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Twenty-one Days to a Habit

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. Jer. 7:23, NIV.

All true obedience comes from the heart. . . . And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us" (The Desire of Ages, p. 668).

That's quite a statement. I often wondered how it could be true. Then I began to study the brain and how it functions. Repetition causes a small bouton to form at the end of the sending fiber of the brain nerve cell. It enlarges and multiples by more repetition, and thus a habit gets established.

Dr. William Sadler, a psychiatrist, says that our established habits make literal pathways through the nervous system. Frequent repetition of the same thought, feeling, or action creates a stronger and more permanent pathway, just as repeated walking over the same place on a lawn will wear a deep path in the sod.

Since the frequent repetition of thoughts, feelings, and acts patterns or wires our brain, if our choices are based on Scripture and by beholding Jesus, and if they are strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit, then there is going to be a long-term effect!

It doesn't make any difference whether you are trying to form a good health habit, such as flossing your teeth, eating nutritiously, or exercising daily, or a good heart habit, such as spending time with Jesus or cultivating loving relationships with your family—you can do it in 21 days! The boutons that you form by repetition will be large and numerous enough in just three weeks to establish the habit.

So take courage! You can be obedient, and His will can become your own as His will unites with yours to transform you.

Thank You, God, for creating my brain with the capacity to form thought, feeling, and action pathways that conform to Your will and purpose for my life.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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