Last weekend, we continued our series What our World Needs Now with the fruit of the Spirit of faithfulness. The bottom line was: God’s BETTER FUTURE is made possible by today’s FAITHFUL ACTIONS.
Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said that what we do every day determines who we become someday. He also noted that faithfulness is the key to moving toward the better God has for us.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
In this passage, Jesus warned the disciples to be faithful in the small things. As Christ-followers, we must realize we are answerable to God and that faithfulness in small things will result in permanent riches. If we are not faithful with small things, there will be no reward!
Guest speaker Pastor Jud Wilhite said that simple, healthy, daily habits are an aspect of faithfulness because, whether good or bad, habits run our daily lives.
Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” It was once thought that it takes 21 days to form a habit. However, new research suggests it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days, with an average of 66 days, for a new behavior to become an automatic habit.
Pastor Jud shared some advice from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, offering three levels of change and how to move through them.
Levels of change:
- Goals: “I want…”
- If there is something you want to accomplish, start simply by setting a goal. Some of us are good at setting goals but aren’t necessarily good at keeping them. It is easy to set a goal, but the desired outcome will not be accomplished if there is no follow-through (faithfulness).
- Habits: “I will…”
- A habit is one small change you can make with a big dose of faithfulness. Faithfulness is the key to this step—it adds commitment to the goals you’ve set. You need to break the goal down into small daily activities that will lead to accomplishing the goal. Sticking with these daily activities leads to the third level of change.
- Identity: “I am…”
- This level of change takes your daily automatic habits and makes them part of who you are. You are no longer just someone doing daily tasks toward a goal; you become the goal that you set. This is the most powerful level of change. Clear states, “You don’t rise to the levels of your goals; you fall to the levels of your systems.” Pastor Jud added, “You fall to the level of your habits as well.”
2 Chronicles 15:7
But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.
Would you describe yourself as a faithful person? If not, what is one small daily change you can make and carry out with faithfulness?
Are you good at setting goals? If so, are you good at following through with those goals?
Look at your life over the last year and determine any core habits that helped sustain you. Now, review Clear’s levels of change and set one or two new goals.
Check out cedarcreek.tv/world to access this series’s weekend messages and mid-week podcast on the Fruit of the Spirit.
Dear Father in heaven, open my eyes to see where I need to grow in faithfulness. Keep me steadfast in my daily habits, so they become part of my identity—my identity as found in you. Grant me wisdom to hear the changes you desire so that I may live out your plan for my life. Please help me to trust that you will produce in me what can only be produced through the Holy Spirit. Keep my heart pure in the small things so that I will be entrusted with greater things. In Jesus’ glorious name, amen.
This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.
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