No one drifts into spiritual maturity.
Living a life of dwelling with, gazing on, and seeking God requires intentionality.
Also true is that God will use it all – the way He made us, the circumstances of our life, where we are on our journey with Him, the ordinariness of our days... He invites us to offer it all to Him and to allow Him to form us to be more like Him.
It is the kindness of God – His love and His grace – that draws us into the kind of intentional life that grows us to live the abundant life Jesus came to give.
At the recommendation of my daughter, I have been reading Habits of the Household, by Justin Whitmel Earley, and I am finding myself encouraged and challenged in my life and spiritual journey. At the end of each chapter, he offers this “reminder of grace”:
“We Always Need the Reminder of Grace: God's love inspires our action, but our action does not inspire God's love. Our family* habits will not change God's love for us, but God's love for us should change our family* habits.”
-Justin Whitmel Earley, Habits of the Household
(*While Earley’s book and this quote speak to families,
this reminder of Grace applies to ALL of us!)
The big idea of Earley’s book is that our habits are spiritually forming us and that in our “ordinary routines are extraordinary opportunities to live out the love of God in profound ways.”
Part of our mission at ECC is to follow Jesus. Following Jesus happens in the context of the habits we keep and the rhythms in which we live.
We follow Jesus by engaging in the life-long pathway of transformation so that Christ is formed in us, so that we become more like Jesus as we follow Him. Aspiring to be transformed and ever transforming (our Transformation Touchstone) takes work and participation with the Holy Spirit.
Transformation comes when we participate with the Holy Spirit through “training our souls”. We can pursue this work by engaging in practices that create space for God to do His forming work in us and by giving thought to how our current rhythms and habits are forming us.
Because sometimes it is hard to know where to start, we have created and curated resources to help us invest in our own spiritual formation, individually and together. It is not an exhaustive set of tools by any means, yet these “soul-training” pages offer some practices to consider as we let “God’s love for us change our habits.”
As always, we invite you to do as you can, not as you can’t. Choose one or two practices to engage with God.
It is our hope and prayer that these resources and invitations will help us travel together on the path of following Jesus and becoming more and more like Him.