I have just completed a series on four fundamental beliefs that are critical to experiencing joy, peace, and contentment in God. While you might agree that all four are biblically based and that you “should” believe them, you might not actually believe them yet, no matter how much you want to.
I have learned that for me to fully believe all four, I must be engaging in seven fundamental practices regularly. Whenever all seven are a regular part of my day-to-day life, the four fundamental beliefs come much more easily. Conversely, when I am unable to engage in one or more of those practices for a period of time, I’ll notice that I am having a harder time resting in those beliefs.
Here are the seven fundamental practices of the Christian faith that I will be discussing:
- Bible study
- Daily quiet time with God
- Local church involvement
- Praise & worship
- Sabbath rest
Note that I used bullets rather than a numbered list. This is intentional because one fundamental practice is no more important than the next. If you are not engaging in any of these fundamental practices regularly, you are likely to encounter resistance to the four fundamental beliefs. All seven work together to build your faith and strengthen your relationship with God.
I sometimes go through seasons in which I am unable to engage in all seven for a period of time, and I can feel the difference. My most recent season was over the holidays. I missed three weeks of church – Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the following Sunday. My family had other plans for Christmas Day, we traveled for New Year’s Day, and then our church was closed the follow Sunday due to inclement weather.
While I did not feel guilty about going a month between church services at my local church, I felt weakened. I missed my church family and felt “hungry” for Christian fellowship. I also felt “off.” I was more easily tempted by anxious thoughts, and I knew why. I could not wait to return to my local church, not out of obligation but out of necessity!
If you are not engaging in one or more of the seven fundamental practices, I strongly encourage you to incorporate those practices into your day-to-day life. You will be amazed by how much easier it is to believe God when you are doing all seven!
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding a pen and clipboard, saying, “Will do.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]