A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.
Today we will talk about the last in our series of what can help us defeat Goliaths of addiction and habits in our lives that we just can’t seem to conquer. Those things that seem to just linger on and seem impossible to change. You’ll recall we first said you can’t fight Goliath alone. God will go with us if we ask him. We should also try to take with us trusted friends, accountability partners, prayer partners, those that understand the battle we face and can help us through those struggles because they have been there before us.
We talked about overcoming our fears when we face our Goliaths. That doesn’t mean we won’t have any fears as we face them, but we must control our fear and use the energy, drive, emotions, and all the positive things that come from that singular emotion to help us focus on the addiction or habit we want to overcome.
We said we sometimes hold on to those habits and addictions because of our fear of rejection. We think if others know what is going on with us, they won’t like us. They will turn away from us. They will think poorly of us. If they knew, they might push us out of their lives and we would be alone. To be honest, some will, but you probably don’t want those in your repertoire of people trying to help you through victory over your problem anyway. You need to be surrounded by people who will be honest with you and not condone the habits or addictions you want to rid yourself, but you need people who will love you and stick with you through the tough times of change, as well.
We discovered that sometimes we hold on to those bad habits and addictions because we are comfortable with them. Change is hard even though we know the change is better for us than the circumstances we created for ourselves in our present state, but most of us do not like change and will stick to the devil we know rather than chance the angel we don’t know. So we stick with the comfortable thing we know even when we know it’s bad.
We learned that anger can sometimes help us overcome those Goliaths of addiction. But anger can also hinder us in facing those giants. Anger is not good or bad. It is an emotion God built into us. The question is what sparks our anger and how and where do we focus it. When we focus our anger appropriately, we can use the energy and strength that comes with it to attack those addictions and habits we want gone. When we use that emotion inappropriately, we might strike out against the people that could help us the most.
Last week we talked about the importance of openness about the thing you want to change. Until you identify and name the thing you want to fix, you are at best attacking symptoms, but never getting at the real root of the problem.
Today we look at one more exceptionally important trait that you must exercise to face the Goliaths in your life, those addictions, bad habits, things in your life you need to change. What is that trait? Faith. If you don’t believe you can change, you won’t. If you believe there is no hope, you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Without faith, you’ll find all your attempts at change are futile.
Faith, the writer of Hebrews says, is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen. It is knowing that an unseen future will circumstance will be true. We all exercise faith in our daily lives. We all have it and really could not live without it. Imagine going through life without faith. Not believing the lights would come on when flipped the light switch. Not knowing if the car would start when you turned the key. Not believing the sun would rise in the morning or the moon at night. Living without faith means wondering if the food you just ate is good for you or poisoned.
No faith in life makes you question whether the next step you take will be on solid ground or something that just looks solid. No faith makes you hold your breath because the air might be filled with toxic fumes instead of good clean oxygen.
So does all of that sound a little crazy? Maybe, but it really shows that everyone has faith. We have faith that the world works in certain ways that we can trust. We exercise faith to just live our lives in ordinary ways every day. It takes a lot of faith just to exist. Faith is faith is faith. The question is how do we direct that faith? In what or in whom do we have faith? I have a lot of faith in myself in certain aspect of life. In other aspects, I have very little faith in myself.
As a simple example, I have faith that I can drive without having an accident, so tomorrow I will get in my car, turn the key in the ignition, and back out of my driveway with full confidence that I will make it across town and arrive at my destination before my appointed time to be there. But I have very little faith that I can climb Mount Everest successfully, so don’t expect to see me even close to those slopes...ever. It would be crazy for me to even attempt the climb because I know my physical limitations and I have like no confidence I would get to even the 7,000 foot camps alive.
What does that have to do with addictions, habits, Goliaths we want to conquer? We need faith that we can actually change if we expect to change. If I don’t think I can kick a habit, I won’t. If I don’t think I can change my behavior, I’ll fail to change it. If I don’t have enough faith in myself to believe God and others can help me through some process to replace those things that need replacing in my life, I will sabotage the efforts and I will keep those things resident in my everyday life.
So, if I want to defeat a Goliath of addiction in my life, whether it is a simple thing like dropping dirty clothes on the floor instead of the hamper or a very complex thing like addiction to heroin. If I can’t picture and believe in a different future, I am stuck with the present life with no chance for change. I must have faith God and those he puts in my path as his helpers can make a new future for me.
Faith. Maybe today you’ll think about faith a little different than you have in the past. Remember, we all have it. Without out faith, I’m not sure any of us would survive. We’d go absolutely nuts. But with just a little faith, we not only survive, but we thrive. And with faith in the right who, Jesus said we would do even more than he did when he lived among us. Think about it. What future can you envision if you let him help you get rid of the Goliaths of bad habits and addictions that have seemed impossible to resolve. It’s time to start today.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.