5 Lifestyle Practices for Maturity in God


I feel like my post from earlier today was left a little open. So I want to touch on the “how then shall we live” question. The key to aligning our life before God in the midst of promised revival and necessary purity is to walk steadily. This is why lifestyle practices (or spiritual disciplines) are crucial if we want to be successful in God.

There are many spiritual disciplines out there, but as many of you know I have my own top five. They are: 1) Covenant with our eyes; 2) Bridle our speech; 3) Manage our time; 3) Manage our money; 5) Prayer.

I have affectionately dubbed these the “Fab Five.” They are life hacks, if you will, towards maturity in God.Having these resolves in my spirit has helped me keep on track and stay focused in the grace of God.

1. COVENANT WITH OUR EYES

Making a covenant with our eyes is one of the most difficult areas of victory for many. It is equally important for men and women. It means much more than not looking at pornography (though that is very important). It includes gazing on anything that fills our spirit with something that does not feed us with Godliness. Such as ‘innocent’ media.

As Christians, we want to have pure, “dove’s” eyes (SOS 4:1). A steady gaze locked on Jesus and fascinated with Him. Not simply because we shouldn’t, but because Jesus is greater than anything else. We can show our love to Him by fighting to keep our eyes pure. This battle is a way we can demonstrate our love to Jesus.

2. BRIDLE OUR SPEECH

Replace complaining, gossiping and slandering with thankfulness, encouragement and silence.

“A good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak they will give account of it…for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:25-37)

3. MANAGE OUR TIME

Productivity goes to a whole ‘nother level when we look at in light of eternity.

To squander our time is to squander our life. If we don’t manage and focus our time we will squander our life. We will live in the tyranny of the urgent. Without an aggressive schedule we will spend time doing things that aren’t ultimately important to us, but seem important at the moment.

I spent a whole week on time management on my series 168 Hours to a Focused Life.

Sincerity with application. Simply wanting to be mature in God is not enough. It is true that our Godly motives are pleasing to the Lord, and He sees every small movement of our heart towards Him. Yet we must still be faithful and follow through with what He has called us to do (1 John 2:3-6). We may want to be a man or woman of the word, and even pray “Lord, make me a man of the word.” But if we do not actually read the Bible it won’t happen. Obedience must happen in real time and space.

4. MANAGE OUR MONEY

Giving as much as possible to the Kingdom. Even going beyond personal comfort and honor. Trusting God and living a fasted lifestyle. Set up a discipline and pattern of giving. Not only tithing regularly but also supporting others, and asking the Lord what are places He wants you to give to. 10% is entry level giving. God is faithful and will establish you and set you in your place. You can’t out-give God.

5. PRAYER

Prayer, fasting and time in the Bible must be part of our regular routine. Not only spending set-apart time in prayer but also keeping an open ear to dialog with God throughout the day.

Also praying in tongues. This is how we stir ourselves up in our faith, keeping ourselves in the love of God (Jude 20). Tongues is a doorway into revelation and power. Also, it was the secret to the Apostle Paul’s secret life in God and his massive spirit of revelation.

——
P.S. – You can get more in-depth notes and an MP3 teaching on this from my downloads page.

P.P.S. – Darren just announced his latest ProBlogger group writing project: “Top 5.” I included this post as part of his project. If you want to write your own find out the details here. You have to submit before this Thursday.

61 comments

61 Comments »

  1. retroman said:

    Shawn – confession: I listened to your talk on this @ Sacramento off the download, and got to the part where you are talking about fooling oneself regarding tv viewing and being slow on the remote when I should be trigger happy due to impending questionable scenes. This really described my behavior and really convicted me with unusual clarity. Thank you for being so blunt! CBB

    Posted on May 7, 2007 at 1:45 pm

  2. {Shawn} said:

    @ Retroman: Dude, I say that because I know how it goes too. I’m glad it helped you out.

    Posted on May 7, 2007 at 2:46 pm

  3. Theresa said:

    I think your recent posts are interesting timing based on what is currently going on at IHOP. Between church services yesterday and Alan/Julie/Dwayne’s exhortations to the intercessors at the 4PM set. You are on the same page. God is definitely calling us all higher. It is so exciting to see what He is doing and help to pray in what He is going to do!

    Posted on May 7, 2007 at 6:40 pm

  4. {Shawn} said:

    @ Theresa: You are right. There is a swirl of the Lord going on right now.

