For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13
Complete this statement in your mind: “It’s just like me to be ____________ .”
Some examples might be like these:
- Double minded
- Bad tempered
Why is it so hard to change the defects of our lives?
- HABIT. We’ve had them for a long time. They’ve become a habit. Our defects are familiar to us, so we are comfortable with them. We surrender to our defects and just say, “it’s just the way I am”.
- IDENTITY. Sometimes we identify ourselves by our habits. They become a part of who we are because we confuse our identity with our sins.
- PAYOFF. We don’t do anything unless there is a benefit for us, and every defect has a perceived benefit. Maybe our defects comfort us in our guilt or they cover our pain. Sometimes our defects get us the attention we want but more often, they just give an excuse to fail or not to even try in life.
- The enemy discourages us. “Who do you think you are? You can’t change! If you stop living this way, who will you be?”
- Our Defects come from very solid sources.
- Biological – we inherit a lot of things from our parents. Sometimes that might explain why we have predispositions to certain kinds of sin like drugs, alcohol, sexual deviation, rage, and frustration for example. But this is never an excuse to justify sin.
- Sociological – we were all raised in different ways and under different circumstances. We have lived through traumatic events. Some of us have had to live with unmet needs like love, security, or self worth, etc. These things have shaped our character and personality in one way or another. We learn how to hide and lie to survive socially and emotionally. But this isn’t a justification for sin either.
- Theological – The choices we make. If you choose to do something long enough, it becomes a habit. Once it becomes a habit, you’re stuck. Things you never intended to develop in your life develop because you chose to do a certain thing that became a habit.
But all these things are what the world teaches and speaks into our minds. They are all very effective tools of the enemy, BUT the Bible speaks against every one of them. Remember, Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed to the world. Instead, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Look back at Romans 12:1 We need to make a habit out of submitting ourselves in every detail to God on a daily basis. We are supposed to trust Him to do the changing work in us, and we’re supposed to cooperate with the changes He wants to make. When we force ourselves to do these things daily, they will become habits. (WE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET GOOD AT THEM) Then, these habits will replace our bad habits. So what we are doing, according to this scripture, is taking what is Holy and acceptable and reasonable and using it to replace sin in our lives. When we do that, the Holy Spirit is renewing our minds – our minds are being changed. In other words, we are thinking differently. When we think differently – we approach life differently and react to things differently because we feel different. We don’t even know it is happening – But God is good. And the Holy Spirit does His work because we are being obedient to the Word of God.
Think about how you completed the sentence at the beginning of this devotion. Whatever your answer was, that is your autopilot. And that is what needs to be renewed.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:13
Because, “it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13
And, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32
One last word on Romans 12:1 because it is so important. The scripture says we are to make ourselves “living sacrifices”. “Living” because we have been made alive spiritually in Christ. Living means “not dead”. In the days of sacrifices under the old covenant, animals could only be sacrificed one time because they died. “Living” means we can we can offer ourselves up in submission to God over and over again – every day. It’s what God expects of us.