After I worshipped
I said I’ll change tomorrow.
Grateful for the revelation
I acknowledged the deception
promised a transformation
fled from temptation
took pride in progression
And looked back in recollection of
The pleasure of a slip.
After I worshipped
I said I’ll change tomorrow.
It has been ages since you tried to get rid of that old habit. The one people confronted you about, the one you kept a secret, or the one that seems to find its way back to you no matter how hard you tried to escape it. It’s tiring, It’s frustrating, and it’s annoying, but you’ve tried so hard only to end up feeling devastated at how all your efforts seem to keep you trapped in the prison of your own habit.
You’ve reached the point where you’re tired of your own nonsense, and the recurring pattern that you find yourself in. You’re sick of feeling trapped but you’re also sick of trying to save yourself.
Perhaps that’s where it went wrong, perhaps the error of our efforts lies in our strive to save ourselves, through a method that suits us.
“Just believe what works for you” Isn’t this what they always say?
We go around looking for different remedies in hopes that it will ‘work for us’, or a method that is within our comfort but what if it isn’t about finding the right way, but believing the only way?
The centre of discussion for this article is acknowledgement and awareness.
1. Do everything in the name of Jesus
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Living for yourself is not a good enough reason to stay alive. If you feel otherwise, rest assured that one day you will realize. So don’t just live to survive, live for see the glory of Christ! That will give you the passion and perseverance to get out of your prison cell.
With that being said, we can’t hold on to all our self centered desires and ask God to cleanse our heart. If we’re not willing to declutter, we’re not giving God any space now, are we? “Something’s gotta go, if you’re gonna grow” – Christine Caine. When we do it in God’s name, we’re reminding ourselves that we’re doing this to be more Christ-like. When we admit that we are weak, we are giving up control, that’s when we are inviting God to take the lead.
“You mean like I can say in the Name of Jesus I will not buy that expensive shoe?’’
Absolutely! No matter what your ‘thorn’ or issue is – spending, lust, slumber, eating disorder, temper , as small or as large as it is, walk out of it in the name of Jesus. Command your flesh to be obedient to the loving spirit of Christ whose Name is powerful enough to silent every thought that were planted to take you off track.
2. Surround yourself with a good community
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
The word confession sounds heavy and scary, but it basically means talk to a friend! Not just any friend, but ones that actually want to see you get better.
There’s a saying – if you want to change your life, you need to change your friends. John Bevere says that true love can often feel contrary to love. Paul expounded in 2 Corinthians, that the more he tried to love people, the more people did not seem to like him. So could it be, that the people that you’ve been pushing away because of your pride are the ones that dared to tell you the truth, out of love?
Sometimes its hard to tell if people are being critical or loving. But a good community is one that will cry with you, rejoice with you, and tell you the truth with compassion, without belittling you with judgement.
3. Be aware of the enemy’s tools
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
The enemy will make you feel dumb, he’ll leverage on your emotional triggers and he’ll try to convince you that there are better ways, aside from Jesus.
“Um are you dumb? Doing literally everything
in the name of Jesus is silly.” – Enemy
“ You don’t need to be too spiritual, you can
pray but it’ll be better to get a practical
self-help book.” – Enemy, again
“Is this even categorized as a sin?
It’s a lifestyle choice. Chill, you’re not even
hurting anyone.” – You guessed it!
Are self-help books good? Without a doubt! But it will not be enough to set you free once and for all. Use it, but if the methods contradict God’s word, it won’t work forever.
The enemy will try to steal your attention away from your pursuit of sound doctrine. A little twist is all it takes to form a seemingly intellectual lie. He’ll impress excuses that sound like wisdom, bring temptation through logical suggestions and if you’re not careful, your decisions will sound reasonable to you. It’ll sound so close to the truth, but it’s a deception, disguised as high sounding judgement that’ll cause you to exalt yourself without even knowing it. Always pray for God to expose the intentions of your heart to you. Not all things that require discipline are beneficial, unless your discipline is undergirded by the purpose of Christ. (Colosians 2:20)
Stay on a look out; be alert.
Let’s be real, you’re not gonna like the process. No one does. Resisting what you want, resisting what you’d so naturally gravitate towards again and again can be tiring but remember, strength is built through resistance, built through the habits you develop, and built through Who you place your hope in.
If there is one thing you shouldn’t do, it’s to not find a comfortable spot in your mess, for that puts a full stop to your progress.
On the flip side, progress is not going to be obvious, but it doesn’t mean you’re not growing! Encourage yourself with God’s promise, and don’t feel condemned when you can’t see immediate changes. God is working in you everytime you decide to be obedient, and He is proud of you. Keep persevering, keep giving thanks for praise realigns your perspective, and it reminds us imprisonment is just a state of mind.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose (Acts 16:25-26)
Know that you’ll have a testimony to share one day. With that, your praise will set others free from the deception that they’re their own salvation as well!
Remember what God wants for you – long-term fulfilment and everlasting freedom, not short-lived-guilt-infused-self-deprecating pleasures.
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