A Friend of Jesus
HABIT OF PRAISE
Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Developing a Life Pleasing to God
I read once that it takes 21 days of doing a thing to make it a habit. The way you change from doing something that is bad for you to doing something that is good for you takes a purpose and determination. I find it interesting the number of days is 21. 3 times 7 is 21. There isn't any other two numbers multiplied that will equal 21. 3 is the number of the Trinity and 7 is the number of perfection. Multiplying these two numbers together you come up with the number of days you need to make a permanent change in your life. Crazy!
You might think that it is just someone's clever idea they put into a book to make people purchase it. However, for those of us who have stuck with something for 21 days, we know that it works. I have been writing a blog now for 2 months. I never wrote before, and while most of what I have written comes from my talks with God I can't say that any of it was from my own desire to write. I really have never considered myself to be a writer.
There are other things that I have made habits in my life by using this 21 day habit changing idea. Prayer, reading the Bible, talking to God all come to mind. It has literally changed my life. I waited to do these things because I was too busy with everything else. Then one day God stopped me in my tracks yet again. It reminds me of when I was training Wagsley. When we lived in a house he had the run of the back yard. We rarely used a leash because we didn't need to. When I brought him here to the apartment there were new rules that he had to learn. At first I felt like I was always telling him no and stopping him from chasing cats and pulling me off my feet. I never thought he would walk on a leash without choking himself. I didn't give up on him because I knew he was smart and just needed to know what the rules were.
Dogs apparently don't learn as quickly as humans do. It took me about 8 months to get him to walk without a leash, past a cat less than 6 inches away and not flinch. He walks next to me and listens to every command and without hesitation obeys. My neighbors think he is the coolest dog ever. They don't understand that he is just trained to do what will keep him safe and me less stressed.
We aren't dogs, but the same concept applies to children. They need training. We are children of God and we need training. It is why we have the Bible. It is why we have church, and discipleship programs in churches. When we submit to these things and listen for the voice of God we learn faster. Sometimes He has to pull us in, but instead of a leash he uses circumstances to redirect us or teach us certain things.
When Wagsely would pull on the leash, taking him for a walk was a struggle on both of us. I dreaded it most days because there were times when he would pull me off of my feet into a puddle of mud. I can't stand the sound of dogs choking when they are on leashes. It couldn't have been fun for him either. Now there is peace in our walk. He walks next to me and I don't end up a muddy mess! There is no difference in our spiritual relationship with God. We are at peace when we learn what He has for us to learn. It goes beyond peace to a closeness. I can even see this in my relationship with Wagsley. I bet all you parents can see this with your kids as well.
Imagine Jesus patiently and lovingly walking beside us on the right path. This is the path he designed. It is full of amazing sites and great blessings. We stray from this path, and he calls to us. We ignore Him and He calls out again. Because Jesus can see where these other paths lead He knows that we will need His help. He walks with us along these other paths and when they turn out to be dangerous and we fall, that is where Love steps in. Imagine Jesus gently picking us up, dusting off the grime and giving us a big hug. Then he directs us back to the right path where there is peace. Sometimes we are so broken that he has to carry us back to that place of peace. He holds our hand, or at times of great struggle puts us on his shoulders so we can see a bigger view.
Imagine yourself now on that path for 21 days. You have come to understand that God's will and plan are much better for you than your own. The daily praise lifts your heart. The daily prayer draws you closer to Jesus so you can Imagine Him there along side of you. The word of God becomes a hunger in your heart. Just like Wagsley stays by my side when we walk, your desire is to please God and stay by his side forever.
On my journey I used to fear heaven. Eternity was frightening to me. Now, I can't wait for it. I'm excited to meet Jesus face to face. I want to see what wonders He has in store. It is like waiting for Christmas only bigger than that. The longing I have for Jesus is deeper than the fear I once had for eternity. I know I will be judged, but that doesn't scare me. I know Jesus paid the price and I don't have to live on that wrong path covered in mud and disgrace. Jesus carried me out of it. Come Quickly Lord Jesus - Praise God!
Deuteronomy 11:12 "It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end."
Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."