I read a very interesting blog today and it made me think on how important our belief system is and how it points to the reality of what we really believe, i.e if I say I believe that smoking will kill me and I keep smoking, I really do not believe that smoking will kill me by my actions. The true belief in my heart destroys the mental assent of what I like to tell myself and is replaced by the true belief that “I need to smoke to relax, or deal with stress…”
The hurdle is replacing the lies I believe with the truth and the empowerment to apply it to my life. GRACE! Grace is the ability to overcome the lies I believe and it accepts me right where I am at and believes in me before I do or change anything.
Acceptance of who I am before I change a thing is what makes grace so powerful and controversial. When I came to Jesus He did not say to me, “Clean your act up, then I will accept you…”
Yet, I find that people spend a lot of time trying to control behavior, like diets, programs, and the like, instead of creating an environment where GRACE can happen and real change takes place. I am still on the journey discovering God’s GRACE- it really is HIS DNA and I am closer to the One who made this all possible.
Recently, I have been zeroing in to some things I really want changed in my life. The obstacles to my Faith and the disciplines that are necessary to achieve success. I have found that discipline seems very unpleasant. However, the payoff is exponential in habits that are healthy for your mind, body and your soul. A roadblock that has hindered me since I was a young boy has been my eating habits. My family celebrated and medicated with food- and so do I. Have a bad day- EAT SOME STEAK! Have an awesome day CELEBRATE WITH RED LOBSTER. The irony of it is that we need food for fuel and when you are like a drug addict with food, this presents a problem! Would it be possible for a heroin addict to continue using drugs and say, “I am not an addict?” Obviously, he can not. Yet for me, I find the struggle just as terrible as that. I need food for fuel and the struggle to eat the right amounts of the right foods at the right times. ARGH! I came up with a plan a couple of days ago (it was the Holy Spirit) but this idea came barreling out of my heart- You need to FAST…….. What? How can that be a good idea…LOL Anyway, my next step is to embark onto a 7 day fast that would be a fast unto the Lord to break the “the yoke of bondage.” I have lost weight and have even started to work out regularly- When I started this journey I was 300 lbs! I am down to 235- Praise the Lord! Yet the yo-yo effect is still there- Lord Jesus help me overcome!
So, what gives when you know with your mind that you should be free but on a whole other level you act out your mis-beliefs and actually DO “what you really believe?” I do not claim to be a theologian or some kind of puffed up pontificate that knows the “deal,” yet, I have found that what I believe is what I do. I can not escape this fact, and no matter how much I know “logically” know what “I should do,” it does not change the fact that I have some deep rooted heart beliefs that conflict with my “believing mechanism.” In Romans chapter 7 Paul discusses this dynamic, he called them ” laws that wage war” and there is a little nugget in the middle in verse 18 “…For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out..” Romans 7:18 (ESV) and then in verse 21 it says, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” Romans 7:21 (ESV) Wow, the things they never taught in Church, so what Paul is saying is that soon as I desire to do “right” evil lies close at hand.” AWESOME, (sarcasm intended) and yet the power struggle is not so much on the outside (what bombards us on a daily basis) as it is on the inside (what I choose to believe). In verse 22 “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:22-23 (ESV) Paul described two laws or different forces that opposed each other, one that rested in the regenerated man or mind, the other in the natural inclinations of man or carnal mind. Then Paul topped off this chapter with this statement, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25 (ESV) In conclusion, I am a mess and totally dependent on God and through Christ Jesus I serve God with the regenerated mind. I am constantly aware of my sin, thanks to the Law, but I am free from the penalty because of Jesus. I am not there yet by any means, yet it helps me to write it out so I can see that I can be free and free indeed through Jesus’ truth!