“Lord I’m sorry, it’s wrong I know, but I seriously just don’t care right now.”
Have you ever been in that place?
The place where rage and disappointment overwhelm you to the point of disobedience. The place of disobedience that you’ve worked so hard to overcome, the place you never thought you’d return to.
But it did not start off that way, did it? It began with that divine encounter. The day where you were consumed by His love, convicted to repent, and ready to surrender yourself to His discipline to understand His will.
And with a tap of God’s encouragement, you took steps you’ve never taken before. In that stage of initiation, you felt so brand new, so washed clean, so free from your past like nothing can hold you back.
But what if, a tiny slip, made you fall back again.
Oh, the shame that creeps in.
What if a taste of that old habit made you stay a little longer, hide a little longer, to the point where you looked away from God and told Him that you need a little break.
That you’ll come back.
If He is indeed a forgiving God, what would He think of that? Cause we do love God, we do.
But keeping it together all the time is just absolutely exhausting.
Let’s face it. We are imperfect beings that are bound to make mistakes. Sometimes our road to deliverance may look like an endless cycle to nowhere. Nonetheless, we should perhaps take note of these.
- Don’t take His mercy for granted.
“Lord you know that I love you, but where sin abounds, grace abounds, right?”
“God, didn’t you say that I can be myself before you? And I know that you would still forgive me after this – cause that’s your nature – right?”
When we live in sin, we tend to engage with many inner debates. We’ll look into scriptures and tell ourselves that we’re ‘interpreting scriptures’ when we’re really just trying to justify our ways to feed the desires of our flesh (Rom 7:21). In times like these, we should ask ourselves again, have we fully surrendered ourselves to Christ?
Don’t get me wrong. We should never feel ashamed to present ourselves in front of God, but we must never play with words and twist the truth of His mercy and forgiveness as well.
‘In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.’ (Ephesians2: 12-13)
Remember, we never deserved Him in the first place. Thus, we should never use His promise to forgive as an excuse for us to fall again. When our love for Him increases, our appetite for sin will decrease. Although this sounds simple, we all know that it won’t be easy. We’ll have to make a daily commitment to abstain from our unpleasant ways.
- Rejoice! But don’t take pride in your progress.
It’s important to celebrate your baby steps!If you’ve managed to stop watching porn for 4 days, or perhaps you were polite and kind towards your mum for the first time in years, that is great!In the eyes of others, these little things may seem insignificant and stupid but remember that this is YOUR journey. No one else knows the amount of courage you had to build up to make that change.Nonetheless, never forget to acknowledge that it is only by His strength that you’ve achieved a positive change. Once you take pride in that achievement, you’ll start to take matters into your own hands, which will see you packing your bag back to square one again.
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight’ (Proverbs 3:6)
In all of your ways, submit to him. Your flesh weaker than you think. In fact, we tend to overestimate our ability to withstand temptation. Acknowledge that you are weak, and you will become strong (2Cor 12:10). Fix your focus on His love and promises, and let that be the light that guides you out of your tunnel (Heb 12:2).
- Don’t give up.
You will feel like giving up a lot. You’ll often feel useless and that your hard work is pointless.
In times like these, pause, look back and realize the magnitude of obstacles that you have already overcome. Don’t ever allow the enemy to condemn you. You’re doing great!
When you feel overwhelmed or tempted, indulge in praise and worship. This may sound like a cliché but it’s absolutely true. You will not feel like doing so, but worship is a choice, not a feeling. Distract yourself from temptation by getting lost in the wonderful love of God.
Just like King David, ask the Lord to restore in you the joy of the Lord, and the joy of salvation. In fact, read the whole of Psalms 51. It depicts King David’s vulnerability and crave for restoration after his act of arrogance and callousness toward God.
‘Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.’ (Psalm 51:8)
‘Restore to me the joy of your salvation.’ (Psalm 51:12)
In times of weariness, rest in His presence (Matt 11:28). God is generous in His love and goodness, which will sustain you for all the days of your life.
Despite the painful (and often long) journey, DECLARE that it will come to an end! With God by your side, you are fighting from victory to victory my friend!
The future you will use this story as an encouragement to others, and a testimonial of God’s faithfulness upon your life.
2 thoughts on “Breaking the cycle of wrong habits.”