Habits – we all have them. Some are good, others not so much. As Christians, we want to cultivate godly habits that honor the Lord and help us grow in our faith. The Bible has a lot to say about habits, so let’s take a deep dive into Scripture and discover what it teaches.
Our habits and routines make up a huge part of our daily lives. On average, 40% of our behaviors are habitual and follow subconscious patterns. This means we have many opportunities to build habits that enrich our walk with God or form harmful routines that hinder our relationship with Him.
The good news is that we serve a powerful God who can help us overcome ingrained habits. As Philippians 4:13 reminds you, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With the Spirit’s empowerment, you can form new, life-giving habits.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn key biblical principles about habits and discover practical tips for spiritual growth. You’ll come away encouraged that positive change is possible with God’s help!
Here are some key takeaways you’ll learn:
- Habits reflect the state of your heart – change must start from within
- God desires to renew your habits and transform you into Christ’s image
- Scripture exhorts you to replace harmful routines with righteous disciplines
- Developing new habits requires diligence, self-control, perseverance, and faith
- Consistent spiritual habits like prayer and Bible study help you grow closer to God
- God provides strength to form habits that honor Him and resist temptation
- Keep pursuing holiness – don’t get discouraged by setbacks along the way!
Let’s explore what Scripture says about transforming your habits!
The Heart Determines Habits
What do your habits reflect about the state of your heart? According to the Bible, your routines and practices flow out of the core desires and beliefs that reside within.
For example, Jesus said “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). The words you speak come directly from what fills your heart. Likewise, your habits reveal what you truly care about, delight in, and chase after.
Proverbs 4:23 instructs you to “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” What you fix your heart upon will determine your direction in life. Your habits follow your heart.
This means changing your habits must start from within. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” God wants to give you a new heart that produces new habits!
First, you must repent and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where your heart has grown cold or distant from God. Own up to any sin that may be influencing your harmful habits. As Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…And see if there is any wicked way in me.”
Next, you can ask God to revive areas of spiritual dullness and give you fresh hunger for His Word. Pray as the psalmist did, “incline my heart to Your testimonies” (Psalm 119:36). God promises to transform you through the renewal of your heart and mind (Romans 12:2).
As you devote yourself to Scripture and prayer, the Spirit will convict you and guide you into new, life-giving habits. But it starts with an honest examination of your heart. Let God empower you for positive change from the inside out.
God Desires to Transform Your Habits
At salvation, God gives you a radically new identity in Christ and adoption into His family. However, He doesn’t stop there. The Bible makes clear that God also wants to continually renew your habits and transform you into the image of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:18 describes this incredible process: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” As you behold God’s glory in Scripture, the Spirit transforms you to radiate more of Christ’s character.
God does not leave you stuck where you are. Through the ongoing sanctification process, He intends to redeem every area of your life – including your habits!
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 confirms this: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.” It is God’s desire for you to abstain from wickedness and live a holy, set apart life.
Sanctification includes replacing ungodly habits with spiritual disciplines. Romans 8:29 reveals it is God’s good purpose to “conform you to the image of His Son.” Christlikeness is the goal!
Don’t believe the lie that you cannot change. With the Spirit’s empowerment, you can put off the old self and develop new, godly habits that bring glory to God. His grace is sufficient for you. God takes great delight in making you more like Jesus!
Put Off Old Habits, Put On New Ones
How do you actually go about changing habits that hinder your walk with God? A key starting place is examining your daily routines in light of Scripture.
Ephesians 4:22-24 outlines this process well: “Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man which was created according to God.”
First, you must put off old habits of sin that disrupt your communion with God. Consider areas where you’ve grown complacent and allowed righteousness to slip. Confess these shortcomings and ask for grace to change.
Next, you must be renewed in your thinking and develop holy beliefs, values, and priorities. Let God’s truth reorient you through continual study and meditation on Scripture. As Romans 12:2 instructs, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Finally, put on new godly habits and disciplines that nurture your relationship with Christ. This might include habits of prayer, worship, service, generosity, and studying the Bible. Develop routines that keep you spiritually vigilant.
