Do you desire changes in life, which includes habits? Have you found some patterns unbreakable, no matter how hard you try to put a stop to them? Is it possible to make these changes? Absolutely! It’s easy to quote Scripture, but until you actually believe what you say, it’s nothing more than a platitude. For instance, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Do you actually believe it? Be encouraged, we are created for change. It’s in our DNA. We were not designed to remain the same. Another thing to take stock in is, “That He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God will get you there! So, what’s been the holdup? While cooperation with God changes everything, part of it has to do with our thinking. In other words, behavior modification will never make the difference. Focusing on the behavior itself is of little or no consequence; except one thing: frustration! In order for changes to happen, it’s necessary to concentrate on our thinking. The way we think influences everything, which is why the renewal of our minds is so crucial to our spiritual growth. What are some steps we can take to make these changes?
For starters, submission. Until you submit to the Lord, you’ll find the right changes impossible. Why? Because with man, they are impossible; but not for God. For instance, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Holy Spirit is the One Who empowers us to overcome the flesh. How are you going to access the mind of Christ without submitting to Jesus? As you may know, a vital component to renewing your mind is reading the Bible. How many unsubmitted people do you know, read it? Grasping Kingdom principles requires Holy Spirit -He is The Teacher (read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16).
A second thing is mindfulness. By being mindful, we can audit our thought process, actions and words. With Holy Spirit’s help, we can identify how we formed certain habits. Some habits can be very good. In fact, they are mechanisms that greatly reduce stress by removing the constant need to make certain decisions or figuring how to do routine things. For example, what if you had to figure out which of your shoes to put on first and then how to tie them every time you put them on? That would become a great waste of mental energy, especially if you consider all the other routine things done through habit. The bigger question is why did certain habits form? By auditing them, we can deem which are valuable and which need to go. One way to break it down is asking yourself a question: “Why am I doing this?” This begins to disrupt the habit, even if it’s for a moment, which is long enough to bring it into focus and determine its value. Secondly, it will help pinpoint the reason it started. One reason this is important is much of where we find ourselves is connected to our habits. They move people in certain directions. Time to figure out which ones are moving you in the right track.
What new habits can be formed that move the needle in the right direction? How many times have you said, “I should be doing that?” There are numerous things that would be beneficial, it’s a question of creating the habit and allowing them to be altered when the Spirit leads you. Habits create lifestyles, and lifestyles influence how we live -good or bad. For example, people will lose hundreds of pounds at various times, and then gain it all back. Why? They focus on the diet, instead of a lifestyle. In this case, diet alone doesn’t make a permanent change. The focus is behavior; not thought process. By changing the lifestyle, the diet changes permanently; and viola, you maintain the proper weight. Sure, initially there may be some focus on diet, but it will be in the context of lifestyle. In this example, we one might ask: “Does this thing I’m about to eat fit the lifestyle that pleases God? By the way, this is not about diet, dietary laws or any other dead works.
1 Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. By being mindful about decisions and choices, our habits and lifestyle are greatly influenced.