we face in our spiritual walk cannot be explained by sheer logic. Only a lifestyle of faith enables you to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Prov.3:5-6.) Lifestyle of faith, among many other christian disciplines, entails a consecrated life of fasting, praying, giving and praise.
a) Lifestyle of fasting (Isaiah 58: 8-12; Matt.6:16.) The Bible talks about, “when ye fast” not “if you fast” since fasting is a required Christian discipline. Every great man of God in the Bible or in the present day is devoted to fasting.
Fasting helps to destroy yokes and causes your light to breakthrough (Isaiah 58:8.) Faith will not deliver beyond its level of empowerment. All Giants of faith were given to fasting and prayer.
The primary role and purpose of fasting is spiritual empowerment. Some types of ailment and challenges in life will also not leave except by prayer and fasting.
There is no substitute to fasting for every Christian that wants to flourish and live in victory.
Fasting is an art of starving the body in order to grow spiritual strength.
b) Lifestyle of praying (Matt. 6:6)
The Bible talks about when ye pray not if you pray since prayer is a required Christian discipline!
Apostle Paul reminds us not to worry about anything, but instead with prayer and supplication to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6-7.) Prayer is a major cornerstone of the Christian faith and it is from this discipline that the rest of our life flows.
Bible teaches that a believer prays without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17.) Just like any relationship, communication is essential. Prayer connects man in a relationship with a personal God. No wonder prayer was an important part of every great person in the Bible (Daniel 6:10; Mark 1:35-37; Luke 4:42-43.)
Prayer is also meant to transform our lives and align our will and purpose to that of God so we can serve as His ambassadors on earth (1 John 5:14-15.)
c) Lifestyle of giving (Matt 6:1.4).
Not only does the Bible insist we indulge in the discipline of giving to God and others (Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 8:7), it also guides us on the protocols of giving secretly and cheerfully as a way of life. God loves cheerful givers not showy or stingy ones. We are called to give our time, our talent, and our treasure. A genuine Christian, in financial stewardship, gives regularly tithes and offering (Matt. 23:23; Malachi 3:8-11) and involve regularly in other kingdom projects. Giving to the Church is not just a way of showing appreciation to God but is also a means of funding the Church, and the ministers / staff of the Church. It is also a way of providing for the needs of the poor, and for the programs and the maintenance of the church. No wonder it is a conduct God attached a big blessing to, saying, “ Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it Malachi 3:10.)”
If you love God, you will surely be a giver. Giving is normal where there is love (John 3:16).
Giving is simply a delightful lifestyle of a genuine Christian (1 John 3:17; James 2:15-17.)
d) Lifestyle of praise (Psalm 150:6)
The Bible encourages every Christian in 1 Thess. 5: 16-18, to “rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We are to praise without ceasing (Psalm 34:1; Psalm 100:4).
It is a discipline required for a triumphant lifestyle. You need to flow with God and His nature.
In His presence is fullness of joy. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3)!
Your kind of faith determines your kind of result. Small faith yields small result. Big faith yields big result and great faith will yield great result. It is to you according to your fa