How does one change their life? The concept itself of someone intentionally changing their life connotes a sense of dissatisfaction with their current state of being. It implies the necessity of making internal and practical adjustments if they wish to transform their life from its current condition. This desire for change is universal; it is inherent to the human condition. In fact, a core component of the Biblical message is the notion that every person, at some point, must undergo a transformation, for “[T]here is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalms 14:3, LSB). So, how can one truly bring about this change in their life?
First and foremost, let us recognize that no practice, on its own, can change the life of a man in the necessary way for true life and growth to take place. The change required is a change of being, and that is only accomplished by the redeeming work of the Holy Spirit. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume that a fundamental change in one’s being has already occurred. In light of this transformation, we will explore five practices that, in my opinion, redeemed individuals should engage in to further nurture their redemption in Christ toward completeness.
Practice #1: Commit To Reading The Bible Every Day
In the beginning, it is the Word of God which creates, shapes, forms, and orders all things. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a person can be “recreated” through the reading of God’s Word. Paul reveals, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be equipped, having been thoroughly equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17, LSB). More specifically, I would exhort you to commit to reading through the Bible and to chip away at it each day. Personally, I commit to reading four chapters a day, plus one Psalm. This daily consumption of the Word of God has come to shape and form my very person more than any other practice.
Practice #2: Pray More
Our relationship with the Lord is just that, a relationship―and relationships require communication in both directions. In reading the Bible, we hear from the Lord. In prayer, the Lord hears from us, and He so greatly desires this. Through prayer we can find healing, wisdom, blessings, and peace (Philippians 4:6; James 5:16; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 26:41). Furthermore, when we pray often, we keep the Lord near, and in keeping the Lord near, we keep the enemy far.
Practice #3: Make A Habit To Sing In Worship Both Privately And Corporately
Contrary to popular belief, singing to God is not optional, nor is it reserved solely for those with special gifts. Throughout the Scriptures, we are commanded to sing. “Let everything that has breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!” (Psalm 150:6, LSB). Music undeniably has unique and mysterious effects on us. I believe this is intentional in God’s good design, which is why He has commanded us to sing. It is also why He has given us an inspired songbook―the book of Psalms. I challenge you to sing through it, one Psalm a day, and I further challenge you to sing loudly in the Sunday gathering. I believe it will change your life in unpredictable ways.
Practice #4: Commit Yourself To Worshiping With The Saints On The Lord’s Day
Christians are commanded in Scripture to worship together and not forsake that gathering (Hebrews 10:25). Indeed, for the last two thousand years, God’s people have made it their practice to gather on the first day of the week for worship. I exhort you to radically commit yourself to this gathering. Marry yourself to a sound local church and, barring an emergency, resolve never to miss a Sunday morning. If you’re going on vacation, plan your trip around your ability to gather with your brothers before departing. At the very least, ensure that wherever you’re going, you will have the ability to gather with God’s people for worship. Truly, this commitment too has changed my life, and I believe it will change yours.
Practice #5: Share The Gospel Daily
As you may have noticed, the first four practices are centered around the fulfillment of what Jesus called the first great commandment, loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind. This practice, however, comes from what Jesus says is the second great commandment, loving your neighbor as yourself. God’s own glory has come from His sacrificial service to creation and us. Man, being made in His image, is likewise most glorious when he lives in service to God and others. Make it your daily aim, then, to sacrifice for another where it is not expected. Share the Gospel with a stranger, whether by conversation or by a gospel tract, just do it. Playing a part in changing other lives will certainly change yours.
Remember, only the Gospel truly changes and redeems lives, but a redeemed life will find growth and blessing in these five practices. This list is not exhaustive, and it is not intended to be a new law, but it is a practical application of the same holy law which God has fixed since time immemorial. I encourage you to pick just one to begin, but seek mastery in them all. It will change your life.
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Austin Rouse is the Pastor of Families and Students at Southern Heights Baptist Church in Russellville, KY, where he and his wife, Addie, reside with their two children, Naomi and Tommy. He will graduate from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this fall with his BA in Biblical Studies and is on track to graduate with his M.Div in the fall of 2024. Austin shepherds Southern Heights in the areas of family worship and discipleship, mission strategization, corporate worship, and student ministry, and co-hosts The Council podcast with a fellow elder of the church.
November 10, 2023
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