My sister wrote a blog post on Forgiveness that reminded me of a D-Now teaching I wrote a couple of years ago, entitled Spiritual Rehab. As Christians, we know that our old destructive practices and attitudes must be replaced by new, healthier ones.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Acts 8:22-24)
But how do we do this?
Christians must learn good habits like Bible study, prayer, attending church, giving, teaching others, etc. But these actions without meaning will be shallow and unfruitful. We can’t enter into rehab and expect to be successful if we don’t first address the reasons we found ourselves in trouble in the first place. As the verses state, these are deceitful desires, and we can’t risk allowing ourselves to be duped again. To eliminate a bad habit, it is best to figure out why we believed these habits were a good choice in the first place.
God provides us with all the tools we need to be transformed. As we lay ourselves before Him in submission to His will, He will mold and shape us. But we MUST lay ourselves before Him completely. Many Christians want to skip straight to the transforming part (and I don’t blame you) without first allowing God to detox you.
But skipping this step is dangerous. Sin is like a powerful and dangerous drug; it wrecks our lives and does serious damage to us. We have to let God remove not just the drug, but the effects of the drug from our lives. He addresses and heals old hurts, points out areas that cause us to stumble, and transforms our way of thinking about that old habit.
It is only then that we can move on to the new habit. Healed and whole, we can step forward. He provides the tools. All you have to do is use them. Throughout, He gives motivation, guidance, and encouragement. All that is left is for you to determine to follow His will and then diligently act on that decision.
What choice will you make? Will you choose to stand before God and say, “Hello, my name is ____________________________, and I am a sinner. My obstacle is ____________________.”