Friday, January 15, 2010

15 days

So how have you done so far? I mean on your New Year's resolution? You know, the one where you will stop smoking, quit talking meanly to your friends, start walking each day or whatever the resolution was. How is it going? You are now 15 days into the month. I was reading somewhere that it takes 21 days for a new habit to form. That isn't that long. The bad news of that is, you are still 6 days shy of that number. And that is an average. That means for some people, today is the day that the habit sets in while for others, well, they still have a couple weeks to go till the action becomes a part of their life. (Which one are you?)

Have you taken this to the Lord? Have you talked with Him about what you are struggling with? I can just hear you saying, "Of course I have. I talk with Him every day. Oh God! I cry. Help me! I need to be free from the alcohol (or drugs or sex or smoking or whatever it might be)." And nothing happens. I still struggle. Why?

Have you ever thought of changing your approach? Instead of asking God to free you from the thing that has trapped you (and that chocolate cake sure looks good when you are trying to lose those extra 20 pounds), have you thought about asking God to change your heart, your mind, your very being? "Change my heart, O God, make me more like You." My sinful heart will not change. It will only lead me into further temptation and action. It desires that thing I am trying to give up. It wants it more than life itself. Until the heart changes, nothing will change.

It is like you are taught in Weight Watchers - you need to learn a new way of life. You need to learn how NOT to eat the wrong things at the wrong times. You need to re-learn your life. As a Christian, we need to be made new in Christ. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 NIV) Don't try to change your action before your heart is changed. It won't work. To quit smoking is a challenge enough as there are the addictions that you have to deal with. But to have your sinful self fighting against you makes it an even greater challenge. Change my heart, O God, make it more like you. I have been crucified with Christ. I died with Christ. Now let me live with Christ.

15 days - not much time when you look at your life. Don't give up. Don't get frustrated (yeah, right). Why? You are still loved by your Lord and He will help you. Go to Him right now, take to Him what is challenging you, and ask Him to change you (not the action). Be open to His change. Let Him lead you. Don't lock Him out. Instead, open your heart, your mind, your very being to the Lord.

And maybe I will see you Sunday (or Saturday). If not me, maybe your pastor will see you. Maybe that is the very thing you have been struggling with - go this week and start new.

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