I have come to be convinced that there are only three root practices that underpin the life of every thriving Christian. There are many beneficial habits or disciplines but they all draw from these three in my opinion. It may sound like an oversimplification, but I have found that most truth is simple. It is not necessarily easy to walk out but it is not complicated. Here are my three power habits of Christianity:
- Intimacy – Pursuing deepening relationship with God.
- Transformation – Pursuing hearing and obeying His voice with greater and greater frequency, accuracy and immediacy.
- Dominion – Pursuing expansion of God’s kingdom in your sphere.
Put another way:
- Connecting more and more with Christ.
- Becoming more and more like Christ.
- Connecting the world more and more with Christ.
These habits are sequential and cyclical. By sequential, I mean that we can only become like Christ to the degree that we are intimate with Him, and we can only expand Christ’s dominion to the degree that He is in us. This means that intimacy with Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit is the #1 pursuit of the Christian life. Everything we do such as praying, worshipping, fasting, and bible study, should be mainly toward this end. If it is not, then we are wasting our time.
The second habit is the transformation of our lives by hearing AND obeying God’s voice. Some of us may assume hearing simply means reading the bible. Let me be absolutely clear here – we can read the bible and never hear His voice. Only those intimate with God hear His voice. There must be an unmistakable awareness that our lives are guided by a person, not just biblical principles. We must be constantly led by the Spirit. The final habit, dominion, is the demonstrated power of God in our lives. Our Christianity must actually work. Demons must flee. Sickness must flee. Christ must transform our families and businesses and communities from brokenness to wholeness.
By cyclical, I mean that this is not a one-time 1-2-3 and then we have arrived at the pinnacle of Christianity. It is more like we get a little closer to Him, then we become a little more like Him, then we influence our world a little more, and then we draw a little closer again, and on and on in a beautiful upward spiral of grace.
These three things are a pattern that can be observed in scripture from beginning to end. Let’s take Moses and Joshua taking the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. We have Moses refusing to go without God’s presence and building a temple for Him to dwell among His people. We have God giving the law on Mount Sinai and commanding the Israelites to walk in obedience to all His laws and commands. And we have Joshua leading the Israelites to displace the inhabitants of Canaan and occupy the land. Temple, Law, and Land. Intimacy, Transformation, and Dominion.
Consider also the Israelites returning from captivity in Babylon. There are three waves of Jews returning from exile. The first wave is led by Zerubbabel and the focus is on rebuilding the temple – Intimacy. The second wave is led by Ezra and the focus is on re-establishing obedience to the law – Transformation. And the third wave is led by Nehemiah and the focus is on rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls – Dominion.
Finally, all is fulfilled in Christ who is the way (making a way to true intimacy with God), the truth (the Word made flesh – our model and means for transformed life), and the life (living with absolute kingdom dominion over sin and death).
So, if you want to thrive make these practices the foundation of your life:
- Commitment to the single-minded pursuit of intimacy with God.
- Commitment to hearing God better and obeying Him more completely.
- Commitment to a lifestyle of stepping out in faith to see results in real life.
Christ be with you!
If you haven’t yet, check out our FREE Spiritual Growth Foundation Course in which we cover the four foundational principles for spiritual growth and much more! In addition to on-demand videos which you can watch at your leisure, there are downloadable handouts for those who prefer written content.
This content has been republished with permission from authenticjoy.org.