Christy Mobley for Recharge Wednesday
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I can’t believe I did this again or how did I get caught in this same trap?”
Ahem… Me too.
And when you did, what did it look like?
Too many shopping bags and a bazillion dollar credit card bill?
Too many obligations because you just couldn’t say no?
A big hurt because your big heart got you in trouble? I know, you only wanted to help just this one time (which is every time).
Maybe it was that you were late…again. Even when you start out early, somehow you always end up late.
Or you always get caught up in the bad relationship.
Do you recognize yourself anywhere in there?
And I say the same thing each time…how did this happen? How did I fall into this same trap again?
Yep we all do it. “They’re just bad habits,” some people say.
But actually, they’re unhealthy cycles. And when we play them out over and over to our own misery, they become strongholds—gripping us so tightly they threaten to strangle the life out of us. The reasons for each are as unique as my fingerprints are to yours.
Would you like to end a destructive cycle you’re in?
There are a few actions that when put into motion on a regular basis (create a new habit) can loosen the grip these strongholds seem to have.
1. Recognize what your’e dealing with. We must admit we have a problem. We’ll need to humble yourselves before the Lord. We can’t fix something we’re in denial about. (James 4:10)
2. We must pray for the Spirit to reveal to us the reason behind our behavior. Understanding and discernment puts us half way to victory. (Proverbs 2:3-5)
3. Pray for strength and discipline. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) We have the power of God within us.
4. Ask friends to hold us accountable. When we ask for help, let us remember to receive it with love and not as criticism. (Proverbs 18:24)
5. Stay away from the temptation areas. Our biggest pitfall can come in thinking, I can handle this. But if it’s a weakness most likely we can’t. This means, If you have a shopping problem, don’t go window shopping. If you over obligate yourself, set up guidelines ahead of time and don’t put yourself in a position to volunteer for something you now will stress you out. Pray for God to redirect. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
6. We need to watch for cracks in our windows. We’re most exposed to our weaknesses when we’re hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Be aware of what you’re feeling. Take time to take care of your physical and emotional needs.
7. Surrender all to Jesus. Submit to Him.
2 Peter 2:19b reminds us that, “People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”
Allow Jesus to become your only Master.
If we want to break out, we have to allow God to break through.
It’s hard to shake loose from a stronghold. Ask anyone who is caught in one.
The good news is, God desires for us to be free.
“Say to the captives, ’Come out,’ and to those in darkness be free.’” (Isaiah 49:9)
And God never wastes a painful moment. He will work all things together for good.
So if you don’t want to hear yourself say, how did I get here again? Follow these seven steps and make them a habit. Start today by overriding a bad habit with a healthy one—a godly one.
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