Are you struggling to change a behavior that you know is unhealthy? Maybe this will help.
In a blog post last week I wrote about how God can help us manage the stress in our lives. I mentioned how much God loves us and that he sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we might have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10. I also posted a link to a presentation that shares the Good News about how God loves us and the difference that Jesus can make in our life. I thought it would be helpful to go deeper in sharing how God enables us to change our unhealthy lifestyle.
One thing that happens when we accept Jesus into our life is that God makes our old nature dead. Romans 6:6 says “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Romans 6:11 says “In the same way, count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. The New King James version of the Bible says that we are to “reckon” ourselves dead to sin.
I am learning of the importance of “reckoning” myself dead to sin and my old nature. The degree to which I really believe and receive deep in my heart and spirit the fact that my own nature was crucified on the cross when Jesus went to the cross, will be the degree to which I can be successful in living the full life that Jesus died for me to have and that God offers me now. You see, the Bible says that our old nature really died on the cross with Jesus. Our responsibility is to believe and receive this fact. When we are able to do this at a very deep level it has the ability to radically transform our life and our behavior. It is so very critical however that we really do believe this — that we “reckon” this in our spirit. In this there is great power.
Colossians 2:8 reminds us that we are not to rely on the ways of the world once we have become a child of God. The ways of the world would tell us that in order to make behavior change, we must muster up motivation and self-discipline and all sorts of strategies to make the behavior changes we desire to make. The way of God and the Bible tells us that we are to choose to depend on Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that is in us to make these behavior changes. We must choose as an act of our will to depend upon Christ in the power of the Spirit.
Romans 13:14 says “Rather, clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Colossians 2:6 says “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. In Ephesians 3:16, Paul writes “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being.” Ephesians 20 says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
What we are invited to do as believers in Christ is to believe deep in our hearts that our own nature was taken away and died when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, and then we are to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit within us each and every day to live life. This includes the ability to live and make behavior changes with the same power that raised Christ from the dead.
For me, to be able to make the changes in my life that I felt called to make, daily I surrender my own nature and ask God’s Holy Spirit to empower me to live that day and to be the one that enables me to make any lifestyle changes that I desire to make.
If you have been struggling to make a health behavior change in your life, “reckon” that the old behavior is now dead, and allow the Holy Spirit within you to live out the new behavior.
What challenges does this present? What obstacles have you encountered?