D E V O T I O N 

How many days does it take to establish a new habit or behavior?

A.  7 

B. 21 

C. 30 

D. None of the above 

The habits of highly successful people allow them to consistently perform behaviors that breed success. Everything from eating well to responsible spending, to task completion and beyond requires habits that make such behaviors part of our daily life. Michael Jordan spent his off seasons taking hundreds of jump shots a day. Cy Young award-winning Phillies pitcher, Roy Halladay routinely does a 90-minute workout before practices. The young Venus and Serena Williams would wake up at 6:00 am to hit tennis balls before school. Highly successful people have learned to develop good habits, and it takes discipline, courage, and hard work on a daily basis to keep those habits in place. It makes perfect sense to adopt habits that will facilitate success, yet, why are some so difficult to adopt?  

So with that in mind, back to the question.  How many days does it take to establish a new habit or behavior?  If you answered “D” to the above question, then you are correct.  What???!  I thought it only took 21 days to form a new habit!  Right, you along with many others have been duped.  The 21-day concept stems from work by American cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz and his idea of improving self-image.  From what I can gather there is no magic number for forming a new habit.  Some catch on faster, others slower, and I’ve even seen data that suggest habit formation tripling 21 days.  Ultimately good habits are formed through consistent commitment and this takes time. 

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17) 

One day Jesus was hanging with the disciples. He invites Peter, James, and John to step into his secret place.  Lights camera, action, and boom! Jesus appears in supernatural GLO-RAAY; sunshine face and lightening clothes. Not only is Jesus there but out of nowhere Moses and Elijah show up to kick it. Can you imagine the shock the disciples must have been in at a jaw-dropping scene of this magnitude?  Both the Law and the Prophets there represented in Moses and Elijah (Matthew 22:34-40) here with the Son of glory, the complete and exact representation of the Father’s heart.  What a revelation!  What significance! 

Jesus takes the disciples into His time of communion with the Father and it said that he was transfigured in this place.  Literally meaning who He was on the inside, shown through to the outside. This word for transfigured is where we get the word metamorphosis today. Meaning to be transformed.   

A couple of things to note here: 

  • They had a revelation of the Son of God. – Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation 
  • They beheld Jesus for who He truly was – Beholding, rightly seeing Jesus as He truly is 
  • Jesus was transfigured in a place of communion. – The place of communion leads to transformation 
  • They had to leave the mountain top and go back to the valley. – You are sent from the place of intimacy with power & authority 
  • They encountered the presence of God – Encounter should elicit a response – – > to worship  

Spending time with Jesus increases your faith.  One of the main reasons we fast and pray is that we long to be nearer to Him. It’s a heart-cry for intimacy; communion.  

“Intimacy has sending power!” 

Reflection: 

What insight does this passage reveal about the devotional life of Jesus? Do you feel transformed as you spend time with Jesus? (How does your heart feel, what thoughts do you have in this time, does it feel awkward) 

How can your devotional life look more like the devotional life of Jesus? What other passages in scripture give us insight into His devotional life? 

Devotional Time: 

Tools 

  1. Bible  
  1. Worship Music 
  1. Journal and Pen 
  1. Highlighter 

Spending quality time with someone is not necessarily about the duration, instead, it’s focused more on the connection to a deeper level of intimacy. It is about paying full and undivided attention to Jesus and the matter at hand.  

Application: 

This week where, when, and how will you spend quality time with Jesus and prioritize spending time in His presence.  

Make a commitment, starting today!   

During ___ time, each day (name the specific time of day), I am going to give my complete and undivided attention to seeking God in an intimate way with my whole heart.  

I will spend this time here ______ (describe the place and setting – it doesn’t have to be the same every time but make it consistent, get creative). Each time I meet with Jesus I will come with a hopeful expectation of encounter to be transformed in His presence. I will eliminate ______ distraction(s) (list those things which can be a distraction during this time).   What is the Father revealing to you during this time and are you seeing a transformation in your life, heart, mind, relationships, or habits? 

Tavitris J. Bracey

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