November 24, 2012

Habits of Faith

Daniel 6:6-16

When Daniel learned that the decree had been published … he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
—Daniel 6:10


Spiritual disciplines can be an important part of our finding God through the fog of our lives. That’s what helped sustain Daniel in his faith.

A spiritual discipline is a habit that people develop to deepen their relationship with God. Personal devotions may combine one or more disciplines into a daily routine: prayer, Bible reading, and perhaps meditation or journaling. Other spiritual disciplines may include joining together for worship or studying the Bible in a small group. Fasting can help us rediscover what really feeds us, and tithing can help us recall who really pays our bills.

Spiritual disciplines help us to practice finding God during times when the fog has cleared. It’s hard to find God in a moment of panic, but it’s much easier if we’ve already developed a daily pattern of centering ourselves in him. It’s easier to release our worries to God at the end of a tough day if we’ve learned to release every other day to him in an evening prayer. And it’s a lot less difficult to remain steadfast to God’s call when you’ve been serving him in a deliberate way for months or years.

When you encounter a sudden fog bank in life, it can be almost impossible to figure out how to find God in the midst of it all. Spiritual disciplines help to reorient us so we can find God’s strength and peace, even in the thickest fog.

God, help us to practice finding you. May our day begin and end with you. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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