Transformation – 6 Habits for a Renewed Life in 2021
Let’s be honest – 2020 has been the most unusual and difficult year for so many of us in this country and around the world.
If you’ve been plugged in, you know over one hundred thousand businesses have permanently closed, some of our churches are gone forever, schools remained shut down, deaths and destruction from rioting and unrest have torn us apart, and pure division continues raging throughout our nation. And then there is the virus itself that has gripped America by its very core.
This past year, I’ve heard from countless pastors, thought leaders, business leaders, prophets, and leaders in the faith that resonate the same message over and over: we are in a renewing period, a restructuring.
You may ask “how will this happen?” There will be many ways God accomplishes transformation in 2021, and I believe the main one will be through the heart of man. I’m convinced more than ever that we must and will return to God in ways we’ve never done and with new habits for an extraordinary new year.
In fact, is there any more important habit than our intimate relationship with God and His touching our very soul? I don’t think so. And the path to growing in intimacy with Him lies in changing or adding a spiritual discipline to our daily routines.
Let’s consider together 6 Spiritual habits that can help us renew our hearts and minds for 2021. But take note – these will require ACTION on our parts. God transforms the world through us, not outside us.
- Read – Devotionals or other books are good companions but there is no substitute for God’s word. Ask Him to guide you to what you need to read. Set aside time every day to study and gain understanding. Find a reading plan that works for you and apply it to your daily routine. Romans 10:17
- Pray – Nothing happens without prayer, but remember God is not a genie in a bottle, catering to our every whim. Make sure you pray from a pure and earnest heart, seeking to know what His will is for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Identify – The world is filled with diversions. Discern and identify what is holding you back or distracting you from a more committed relationship and eliminate it immediately. James 1:21-25
- Grow – Do not skip this one! A deeper relationship with Christ will call for us to grow both spiritually and emotionally. It can be uncomfortable, perhaps even pailful. Yet when we grow, we will bear fruit and we will change. 2 Peter 3:18
- Give – Serving others has been a Christian virtue since the very beginning of Christianity itself, modeled by Jesus in nearly every encounter he had. Giving to others helps refocus our minds away from ourselves and onto the needs of those around us. It serves to help change our hearts. Giving makes us breathe life into what we read in scripture and profess in our faith. 2 Corinthians 9:7
- Forgive – This is hard for many of us. Forgiving someone else’s hurtful words or acts can seem unnatural, weak. Yet Jesus himself tells us that without forgiveness, we can never be free. In fact, when we refuse to forgive, we only hurt ourselves, holding on to pain and anger that separates us from God. Look in your heart and find those hidden areas of your life where you need to offer forgiveness to others. Matthew 6:14
In 2021 let’s shake off cloud of the past year and move forward to do God’s work.
I encourage you to be present. I encourage you to be wise in your decisions.I encourage you to be obedient to His word.I encourage you to be bold and share the gospel.
Remember, habits are formed only when we practice them repeatedly, over and over again. Indeed, faith is a muscle that is meant to be strengthened every day.
Give these habits a try – if you haven’t already!
2021 is a year of restructuring and restoration. We can choose to be part of it or not, as God reminds us it’s always our choice!
Blessings in Christ