Onward: Habits that Last (Day Thirty-One)

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of the 31-day habit challenge! You may have missed a few days, but you still managed to catch up and make it to the end. You should be proud of yourself, but you should not get comfortable just yet (or ever). You are not godly and flawless now just because you took this habit challenge. I do pray that it grew you spiritually, for that was the goal; however, it will not solve all of your problems. This has been thirty-one days. You still have the rest of a lifetime to live.

Perhaps you were inspired by these articles. That is awesome, but I hope it did not stop there. I hope that by these articles and the Word of God, you were convicted, challenged, and forced to change some aspects of your life. Yet this “spiritual high” that you may be feeling, this surge of inspiration, it won’t last. I do not mean to be a Johnny Raincloud, but it is true. You will pass into valleys of your life, even though it may seem right now as though you will remain on the mountain forever. That is not what will happen, and that is okay.

Conversely, perhaps you are upset because you thought this would finally be the time that you succeeded in these areas of your life, yet you failed again. You seem perpetually stuck in that valley and although this challenge seemed like it would be the way out, it has not been. You are still stuck. It seems as though you will never reach the mountain top and experience peace and joy, but you will. Satan would have you believe that you will always fail and will never reach the top of the mountain, but that simply is not true. With the power of the Holy Spirit in you, you CAN reach the top of the mountain. Do not give up hope.

How do we continue these habits and turn them into habits that last? That is, after all, the question at the heart of this entire month. At the end of what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, there are some interesting verses. This sermon was basically the greatest sermon ever preached and so Matthew decided that the reader should know the reaction to the sermon:

“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority and not as their scribes.” – Matthew 7:28-29

Then, in what I would say is probably the second greatest sermon ever preached (Peter’s sermon on Pentecost), we see a totally different reaction:

“Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” – Acts 2:37

The difference between these two reactions is not the quality of the sermon, because—as you can see—Jesus’ sermon was the better of the two. It is about conviction. The people to whom Jesus preached were not truly convicted of their need to change and therefore, though they may have changed their lives a little bit, that change did not last. The people to whom Peter preached, however, were drastically convicted and that conviction brought about a repentance that lasted.

The Holy Spirit can convict you of these things. I pray that the Holy Spirit has already convicted you of your need to change. However, it does not end there. We have to take action—not in our own strength, but the strength that comes from the Lord. I thank you for taking this challenge with us, and I will be praying for you and all who have taken this challenge. Lord willing, you will be convicted and will build habits that last.

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