“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson.
What do you want most out of life? Or let me ask ask the same question a different way. What do you treasure most? If I asked that question of everyone who is a member or regular attender of Northstar, I would get a variety of answers. A preponderance of the answers, however, would be success in long-term goals involving: my relationship/walk with God, family, home, financial success, community, generosity, integrity, and wisdom to name a few.
But if we are honest, we may also want to deal with the negative in our lives. The things in our life that are in the crevices we try to ignore. Most of us have things that are buried in hidden crevices. We try to ignore them, but if we’re honest, we have to admit they’re there. We’re not even sure what those crevices contain. Is it a lack of faith? Is it doubt? Is it the memory of a time when we didn’t do what we know was right? They are always there, lurking in the background. We can work and try all our lives, but we can’t seem to reach them. What we want most in life is to rid ourselves of these things that we believe could be impeding our relationship with God. The reality is we can’t fix these things on our own.
The reason I believe this series, Small Changes, Big Difference was so important is that we can clean out the crevices, whether they are habits, or lack of discipline or whatever, and get what we want most. Wherever you are in your walk with God, it is the end of a chapter not the end of the book. There are more chapters in my life to be written. And where you now is not how the story really ends. It is a lifetime process. It is never complete in this life. God won’t stop until the job is done.
What happened in the past is in the past. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. Today, you can turn the page and take the small steps to improve your relationships on this earth and your relationship with God. So, today, strike up a conversation with God. Tell Him what you want most, and ask Him for His help to get you there. And then trust Him to unfold His plan as He sees fit. I remember the Garth Brook’s song about how some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Remember that God doesn’t answer prayer our way, He answers them His way which is always better. He will address your habits, good and bad. He will help you with your lack of discipline or build on the discipline you have. He will help you clean out those crevices.
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Note the last four words: “He will do it.” They are simple and direct. No qualification, based on the complexity of our habits or the depth of our crevices. There is no hesitation, or doubt of any kind. Not “He may do it” or “He might do it” or “He could do it” or “He will do it if he feels like it.” Not even “He will do it if we do our part or we are worthy.” Just a simple statement that God will do it without the slightest reference to anything on our part. Change happens when God has a strong hold on us.
We may chafe, doubt and even worry about our lack of progress. We may even think of giving up. But God does not change. God is at work in your life. He will not stop until the job is done. He will do it.
1. Am I failing at this Christian life? Am I succeeding? How do you measure success or failure?
2. Do you believe “He will do it” as 1 Thessalonians says? How has that belief manifested itself in your life? Where have you seen real change in your life since becoming a Christian?
3. How would you rate yourself in being a disciplined person?
4. What do you want most? What do you need to do now to have what you want most?
5. What habit would you change if you could? Why?