Engaging God’s Word: A Habit for Holiness

Engaging God’s Word: A Habit for Holiness

This article is from our Engaging God’s Word series

What does it mean to be holy? Every follower of Jesus should desire to be holy as He is holy. We are even commanded to do so in Scripture as 1 Peter 1:16 references Leviticus 19:2. We are sinners saved by grace through faith and dependent upon the Holy Spirit to empower us to live the life God has called us to live set apart and useful for His work, yet we struggle with holiness.

We struggle with holiness because of many things but one of the key reasons is because we often leave our spiritual growth to chance. We attend church services; we connect with others in biblical community, we even read God’s Word from time to time. But holiness isn’t something that just happens. We never fall into holiness. We never accidentally arrive at holiness. And while our works never produce holiness, it is solely the work of Christ in our lives, we can develop a habit that grows us toward holiness. The habit of engaging God’s Word.

We struggle with holiness because of many things but one of the key reasons is because we often leave our spiritual growth to chance. Click To Tweet

Being holy as God is holy starts with understanding who God is and what God desire’s in our lives. Holiness isn’t a permanent state we attain here on earth but it is something we should pursue. This pursuit is amplified when we develop a habit of engaging with the Holy Word of God. Developing a new habit can be harder than it sounds. People try to create new habits all the time. Many people want to develop a habit of eating better, or working out, or being on time more often, or even being more consistent financially. These are the kinds of habits that often separate successful people from unsuccessful people. But there are plenty of successful people who have bad habits as well. Engaging God’s Word is not a habit we should develop to be “successful”, it is a habit we should develop to better know and obey God. The way we think about developing a habit for holiness has a major impact on how effective we will be. For example, as a married man I need to develop some habits in my life to better grow my marriage. Engaging with my wife is critical to our growing relationship. Some relational habits that help the marriage are: Intentional conversation with my wife, making an effort to spend quality time with my wife, ensuring I do my share of helping with chores, and being consistent in communicating with our children. Each of these habits help grow my marriage, but there are bad habits that can hinder our relationship as well. Examples include: arguing about finances, leaving clothes laying around the house expecting her to take care of them, or minimizing our time together. Each of these habits will hurt our relationship.

When it comes to building habits for holiness, we must engage with the Word of God. This has to be a priority. Prayer allows us to speak to God and request, thank, give praise, and share our heart with Him. Engaging with His Word is how we hear from God. And how we apply what we read is how we grow in spiritual maturity. This habit is vital to having a thriving relationship with the only One who makes us holy.

While we all struggle to develop habits, engaging God’s Word is a habit worth cultivating. This year as you determine what you want to invest your time and attention toward, consider ways you can develop and grow your Bible engagement. Research has shown that this habit, above all others, has the most significant effect in your spiritual life as it impacts every other spiritual discipline. Invest in ways you can make engaging God’s Word a habit in your life.

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Chris Swain currently serves at Long Hollow Baptist Church as the Executive Director of Replicate Ministries. After fours years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Chris served in full-time ministry for 14 years in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, leading ministries ranging from Students, to Collegiate, to Spiritual Formation. Most recently, Chris served as the Director of Student Ministry Publishing at Lifeway Christian Resources serving the Church in its mission of making disciples. Chris’s heart is to expand the Gospel through disciple-making in the local church.