    Posted on May 7, 2007 at 9:41 pm

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    Way to go, I found you through ProBlogger’s contest. I played too…

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  8. David said:

    -Amen.

    Another great post.

    Posted on May 8, 2007 at 3:19 pm

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  11. nathan said:

    sorry to be pedantic, but I think you have a typo in the Matthew quote: “an evil man out of the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things”

    Great post, I love the quote “obedience must happen in real time and space.”

    Posted on May 9, 2007 at 2:17 pm

  12. {Shawn} said:

    @ Nathan: Sure enough. Thanks for spotting that.

    Posted on May 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm

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  15. Tom O'leary said:

    Hi
    Nice top 5

    I think you are right on the spot there, especially about the importance of prayer.

    Thanks a lot
    Tom

    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:56 am

  16. Susan said:

    Great post. Gave me some good things to think about this week. I came here via problogger.

    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:57 am

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  45. Ganesh Iyer said:

    hello, Friends!
    this is ganesh iyer, from Chennai, India.
    Real good stuff!

    and what is amazing is that it is being shared without being apologetic about it!

    Nowadays, the good samaritans are made to feel outdated/almost made to feel bad, for being ‘so good’!

    for example, the other day i was fed with some brainwashing stuff (rationale for leading the unbridled life!); that the times are-a-changing and it is foolish to try to stick on to some foolhardy, oldtime values!

    I fought back saying to each his / her own; and as shakespeare put it so eloquently and comprehensively : TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE, AND THOU SHALL NOT BE UNTRUE TO ANYBODY ELSE!

    The problem (yes it is happening, good, staid old india too!) is that there is so much of pleasurable bombardment of the senses, it is very easy to be blown away! also, the increasing majority which indulges in the ‘free life’, is hell bent on not being along and brings down their near and dear/friends into the inner circle, in the mistaken notion that majority makes things right! recent case in point, in india, 250 youngsters working in the much-vaunted I.T. sector in INDIA, rounded up by the police, in Pune, a happening city near Mumbai, India; having ‘rave’ parties. most of them hid their faces from their cameras! I laughed at the hypocrisy! if, indeed, it was so right, one should be courageous enough to face the consequences! my goodness, some of the parents of these ‘brainwashed’ kids were literally devastated! some of them were so angry that they felt like disowning their kids, but had to decide otherwise, due to the ‘tugs of the heart’.
    the world is increasingly going towards hedonism, mindlness pursuit of pleasure, and losing sight of real happiness.
    i am really glad to see an effort on behalf of the do-gooders. the world goes around on the strength of the invisible, unsung duty-conscious silent majority; who go about doing their duty; irrespective of whether or not they have daily access to the hedonistic pleasures.
    heaven forbid that everyone joins the hedonistic boat, and leaves the duties to everybody else, which means no one will be prepared to do any thing worthwhile (e.g. defending the country, working shifts, to produce essential goods/services!! et. al.).
    The tide must turn, and will turn since all of us have a conscience. and inherently know when we go out of ‘balance’. pleasures must be enjoyed, but responsibly.
    Cheers to your fabulous FIVE FABS, distilled be-good, do-good theory. It certainly connects/strikes a chord.
    btw, all religions of the world try to lead man to a more noble plane. maybe, now more than ever there is need for the religious influence, so that inner call of every human being, to endeavour to be that finer being, fulfilling his/her potential with the wonderful opportunity presented to us as a human being; is indeed, actualised!
    THATHASTU (so be it! in samskrit, an ancient indian language) and JAI HO! (let victory be ours; i.e. for the good spirits/samaritans!).
    Me so happy to chance upon this posting, and i do hope what i wrote from across the seven seas, does ring a bell or two, too!
    best wishes and regards,
    ganesh.
    chennai, india.

    Posted on May 19, 2007 at 4:39 am

  46. david robertson said:

    It’s not about money. Have any of you read the bible even once?

    Posted on May 19, 2007 at 8:09 am

  47. nathan said:

    @david robertson: Over 2300 verses in the Bible are about money. This is more than about faith and prayer combined. No, we should not love money, or desire more simply for money’s sake. But God has given us money as a way to show stewardship. If we are faithful in the little things, He will make us rulers over many things. He gives us money so that we can use it wisely, using it to bless His people.

    Posted on May 19, 2007 at 8:36 am

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Dem's fightin' words...