Well, I'm about to mix things up here because I'm tired of the lists. I'm tired of neat and tidy 3 point lessons.
I'm tired of making all these tasks for myself that are completely centered around me and what I can do. Here is the why.... we can't do these things within our own strength, or even within our own will! It's only through God's powerful and living spirit that we are able to overcome the patterns of the world. When, and only when we submit to his Spirit will we be able to be a "better Christian."
It's very rare that I refer to the NKJV, but in this case, I find comfort in the familiar text of James 4:8, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
But let's look at this whole little section of scripture to see where it's coming from. This section of verses is labeled, "Humility Cures Worldliness". Boy, do I love that. Already we are seeing that living Christ-like does not come from ourselves. OK... here we go...
"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." ~ James 4:7-10 NKJV
My toes were just stepped on, I'm not sure about you! We are asked to open our hearts up to God and let him reach a place of vulnerability that we offer to no one else. We are asked to draw near to him. That is how we "cure worldliness".
It isn't neatly outlining all of the things we need to work on and giving them sub-points to list how we do each thing. It's submitting to God. Drawing near to God. Lamenting with him. Letting our smiles drop sometimes when we are in his presence and admitting that we don't have it all together on our own. Humbling ourselves to allow HIM to lift us up!
It's all about our hearts. We can cross out every list there ever was about being a better Christian and replace it with "GET YOUR HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE!!". When our heart is in the right place, everything else works out because when are heart is in the right place we are humbled and in submission to God so that His spirit can work in us and through us. When our heart is in the right place, these things come not naturally, but supernaturally!
I love David Crowder's song, "I AM". My favorite line in the entire song is, "Love like this sets our hearts on fire." Because it's true. When we spend time drawing near to God, embracing who he is, how much he loves us.... then we have everything we need to conquer the world.