by David Brenneman
It's been said that to remove a bad habit you must replace it with something good. Furthermore I think it's been said that to make something new, stick, you must do it at least 66 days.
Fully explains why most New Years Resolutions to go to the gym don't get past the end of January.
We can't live this life as God intended if we aren't even attempting Godly habits. What would your world look like if for 66 days you were intentionally pursuing "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33 NASB?
What would your life look like if "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 NASB were on your mind when you interacted with others for 66 days?
What would your life be like if you were intentionally reading something, anything, from your Bible for 66 days?
What would your life be like indeed!
What would happen is you rewriting the thought processes of your brain. What would happen is your brain wouldn't have the time for things that shouldn't occupy it.
To be overtly blunt...I know way too much detail about way too many things in the science fiction world...and no where near as much of my Bible. I know back stories and writer and director stories. What really happened between writer's, director's, producer's, actor's and actresses. What author's believe etc. Couldn't tell you anything about sports. I barely know what certain sports are and might be able to follow along in a public setting without looking too dumb.
Point is we all probably know way too much about things, in way too much detail, that have absolutely zero impact on our Spiritual life...and we make phenomenal excuses for keeping those things there!
Some of the most interestingly life changing stories to be heard are of those who's only input to their brains was a Bible. In those mission fields where a Bible, not social media, not the entertainment world, not political parties, not sports or sports figures, not even the world of fantasy have any influence on those people...life change happened because of the Word of God.
We convince ourselves we need to decompress with this or that thing. We need time to veg. We earned it. We deserve it. We choose, albeit intentionally, to spend that time on worldly ideas and thoughts rather than going to be with Jesus. I am just as guilty as the next person.
We only have so much time in this world to live life as God intended and most of the time we waste it. Time is far more precious than silver or gold or precious stones. Time is used and never can be replenished. Time consumes everything and everyone and our thoughts ironically go towards trying to get it to pass more quickly!
We are immersed in a world that is mostly the way that the ruler of this world wants it...immersed in idolatry that's candy-coated to attract as many as is possible away from the righteous life that God desires for us.
We get indoctrinated in schools and sometimes bad parenting along with it, to be all we can be in this world apart from God.
We get taught at an early age how to fill our lives with stuff that has no bearing on growing in Christ Jesus. The chains that we willingly put about ourselves! We both latch onto and yet pray to be rescued from the same!
We need to be intentional about living for Jesus. We need to create lasting, good, habits in our lives. We need to acknowledge those things that the Spirit says are not helping us and ask God to help break us of. We cannot afford to look at life like the world does. We cannot afford to try our level best to figure our how to integrate the desires of our hearts, that have nothing to do with our sanctification, into our lives.
It really really bothered me that I could practically look at book titles of novels and could give you most of what happened in it verbally. Same with movies or television shows. Could tell you of things as yet undocumented that I found wrong in those same said things. Yet it was a crushing blow to me that should I die and stand before Jesus, that I couldn't say that I even read my Bible once. Over the years since that day I have totally lost count of how many times I have read through my Bible.
It took being intentional to bring that about.
To stop worrying, which is certainly a bad habit, means replacing it with something good like prayer. So what if you bungle it starting out. Even the Disciples had to ask how to do it. What they got was a model of what priorities were important, not a model to be emotionlessly repeated. There and then they began steps on learning how to pray.
Worry is essentially thoughts, feelings, emotions with no direction but just going around and around in your head.
Prayer gives those things a direction away from you to the Throne of God, to the feet of Jesus Christ Himself, in an instant!
Praying repeatedly when worrying starts relieves your mind for other things.
How about taking up that challenge? Take one, the other or both. Praying or Bible reading for the next 66 days. that's 2 months and 6 days. Stop focusing on something else in those times per day and focus on only that challenge. Even if it's 5 minutes per day for 66 days. That would be 5 and a half hours with Jesus that you hadn't been doing before. 10 minutes per day would be 11 hours.
What bad habits are you making yourself live with? We can't cry out to God to deal with this or that if we aren't going to be willing to let go of those things when He grabs ahold of them. We cannot hold onto desires that aren't going to grow us in Christ and expect to grow in Christ. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. Good works as HE says not good as we think they should be.
What would your life look like if for 66 days you were intentionally pursuing your relationship with Jesus in even 1 new way?
Prepare for a Battle when you do. Satan's not going to want to give you ground. Prepare for temptations and thoughts that will try to convince you of you wasting your time, energy and effort. Prepare for everyone and everything to happen. Prepare for that bad habit not wanting to die. Am just telling you now that same reason gym membership dies after the New Years Resolutions is what's going to happen to you.
Life will happen and usually the first thing to go is what we do to grow in Christ Jesus. The people who would help us grow will be among the first we will say we don't have time for or to be with. Satan's big MO is divide and conquer. Increase the stress so that forgetting to pray will happen. Increase whatever is bothering you already to get you to worry and not pray.
Expect resistance when you seek to live Godly in Christ Jesus. The Bible says that's what awaits those who seek to live that way. Expect it. Keep even sending short prayers for His help. Don't give up, don't give in and you WILL see positive change happen.
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