There is a lot of talk about identity. Who are you? How do you change or become the person you want to be? How do you reach your potential?
There is no lack of advice. Get a new time management app. Try this innovative, cutting-edge six-step program and live your best life now!
What do many of these self-help methods hold in common? They are all about the *new.* We fatally assume that what is new is always best. The shiniest, latest tech, research, and statistics promise new rewards just around the coroner.
The Slow March
When God commanded Joshua and the Israelites to walk around the walls of Jericho daily for six days before blowing the trumpet, they obeyed. On the seventh day, the walls fell.
At the time, the long walk around the city must have seemed futile. The walls were high, the city massive, the people giants and the walk was long. The Israelites likely wondered what all this walking could do towards accomplishing significant changes.
But this is what most of our Christian life looks like. Just plodding along, one foot in front of the other, faithfully doing the same daily tasks, tasks that often feel pointless. They probably felt frustrated and discouraged.
To pull off three-pointers with effortless skill, Stephen Curry practiced by shooting five hundred shots per day. He had to show up in the daily grind, unobserved by cheering crowds, and make the same shot repeatedly. That is what made him the successful player he is today. First, Curry had to miss a whole lot of shots. Why?
Your potential is in your patterns.
Our daily patterns shape us, make us who we are, and who we will become. In other words, personal growth does come from the *new,* it comes from the *same.*
But we need to make a distinction. Who you are becoming grows out of doing the same thing every day. But there is more than one kind of “same.”
- Stupid Same
We all know that you can do the same dumb thing every day. Stupid same includes bad habits, toxic addictions, and self-defeating lifestyles. These patterns keep you from growth, maturity, and freedom in Christ.
God wants more for you.
- Stubborn Same
But other ties hold us to the same daily habits, including tradition for tradition’s sake. You do what you’ve always done. Why? Because you’ve always done it. Or perhaps you remain in a toxic relationship because you fear being alone.
- Good Same
We don’t have to wander in the wilderness wondering what God wants us to do. The “right same” is clearly stated in God’s word.
Are you attending Church regularly? Are you in the word and praying daily? Good same often looks unimpressive at first glance. But Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
These small, daily habits are what God asks of us.
But faithful, everyday obedience often feels as pointless as walking around the walls of Jericho. Sometimes we imagine ourselves doing big things for God. We might compare our small, forgettable existence to overseas missionaries or national influencers.
We think, “Maybe I’ll have my big breakthrough this year.”
But that is not how the Christian faith works.
God is usually more pleased with our daily habits and patterns than the mountain-top, high-impact moments. Because that is where we show steadfast faithfulness. Daily habits are where we change the most.
Will 2023 be a fantastic year for you, full of exciting opportunities, breakthroughs, and big, prosperous blessings? Well, what are your habits? What are your patterns?
If you show me your daily habits, I can tell you whether your life is heading into a ditch or whether you are on course for freedom and change. Here’s the thing, the big breakthroughs only come at the end of long obedience, not at the beginning.
Key takeaway: Breakthroughs only come through faithfulness.
Breakthroughs, such as Curry’s free throws, look big and impressive to outside witnesses. But we usually can’t see all the quiet years of unsexy faithfulness behind them.
Breakthroughs do not happen in the new; they happen in the same.
Why? Because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Key takeaway: Breakthroughs happen when our “good same” collides with God’s “good same.”
How Do You Cultivate “Good Same” in Your Life?
Does this seem discouraging? Remember that we cannot truly make personal changes–even small changes–apart from God’s grace. God loves to see even small faithfulness during emotional droughts. He loves blessing our small efforts with his big “good same.” He is always faithful.
Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Mathew 6:33). That is a pattern!
Pattern every day around seeking God first and discover the incredible blessings He has in store for you in 2023.
The above is an abbreviated version of the message Pastor Luke originally preached on January 22, 2023. We invite you to join us for Sunday Service at Dream City Church each week to hear Pastor Luke and other speakers in person. You can also stream our services online here. If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with someone who might need to hear this powerful message!