We are creatures of habit. From morning to bedtime, we follow routines and routes to our most common destinations (that we could make with our eyes closed). Life falls into predictable patterns. These routines are not necessarily bad for tasks, but they can be detrimental to relationships with people. After all, people need us to be emotionally present, engaged, and responsive for there to be a healthy relationship, while tasks don’t require relationship at all. Since God is a person, our relationship with Him requires connection.
Habakkuk is a man who walked with God as a mature believer by all accounts. His prayer life, Scripture study, and worship of God in the Old Covenant version of church were almost certainly frequent and faithful. Everything changed when his life got shaken like a snow globe. Everything that he had seen as stable in his life was moved, and he needed to go to a deeper level of faith in relationship with God to get through a crisis that was overtaking his life. This may sound like your life or the life of someone you know: The routine with God was “working” until the circumstances of life so change that you need to move from a routine to a deeper and more real relationship with God.
Sadly, some people do not use their troubling times to press into deeper and more real relationship with God. Instead, some simply deny that God exists. Others, sadly, seek to edit God and create a version of Him that is not the real God. Still others run from God rather than to Him even using their suffering as an excuse to justify their sinning. What Habakkuk does and what we should do is run to God. Often, we want God to bring resolution, but He is more concerned about our relationship. We want God to remove our problems, but He is more concerned about inviting us into His presence. This is the case with Habakkuk.
How do you know that you have moved from routine to real relationship with God? In examining the example of Habakkuk throughout the book, which reads like pages from his personal journal, we learn the following six signs that you’ve gone from routine to real relationship.
Six Signs You’ve Gone from Routine to Real Relationship with God and Others
- You bring up your tough times.
- You own your own struggles, fears, and shortcomings.
- You can talk about tough times in an honest and healthy way.
- You have worked it through with God and can help others.
- You have grown in your love for and faith in God.
- You are able to worship God from the heart no matter what happens.
What is your routine with God in regard to prayer, Bible study, and worship? Is that routine strengthening or weakening your relationship with God?