A Rut

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Do you ever feel just, stuck? As if you have something clinging to you, something you do not want. You try to get rid of it, but it comes back like a bad joke. A lot of these things have to do with self-control, not enough, or too much of it.

I have noticed this tendency in myself. I promise that I will never do something again, that I will think about it differently, that I will have more control next time, that I will rely on God more. Wanting so badly not to do something, but at the same time, you can’t help but go back to that thing. 

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That habit, that tendency, that practice. But what is incredible is this thought: God is there with us in temptation. We have a choice. The Bible says when we are tempted, He will provide a way. Just hold onto that one statement. No matter how many times we go back to that thought, that drug, that person, that habit, that food, whatever it may be, He will provide a way. 

Not only do you have the ability to choose the way out of temptation, but even when you didn’t, when you forgot, when your barriers dropped, in those moments, He still has you in His hands. We have those things, we have that habit, for me, its a thought, a train of thought, a pattern. No matter what happened, I fell back to that pattern of thinking.

Even though I fought it, and I knew it was wrong, and I literally would feel guilt constantly, I still ended up back in that rut. What I needed is a focus. It really doesn’t matter what the addition is, chemical, emotional, physical, spiritual, there is a choice to get out of it.

Although we can rid our bodies of problems, of additions, sometimes we go back to it. 

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It’s like that one road that seems to take you back to the same place every time you take it.

Why?

Because there was something in our hearts that we were filling with that addiction. As soon as the substance was gone, that hole, that need we were fulfilling is wide open again. Because we did not replace the bad with good. If we simply cut things out of our lives, it does not become a permanent change. It becomes a loss. Whenever we have loss we seek to find something to replace it. Honestly, it is all too easy to replace a bad habit with another bad habit, if we are not intentional.

Something I am going through made me realize this. I have a problem, this train of thought that inevitably leads to sin. During a meeting with a spiritual leader and mentor with some group members, I was able to hash out that problem. I thought I had given it up, I thought I was done with it.

What I did to do, was be intentional and replace it with a pursuit of God instead. Recently, I fell back into that train of thought and sin. I knew the beginnings of the train of thought, I recognize it instantly.

Heres the thing, I know how to stop it. I’ll tell you what I did, because I honestly believe that God has given me a way out, and He can show others the way out too.

I say no. I will literally speak the words, “no, I do not need this. My God is bigger.” Then I repeat that. What I am doing, is replacing my train of thought. Intersecting the thoughts right as they begin to come around. But I can almost hear the words now, “its not that easy.”

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And you would be right. It’s all mental. If you do not think God will help you beat this, you will never try. Did you know that the definition of sin is to “miss the target”? When we mess up, we are not incurring wrath upon wrath, we are simply missing what we are aiming at.

What do you do when you miss the target?

You re-aim. You refocus. You have to know and say out loud, (yes I am serious) that “this is not my god. God is my God.” 

When life throws me a curveball, and its just so hard to not fall back to sin, I say this, “God take this from me! I can’t do this alone!” For me, this is always harder. But I can guarantee it does work if you give it over to God.

It takes the courage to make that change, to understand that you are hurting yourself, and to be willing to do something about it. Please, do not fall into the trap of trying to ‘do it all yourself’. I’ve done it, and its does not work.

Nothing changed until I went to others about my problem and asked for help. God has a plan for you, and it is not for you to be stuck. God’s plan for me is not for me to be dependent on this one habit. Temptation hides where you least expect it, or  maybe where you do expect it, but you can’t seem to avoid it.

But in your heart, you have said, “this is not right, this is not okay. I will do whatever it takes, to be conformed to the character of Christ.”

Because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. In His strength. Not my strength.

Romans 12:1-2

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

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Through the strength of Christ, I will commit to doing what is right in God’s eyes. To get out of that rut the second I see it coming round the bend. Will you support me?

Be blessed today.

 

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