Have you ever said, "I'll never do that again!" only to make the same mistake a few days later?
If you're a Christian, at some point in your walk with God, you'll feel stuck in the same cycle of sinful decisions and foolish mistakes.
So how do we get from where we are to where God wants us to be?
Well, we need to start here: sometimes, we don't actually want to change.
It sounds harsh, but I’ll lead the way.
Maybe that selfish pleasure is just too pleasurable for me. I know the Bible says I shouldn't pursue it, or at least not allow it to dominate my calendar or wallet, but there are times when my heart simply loves the creation more than the Creator.
Then there are other times when I really do want to change, and I just feel stuck.
There are 4 "C" words that help me in my struggles.
Ultimately, these four action words won't produce change in me. Only the power of Holy Spirit and the grace of God will produce lasting heart change.
But these 4 C’s remind me of how I can position my heart closer to the Spirit and Grace of God.
Here they are:
1. CONSIDER: The psalmist prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart ... see if there is any offensive way in me" (139:23–24). The first step to change requires us to look intently into the mirror of God's Word (James 1:23-24) and consider - or examine - what the Bible says about us.
2. CONFESS: If we accurately consider what the Bible says about us, it will be very tempting to run away from the verdict, or lessen the blow by making excuses and shifting the blame. Change only happens when we confess that we're the primary problem (like David, in Psalm 51:10).
3. COMMIT: Once we've considered and confessed, we ought to be grieved by the reality of sin. That grief should spur us into action. Commitment can take a variety of forms, but there needs to be some plan to move from where we are to where God wants us to be.
4. CONTINUE: This will sound obvious - change has not taken place until change has taken place. At some level, we all stop short. We talk about change, we create an action plan, but then we never follow through, or we give up with discouragement.The process of heart and life change is a process, not an event!
So brothers and sisters, continue to consider. Continue to confess. Continue to commit. And continue to continue. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides us with the hope and help we need to keep pressing on!
Surround yourself with believers who will walk with you. Seat yourself under good preaching. Dive into the Word and pray, even when you don't feel like it.
There is a day when sin will be eradicted. Until then, our Lord has given us everything we need. Stay encouraged, and watch the Lord bless you with a harvest of good fruit!
- In what ways have you been ignoring, or apathetic to, the diagnosis of Scripture in your life?
- Where are you pointing the finger and blaming others for the sins of your own heart? Be specific.
- What are some practical steps that you can take to wrestle with the passions of the flesh?
- Identify a brother or sister who is discouraged. This week, how can you be their spiritual support and spur them on to good works?