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Mature in Spiritual Disciplines

Are there godly habits?

by Andy Davis on June 18, 2024

"… train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:7-8   
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
Mark 1:35  
"The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Isaiah 50:4  


Maturing Christians develop a life of daily habit in prayer, Bible intake, and confession of sin. Growth from spiritual immaturity to maturity takes time. It also takes discipline, the same kind of discipline used by athletes, soldiers, craftsmen, musicians, and artists by which they excel. Little by little, day after day, the champion athlete hones the skills needed to win at the highest level. Repetition over time shapes the athlete’s mind and body. So it is also with an excellent soldier: by years of discipline, he becomes hardened to adversity and skilled in the weaponry needed to win battles.

In the same way, Paul commands Christians to train themselves in godliness. This involves dedication to spiritual disciplines like Bible intake, prayer, confession of sin, and daily private worship, which we covered in the last devotional. This is generally called the “quiet time,” and it is essential to a lifetime of growth in the Lord. Every Christian needs to dedicate him/herself to this pattern daily. Jesus got up before dawn to seek his Father’s face in prayer. I also believe it was during those times that the Father told him what he would be doing that day and what words he was to speak to which people. Jesus made it very clear that he did nothing apart from the will of the Father, and he only spoke the words the Father told him to say. Isaiah 50:4 seems to embody what he experienced in those early morning prayer times as the Father would give him "an instructed tongue," so he could teach him what words would bring comfort and salvation to weary sinners.

"By years of discipline, he becomes hardened to adversity and skilled in the weaponry needed to win battles."

If the perfect Son of God needed this pattern of daily time with God, how much more do we? We must develop a habit of Bible intake and prayer that never fails, not out of legalism but out of a desire for fellowship with God and fruitfulness in life. Maturing Christians therefore are wise and strategic about Bible reading plans and commitments to extended memorization of scripture, for the Word of God primes the pump for all Christian growth and service. So also, they work at their prayer lives, learning how to trust God’s promises and pray for God’s will to be done in all areas of life. They understand that every good and perfect gift starts in the Father’s hand and is distributed according to the Father’s will, often in direct answer to prayer. Becoming powerful and passionate in prayer takes a lifetime of disciplined practice. Maturing Christians put in that time. In that prayer time, they also give themselves to a deep and searching confession of sin, saying “Search me, O God, and show me my sin” (Psalm 139:23-24, paraphrase). Then by faith they humbly confess it and accept the forgiveness and cleansing God’s grace has promised in Christ. These are the secret patterns and unshakable disciplines that are common to all maturing Christians.

Tags: godliness, bible memorization, internal journey