Christian living comes down making a handful of disciplines into habits. The disciplines are not Christian living—in some ways, they are the opposite of Christian living. Christian living is about walking in grace. It is about walking on purpose. It is about basking in acceptance. It is not about trying really hard to be good. It is not about trying hard to be good enough that God will accept me. It is quite the opposite of that. It is reveling in the fact that He has already accepted me. Nothing I could do could change that, but my heart is prone to forget.
This is why I need the disciplines. However, I don’t think discipline is quite the right word. The word, discipline, at least to me, suggests duty, obligation. It suggests that I don’t really want to pray but I pray anyway. It hints that I don’t really want to spend time in the Word, but, because I am disciplined, I do it anyway. Disciplines hints that I don’t really want to do something, but I do it anyway. This is not Christian living—not Christian living at its best.
There is a place for discipline, and discipline may be necessary for habits to form. But, once they are formed, they become automatic. You don’t think about them. Disciples don’t think about whether or not to have a quiet time; this is just how they start their day. They have done it so consistently for so long that they don’t think about it. It is who they are. It is what they do. It is their normal.
Having a quiet time is either a habit, or I bet you didn’t have a quiet time this morning.