Are You Plugged In?
These are challenging times for sure! The frustration and confusion we feel makes healthy choices that much further out of reach. Even in the most ideal circumstances, making positive changes in your behavior is difficult. Toss in isolation, loss of income, fear of illness, close quarters and uncertainty, and ice cream will almost always win out over spinach! Whatever it takes to self-soothe. I totally get it!
Let me ask you a question, though. Are you trying to choose better in and of your own strength or are you relying on the gift of the power of God that indwells every person who chooses reconciliation through Jesus? Are you plugged in to that unmatched power, or is your plug dangling loose? Choosing well is antithetical to what the flesh wants. The flesh wants pleasure and relief in the moment. Holy choosing sees the complete picture and will delay temporary and fleeting gratification for wholeness. This applies to every lifestyle area we can think of, not just food. Stay up late and binge Netflix or go to bed so you're refreshed and rested the next day? Choose to not bite back when someone is nasty to you or indulge by jumping into that nasty pit of strife with them? Buy that expensive bag you don't need on credit or appreciate what's already in your closet? I can go on and on here, but you get the point.
We all WANT to choose well, but too often rely on our weak flesh. So we eat the ice cream, stay up too late, tell that person off, buy the bag. Tell me, how do you feel immediately after the poor choice? I can only speak for myself. I feel like crap! Every single time. It's in those dark moments of regret that I do a post-mortem on my choice. I always discover satisfying my desire in the moment trumped holy living. That can only mean one thing. I wasn't plugged in! I looked to my own effort rather than God's power which, when you say it out loud, is ridiculous! Why wouldn't I ask God to surge His power in and through me in moments of temptation? Why wouldn't I take the fullest advantage of this precious gift?
This edging forward is the sanctification process. Over time as we fall and rise, fall and rise, we learn. We grow. Bit by bit, the Holy Spirit is yielded more access to my spirit and God is able to reveal more of Himself in me. When I am weak, He is strong. Eventually, the ice cream, late nights, handbags all lose their appeal. Why? Because God's power has created opportunity for me to see the complete eternal picture of the life I really want. I hold that vision in my mind when temptation slithers near yet again. I'm as far from perfect as any person can be, but God who is in me IS perfect and it's Him you see when I choose well.
If your plug has fallen loose, push it back in to the Source so that you too can choose well.
Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” Matt. 19:26 MSG