Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Habit-Forming Ideas

What do we really want in life? Have any of us ever stopped and asked ourselves that? I always hear people say, “I want to be a better person. I want to have a better life. I want to do/understand God’s will for my life.” I know these statements all too well. I have said them. I still say them. But what are we really asking for? I know I am guilty of coming before God asking for help and then getting right back up and going back to the same place I was to begin with. My actions don’t reflect my words. I ask for change but am unwilling to work toward that change.

Reality is that most times when we ask for change, we just mean, “God make things better, but I’m gonna go back over here to my sin-infested life, let me know when to look for my happy ending.” We aren’t asking God to come into our lives and change us, to do His will; we just want our instant gratification. American’s are obsessed with the idea of instant gratification. We pretty much have instant anything & everything. Fast food, the Starbucks at every corner, credit cards for instant purchases, and even empty relationships forged over facebook reflect the extent we go to to get whatever we want right now. We don’t really have a “work for it” attitude.

How often is this line of thinking the way we treat God? How often I find myself going before Him for the quick save and then go back to my sinful existence. I feel emptiness and say I want change, but really I just mean I want a quick fix. But true change is anything but quick. It’s time consuming and painful. It requires legitimate work.

In order to truly experience a true internal change, it requires an external one as well. We can’t just decide to live a life loving on others if we don’t come before the creator of love. We can’t expect to run from our crutches and temptations if we don’t create a lifestyle that is devoid of them. We can’t live with new hearts and be the exact same as before.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to give away all of your possessions and live in a convent. Believe me, I’ve been thinking lately how it’s possible for any of us that don’t choose that. We are all going to have things we enjoy that aren’t particularly holy. We all have things we aren’t willing to give up. I’m not trying to lecture on walking away from life as you know it, I couldn’t and honestly wouldn’t be willing to do so. What I am saying is that removing some distractions or spending some time focusing on God instead of your circumstance is a good starting place.

They say it takes something like 28 days to form a habit. If that’s true, how can you expect to experience a God-led change when you can’t even take the time to spend 28 days with Him? Man, I wish this post had happened a few days from now, on my 28th post. That would have been cool. ANYWAY J, prayer, scripture reading, a change of focus, and time with other believers who want the same things you do. All of these are good places to start learning to cultivate a life dependant on Christ. I can tell you now, most likely change is not going to happen until you move to a place where that’s how you feel. That you need Christ, that you desire that change more than anything else.

I understand how hard that statement is. I have been struggling for years with creating a balance between my God time and me time and I have to admit the scale was tipped severely low on (toward) the ‘me’ side. God, being the merciful friend He is, stepped in for me and did what I could not. He gave me a glimpse at how lost I can be if I kept going on that way. Believe me, I was perfectly content to continue on the way I was going. I’m still tempted to slip back into that. It was unfulfilling and lonely, but it was also easy.

Don’t get trapped by the lie the easy life tells you. God has shown me that if I don’t realize I need Him, that dependence on Him is the only way to get out of that place, then that’s all there can be for me. And He has promised He has so much more planned for me and for you.

Do you feel empty and want a change? Do you feel like you are getting ready to let Christ change your heart? If so, I urge you to consider some ways you can force an outward change in your life that leads you before Christ. See if it puts you one step closer to being dependant on Him today.

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