God will help you destroy corrosive habits and adopt new practices that unleash godliness. You have the power through Christ to implement lasting change. Remember, your old self was laid to rest on the cross – you now have the freedom to walk in righteousness.
Develop Spiritual Disciplines
What specific spiritual disciplines should you implement to foster intimacy with God and grow in Christlike character? Scripture points to many beneficial habits.
One essential practice is reading and meditating on God’s Word daily. The Psalms celebrate the blessings of treasuring Scripture: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). Time in the Bible nourishes your soul.
Along with Scripture, prayer is vital for aligning your heart with God’s will. Jesus modeled absolute dependence on the Father through prayer. Follow Christ’s example by bringing your needs and requests to God consistently (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Additionally, incorporate habits of worship into your lifestyle. The Psalms depict heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to God in song, poetry, dance, and musical instruments. Worship attunes your heart to the joy of the Lord.
Don’t neglect habits of generosity and serving others. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Find ways to steward your resources for kingdom purposes and reflect Christ’s servant-heart.
The Bible offers many other disciplines to help you walk closely with God, including fasting, simplicity, solitude, accountability, and fellowship. Ask the Spirit to guide you in cultivating habits tailored to your needs and season of life.
Rely on God’s Strength to Form Habits
Change is hard. In your own power, it feels impossible to break engrained habits long-term or successfully develop new ones. How can you make progress amidst such weakness? Rely on the strength of Christ within you!
Paul proclaimed this powerful truth: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In your own power you will fail, but through His might you can overcome!
Stay connected to God as the vine who produces lasting fruit in your life (John 15:5). Apart from Him you can do nothing. Yield daily to the Spirit and ask Him to empower you each step.
In addition, lean on the mighty weapon of Scripture to fight temptation. Follow Jesus’ model when He used God’s Word to resist the devil’s ploy to derail His habits of prayer and fasting (Matthew 4:1-11).
You also have Christ’s promises to help you walk uprightly, like His assurance in Hebrews 13:5: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He remains at work helping you live righteously.
With the Spirit’s endless power, God’s promises, and Scripture’s sword, you can slay entrenched sinful habits. You are not alone in this battle – cry out to God for strength to walk in newness of life.
Persevere in Holiness
Changing habitual sins and developing consistent spiritual disciplines require sustained effort over time. You must persevere through ups and downs without giving up.
Paul instructs you to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” as God empowers you to grow in holiness (Philippians 2:12-13). Keep pressing on. Don’t get frustrated by failure. Confess, repent, and resume your pursuit of righteousness.
You will face resistance from your flesh, spiritual enemies, and the world’s system. But walk by faith knowing your labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). One day you will reap, if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
Jesus endured immense hardship for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). Likewise, envision the abundant life ahead as you walk with godly habits. Keep your eyes fixed on the eternal. The trials of today are light and momentary compared to God’s forever glory.
No matter what habits you need to change, take courage that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God will help you persevere to the end. Keep pursuing Christlikeness through new, righteous habits.
Habits are powerful forces that can either aid or hinder your walk with God. Thankfully, Scripture provides incredible insights about transforming your routines and practices for spiritual growth.
The key is allowing God to renew your heart by His Word and Spirit. As your beliefs and desires change, your habits will follow suit. Strive to put off sinful habits and put on life-giving spiritual disciplines.
This process requires perseverance, but you have God’s unlimited strength available to help you overcome. Through His power, you can destroy corrosive habits and develop consistent routines that nurture intimacy with Christ. Don’t give up the pursuit of holiness!
God takes great joy in conforming you into the image of His Son. Let His amazing grace revamp every area of your life – including your habits! Just think of how He can use new, righteous habits for kingdom impact.
As you make progress one step at a time, find encouragement in God’s promises: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Keep drawing near to Him.