Habits for Spiritual Growth - Part 3: Belief

Habits for Spiritual Growth
Part 3
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
October 9th, 2016
Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Habits for Spiritual Growth - Part 3

I have to admit that I am completely excited about the message today.  I have been looking forward to getting to this point in our series of talking about habits for spiritual growth…because today, we really start getting into the real meat of how to start new habits.

And honestly, I believe that what we are going to start talking about today, and will continue to talk about over the next few weeks, could be absolutely life changing for you.

Because again, I’ve said it before and I say it again, the method that we are using, and the way we are approaching these spiritual habits can be used for any type of change in your life.  From the smallest of things, to the biggest of things…this method, this approach…is going to help us not only start a new habit, but help make them stick.

And the new habits that we want to get started in our lives are praying, reading scripture and serving one another.  But starting new habits is hard…and fortunately there is a Biblical model for introducing change in our lives, that we can apply to these habits.  We started talking about this model last week, and we laid out the big picture of how it works.

Last week, we learned that there are four stages to this model…Belief, commitment, change and continue.  And where we got these four stages is from the four stages a Christian should go through when they become a Christian.

It starts with belief.  We believe that Jesus has the power to save us.  This belief, should then lead to commitment, a commitment to follow Jesus.  Then once we start following Jesus, then comes the change in our lives.  And then once change has taken place, of course we want to continue living in that change, not going back to our old habits and to our old ways.

This is what Christianity is all about… a new lifestyle…not just something we do once a week on the weekends, it’s not about just signing up to get a ticket to heaven but it’s actually living out the change that God has done in our lives.

So those are our 4 biblically based stages that we want to go through when trying to start a new habit…Belief, Commitment, Change, Continue…

Now there is a lot more to each one of these stages, so today we are going to look at the first stage…belief.  And then next week we are going to plug in our habits to this stage to see what it needs to look like in our lives…

Stage 1 Belief
Our first stage is belief and in this stage there are three categories of belief that we need to have.

a. Belief in the Power of Something
b. Belief about our Current Situation
c. Belief about outcome of applying the Power of something to Situation

So, let’s start with the first category…
A. Belief of the power of something…

In terms of our faith, this would be our belief in the power of Jesus to save us from our sin.  Jesus spent much of His ministry proving His power.  He proved His power over things by turning water into wine.  He proved His power over health, by healing people.  He proved His power over nature, by calming a storm.  He proved His power over life and death by bringing people back to life.  And He proved His power over Satan and sin, by taking on sin, dying and coming back to life.  Over and over Jesus performed miracles proving that He was who He said He was.

Mark 2:10-12
But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic, 11 “I tell you: get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
12 Immediately he got up, picked up the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
 
The second category of belief is…
B. Belief about our current situation…
In other words, we must believe that we need change in our lives.

In terms of our faith, we must come to a belief that we are sinners and that our sin leads to spiritual death and eternal separation from God.  This is what Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 are all about.  Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is Death.

This is a belief that we MUST come to. If we don’t understand where our life is headed without Jesus, then we will never get to stage 2…commitment.  If we don’t truly believe our current situation is dire, then when the going gets tough…we will simply walk away.

The third category of belief is
C. Belief that the power of something applied to our current situation will bring change.

This means that as Christians we believe in the power of Jesus to save us from our sin.  This category of belief means we believe that if we commit our lives to Jesus, and believe in Him, that he has the power to save us from our sin.  This means that we will no longer be headed for spiritual death, but instead we will be restored to perfect spiritual health, our relationship with Christ will be restored and we will be able to spend eternity in Heaven with God.

Our lives will be changed…our path will be changed.

Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Now as I said earlier, this model can be applied to any change that we want in our lives.  Take for example our health.  Those people who go from living an unhealthy life to a healthy one start in this first stage of belief as well.

And in this stage of belief they must first must believe in the power of diet and exercise.  Then they must believe that their current situation or habits are unhealthy.  And Finally they must believe that if they apply the power of diet and exercise to their unhealthy life, that their life will change and they will begin to get healthy.  Once they get to this final belief, it will lead them to commit to dieting and exercising, the second stage of change.

So the path to change or starting a New Habit in our lives…start’s with belief….

a. Belief in the Power of Something
b. Belief about our Current Situation
c. Belief that the Power of something applied to our Situation  will bring change

All of this belief is going to lead to a commitment…our second stage.


What kind of change do you need in your life?




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