Here’s a little secret about preaching at a church. Those of us called to do this actually believe that people’s lives could change because of the message we’re bringing THAT VERY WEEKEND. That being said, there are certain series, or messages that you feel in your bones are kind of make or break for people. The series that we’re in at Journey, FORCE OF HABIT, is one of those. I so believe that we must engage in practices, habits, patterns that will make room for God’s grace in our lives. Further, I think the area that we’ve discussed the last 2 weekends are so foundational, that I’m not sure you’ll get very far until you implement some kind of habit in the area of “MONEY” and “SCHEDULE” (or Time).
Let me give you a couple of BONUS REASON, stuff I didn’t get to say or expand on in the brief 48/50 minutes I spoke the last couple of weekends (ummm sorry about that).
1. OUR CAPACITY FOR SELF-DECEPTION IS BOUNDLESS. When it comes to money, greed, how I use my time, my capacity to fool myself is sky high. That’s the problem with greed especially. I never think I’m greedy. I tell myself that I’ve surrendered all I have an am to God. But that’s hard to know. It’s hard to really know our own hearts. When I specially put God first in giving and in my time with the concrete habits of tithing and focus time with God, it has the effect of moving my heart and surfacing the areas of resistance. Even if I give through clinched fists, it moves me to cry out for mercy for God to change my heart!
2. HABITS CREATE FREEDOM. Once we have habits established, we have kind of a baseline of experience. We follow in the footsteps of others who’ve walked a little farther than us, but the goal is that I become a student of my own soul and develop some spiritual practices that work best for me. The best book on this that I’ve read is Invitation to a Journey by Robert Mulholland. I highly recommend it.
3. HABITS FIGHT THE DOWNWARD CURRENT – There is a phenomena that we experience that I have called the “downward current”. It’s a combo of what the apostle Paul calls “the flesh” (sarx in Greek) and the effects of what the apostle John calls “The World” (see 1 John 2:16). Habits have the effect of reorienting me, of pointing me toward Christ, of reminding me to trust Him.
Habits are tangible ways to “present ourselves to God” (2 Tim 2:15). It’s critical that I keep that in as the focus. Practices are all about creating space for Grace. So let’s get busy habituating!
Now more pics from the last couple of weekends!