“So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to — the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy” (Ephesians 4:22-24 GNT).
· We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a lesson 40 or 50 times to really get it. The problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again! I’ve already learned that!” But God knows better. The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us and how soon we revert to our old patterns of behavior. We need repeated exposure.
· We have a lot to unlearn. Since most of our problems — and all of our bad habits — didn’t develop overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately. There is no pill, prayer, or principle that will instantly undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of removal and replacement. The Bible calls it “taking off the old self” and “putting on the new self” (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:7-10, 14).
· Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change, there is no change without fear or loss, and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some kind. We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn-out pair of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
· Good habits take time to develop. Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits. You can’t claim to be kind unless you are habitually kind. Your habits define your character.
There is only one way to develop the habits of Christlike character: You must practice them — and that takes time! There are no instant habits. Paul urged Timothy, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15 GW)
SEEK ME with your whole being. I desire to be found by you, and I orchestrate the events of your life with that purpose in mind. When things go well and you are blessed, you can feel Me smiling on you. When you encounter rough patches along your life-journey, trust that My Light is still shining upon you. My reasons for allowing these adversities may be shrouded in mystery, but My continual Presence with you is an absolute promise. Seek Me in good times; seek Me in hard times. You will find Me watching over you all the time.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4 : 29
Let us hold unnervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
HEBREWS 10 : 23
The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
PSALM 145 : 20
Is Your Job a Mismatch for Your Gifts?
God does not expect you to glorify Him with gifts you don’t have. But He does expect you to glorify Him with gifts you do have.
To fulfill God’s will for your life, you need work that expresses what God made you to be. If you’re in a job that is not using the talents, gifts, abilities, and interests that God gave you, you may want to pray about whether or not you’re in a mismatched job.
This is a serious problem, and it’s a spiritual issue. It is far more important than you may think it is — because God has given you your gifts, talents, and abilities, and one day He’s going to say, “What did you do with them?” And do you want to say, “Well, I spent my life at a job that didn’t use them.”
Get into whatever God made you to be. The first step you need to take is some self-appraisal. You need to ask yourself, “What did God make me to be? During this appraisal, you may even discover that you are in the very job God wants you to be, and you can develop a new attitude about your work.
Pray about this – Are you in a job that doesn’t match who God made you to be, or are you exactly where God wants you to be?