There’s a war going on inside you. When you decided to follow Jesus, your old self, the world, and evil itself was given notice to get out of you. But the habits you built up until that time keep you from being your best. Your best you follows and obeys Jesus, but old habits are hard to break.
Take Our Thoughts Captive
Paul talks about this war in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Speaking of the battle, in verse 5 at the end he says, “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
I started following Jesus when I was 30 so I had several bad habits and history practicing them. I’m not talking about drinking or smoking or any other sin, necessarily. We each have our own way of living from our growing up, and our experiences. We each develop our own methods for dealing with our emotions and our situations, whether they be joy, excitement, disappointment, conflict, rejection, boredom or anything else. The older you are when you start following Jesus, the more history you have and the more ingrained the patterns are.
But once we start following Jesus, the Holy Spirit living in us gives us a split second between every thought and its associated action. In that second, we can capture that thought and make it obedient to Jesus.
Repeat Godly Habits
A reflex is something we do without thinking. In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, the author explains that part of our brain takes over when we operate according to habit and it simply does what it has always done. Thinking takes more energy. Habit is an internal, energy-conserving practice. We burn fewer calories and think less to simply do what we’ve always done.
Do you ever ask God to help you grab the opportunities to do the right thing? Have you ever asked Him for Christian reflexes? I have. This passage shows that He gives us the opportunity to take our thoughts captive, create new habits and, over time, turn those into Christ-obeying reflexes.
Think back on your past? What reflexes has God developed in you since you first trusted Him? Care to share them below as you thank Him for what He has done?