I have always attempted in my life to break any habits that I find within myself, whether they are considered good or bad. Habits, in the particular manner that I am speaking of here, are the repetitive motions that we perform, and are usually, but not always, based upon the mundane and many times necessary requirements of our day-to-day lives. They are the rote routines, and they are generally set at specific times during the day.
Habits bring with them a sense of security, an assurance if you will that life is running normally, as it should be, they are rarely if ever seen as an inconvenience, but become so ingrained within us that we rarely notice them. “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.” (Amos 5:21)
This is what happened to the children of Israel, and I fear it is what has happened to many who claim Christ as Lord, there is a set time to serve, and the rest of their daily life is devoted to self, and the temporal instead of the eternal. Sunday morning is the prime example of course, followed by the mid-week Bible study group, and then perhaps those set times for devotional readings, usually rushed through, for the world calls and so are rarely contemplated at length.
The habit of serving the Lord is the action of love done solely for the glory of God, out of a heart of adoration and desire to know Him better. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” (Luke 4:16) Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, He kept the law, in fact He was the only One that ever did, and it was not because it had become a habit, but because of His desire to be pleasing in the eyes of the Father.
I fear that far too many who have fallen into the trap of religion and all of the rules, regulations and traditions that accompany it see themselves just as pleasing to the Father in their own eyes, but they are deceiving themselves, and have turned what is meant to be worship into a tradition of nothing more than habits. Through these continuing repetitive motions throughout their lives, they find assurance, yet it is only comfort within themselves, it is a false assurance that has no foundation in Christ.
The easiest way I know of to find out if this is the life you have fallen into is to force yourself to break the habits of religion, and see if your faith is indeed in Christ, or if its foundation is based upon the repetition of religious service.
All habits create an emotional structure, a foundation of the assurance of continuation, break those habits in this area, and you will see for yourself who it is you serve, and why. The greatest enemy of any habit is the emotion, the feeling, of being inconvenienced when you are attempting to perform that repetitive action, when something occurs that does not allow you to perform that well set routine, and if truth be told, that action that you find comfort in, that habit, requires very little thought at all.
One cannot keep every thought captive for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) if one is not thinking about what they are doing.
Far too many have fallen into these habits they call worship; they have stopped seeking the face of God (Psalm 27:8) and fallen instead into a repetitive motion that resembles only in form actions that are pleasing to God. Habits are difficult to break, this is one that many do not believe needs to be broken, yet they are the ones that draw them further away from the Lord each time they perform them.