We all want to experience change and growth in our life. There are areas in our life where we need freedom. There are habits we long to have established in our character, and I truly believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit change is possible. I would like to present a few steps that have helped me to develop a stronger prayer life, a more consistent Bible reading life, a regular time of fasting and an extravagant giving lifestyle.
1. DESIRE. Everything starts with desire. What do you want? God asked that question of Solomon. Jesus asked that question of blind man. At first, this seems obvious but it’s not that simple. You have to be honest with what you want. Blessed are those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness. So God blesses you not only when you get right, but when you start to hunger and thirst to get right. To hunger means to lack. Before I started to give cars away each year, I carried a desire for years to one day be able to do that. I had no ability nor power to do that earlier, but God saw the desire and gave me the power to do that now.
What if you don’t have the desire for something that you should desire to have? Ask yourself this question, do you have the desire to have the desire? Do you desire to desire? If the answer is yes. Start with that. Be honest with God. Tell Him, I want to want to change, and He will work with that.
What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. Proverbs 10:24
2. DECISION. Desire must lead to a decision. A decision is making up your mind about something and moving toward the end result. If you desire to lose weight, for example, you must move toward making decisions to eat better, sleep better, drink more water and exercise. Sometimes it helps to make your decision public with some friends or homegroup so that they hold you accountable.
When Daniel was faced with food that he knew he should not be eating in Babylon, he made up his mind that he would not eat it. God responded to a decision by giving Him favor. Your decisions always attract God’s favor. Don’t focus on the details of what you will need to sacrifice, deal with details as they come up. Be a person of decision. Make up your mind to read the Bible daily. Make a decision to pray daily. make a decision to fast regularly. Make a decision to throw away sinful objects and disconnect from people that pull you down. You will be shocked at how much of God’s favor you will attract in your life by making the right decisions.Desire says "I want", decision says "I will". Click To Tweet
3. DISCIPLINE. Desire leads to decision. Decision needs discipline otherwise it will fall flat on the ground. Every decision will encounter a temptation. It’s the time when the initial feelings you had while making the decision wear off. Most of us quit when we start feeling discouraged and like it won‚Äôt work.¬†It’s wilderness time. All of Israel died at this stage, in the wilderness. Wilderness sifts people out. Even our Savior, after got baptized and was publicly pronounced as the son of God, went through a dry season. It did not last because of how he responded during that time. He chose to stand on what he believed instead of focusing on what he felt.
You have to learn to be a person who does what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like it. If the only time you pray, read the Bible, fast, give, share your faith, and exercise it is when you feel like it then eventually you will quit. God is not interested in raising up feelers but steadfast believers. We are people of faith and faith means we live by what we know not by what we feel.Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment – John Rohn Click To Tweet
4. DELIGHT. We all know discipline is not fun. But after awhile discipline becomes routine and we begin to enjoy what we used to endure. Psalm 1 talks about the discipline of not walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of scoffers, but the discipline that leads to his delight is in the law of the Lord. I truly believe God does not want us to endure prayer, reading, and fasting all the time. The real change happens when we start to enjoy it. If you want to lose weight for example, working out will start as a discipline but sooner or later it will become a delight.Whatever you don't delight in, will not last in your life. Click To Tweet
5. DIFFERENCE. If you permit me to continue Psalm 1, it started with discipline, led to delight. Then it promises that person who had discipline and delight in God’s word will become like a tree planted by water and yield fruit with leaves that will not wither. It’s exciting when you start seeing change in your life after decision, discipline and delight. Your life starts to gain traction, and people notice the fruit.
Whatever you do, it prospers. This is one of the most exciting and rewarding phases of growth. Everyone dreams of it but few get here because they quit too soon. It’s important to notice that at times success does not feel like success. People get surprised when they don’t feel what they thought they would feel after their accomplishment. It’s important to choose to enjoy the work of God’s grace in your life.Sometimes success does not feel like success. Click To Tweet
6. DESTINY. It’s the legacy you leave to your next generation. If you pay a price to walk with God all your life, it becomes easier for your kids to do that. If you live a life stewarding your finances, those habits get passed on to your kids. Generational blessings are as real as generational curses. We hear so much about the generational curses, but when curses are broken we inherit generational blessings people after us will continue to reap from.
Desire – Decision – Discipline – Delight – Difference – Destiny