Daily Devotion: April 29

Romans 12:2 NIV
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing
of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His
good, pleasing and perfect will".

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve traded one bad habit for another. It’s almost like being
stuck at home has caused me to find new ways to neglect some issues in my life. I do
this by creating new bad habits, instead of using this time to reset some things in my life
for the better. For many of us, these issues can come out in different ways. They can
come out in sin or in the day to day habits that are not necessarily wrong, but at the
same time not always beneficial. For instance, it may be easy to acknowledge that
habits of lust or drug addictions are destructive, but when it comes to binge watching
the top 10 shows on Netflix, that’s a whole other story. Don’t get me wrong, watching
my favorite sitcom every day is a fun way to pass the time, yet where I struggle is, I find
myself binge watching all 10 seasons in a week rather than focusing some of my time
on other issues in my life that should be dealt with. This is one of the reasons why I
think Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 “...you say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not
everything is beneficial.”

As I was thinking about all of this, I realized that the Bible never talks about getting rid of
our habits altogether. Instead it talks about replacing our bad habits with good habits.
This may sound strange at first, but we see it clearly when the Bible talks about
renewing our minds in Christ so that our old ways (bad habits) can be replaced for new
ways (good habits) in Christ (Romans 12:2 & Colossians 3:9-10). Good habits such as;
every day taking some time away from the news or my social media accounts to pray
and spend time with God in His word. Again, many of our bad habits are not bad
because of what it involves but rather who we are pushing out through their
involvement. God is always speaking to us in many ways. In the past He has spoken to
man through a burning bush (Exodus 3), through a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12),
and even through silence (Psalms 88). But in today’s world how do we expect to hear
from God, if we don’t take time to listen.

A perfect example of this is in the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. In this
family, they struggled with many destructive habits like lying their way out of issues
because they had no faith in God to protect them. They also selectively valued certain
family members more than others. These habits brought Joseph (the youngest at the
time) into slavery and prison for something he didn’t do. Yet Joseph didn’t fall in the
same loop as his family because he chose to create a new habit of pressing into God
during this unfortunate time (Genesis 12-50).
Replacing a destructive habit is never easy and in many ways impossible. So the
question is, how can we work on replacing our bad habits in any season of life? By
replacing them with Jesus! The reality is, Jesus died for us, to free us from the bondage
of sin which separates us from Him. When we put our faith in Jesus, His death and
resurrection give us the freedom from our habits that draw us away from God. This
means the power to overcome our destructive habits can be found in Jesus (Philippians
4:13, Romans 8:37 & John 16:33). So the questions we need to ask ourselves is this;
are there areas in my life where I have a habit of pushing Jesus out of the picture
through sin or neglect? And, in what way can Christ heal those areas in my life?

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