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Breaking A Forty Year Habit

Philosophy view of habit

A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

A long loose garment worn by a member of a religious order.

A person’s health or constitution.

Biblical view of habit

The bible did not mention habits, but it gives us instruction about several spiritual disciplines and godly attitudes we are to practice regularly. 1st Thessalonians 5:16–22 offers several instructions a few of which are, we should “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. Additional disciplines are listed below

Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Quench not the Spirit.

Despise not prophesyings.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

The Bible is the word of God a gift! Which is divided into the Old and New Testament. It is filled with many stories that features the number 40, and all of them can be interpreted differently like any other message. In total, the number 40 is mentioned 146 times, the number 40 is generally associated with

Periods of Testing, Trials or Probation. We can refer to Moses’ life he lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert before God called him to lead his people out of slavery.

Moses told the Israelites that God wanted them to come out of Egypt and go to the land He promised them. The ultimate destination for the children of Israel was the land of Canaan, and they were not there yet. Forty years earlier God had promised the Israelites they would take possession of the land, He said “Go in and occupy it, for it is land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and, to all their descendants”

Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord swore unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

Deuteronomy 1:8 KJV

They had left Egypt, camped at Mount Sinai, spied out the Promise Land, and had turned away in disobedience and fear. They spent forty years wandering in the desert as God dealt with their sin. Now at last they were camped in Moab, just east of the Promised Land, in the Jordan River Valley. They were forty years behind schedule! it was time to move in.

Moab is the name of an ancient kingdom whose territory is today located in the modern state of Jordan. The land is mountainous and lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. {Greek word for Moab— μοαμπ}

Some of us Christians can relate to the Israelites. We are behind the divine schedule, not growing as God would have us to grow, we need to move on with our Christian life. The Lord is saying to us, “You have stayed at this mountain long enough” it is time to break camp and move on, breaking camp can be as hard as breaking a habit, maybe we need to break camp in the matter of Bible Study and Prayer. Perhaps we have lost our vision of witnessing and wining the lost. Maybe we have given up the fight opted for sand in our sandwiches and the sun on our backs, we are meandering our years away, content to be out of Egypt (our old life) but uninterested in entering the new life in Canaan the Spirit filled life.

Moving on requires resolve:



Prayer and Fasting

Bible Study


Fellowship and Discipleship

It is hard to break a forty-year habit, but it can be done. Israel eventually got moving, and God moved with the nation. God’s challenge in Moses’ day was taken up by a new generation. He was gracious enough to give them another chance. God wants us to keep growing in our Christian life. We need to break camp and move, if we have stayed at a mountain for a long enough time.

Scripture Reading Deuteronomy 1:1-8 KJV

These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.

(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)

And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them.

After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:

On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,

The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:

Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the seaside, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord swore unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

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