Tuesday, June 5, 2012

it starts inside…

i want us to continue looking at what GOD has to say about man’s oldest problem, temptation.  it goes all the way back to adam.  we all eventually face it.  sometimes even when you know what’s right to do it’s difficult to say “no”.  it is difficult. 

we are going phrase by phrase through the LORD’s prayer and JESUS said in matthew 6.13 (niv), lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.  we need to pray that GOD will lead through that difficult maze of traps that satan lays out for us to fall in every day. 

now there are some different steps that will keep you from falling into the traps that satan sets for you.  we have already looked at two:  step 1. predetermine my pattern of temptation.  step 2. plan to avoid it.  and now step 3.  i must protect the condition of my heart. 

proverbs 4:23 (niv) says this, above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it
.  it says, guard your heart.

if you want to change something that is continually causing you to stumble, you don’t start with your behavior.  you start with the heart.  you start inside of you. 

you don’t start by tying to change your behavior by sheer will power: “i’m not going to do it anymore.  i’m not going to do it anymore!  i’m not going to do it anymore!”  willpower doesn’t work, have you learned that? 

when you do anything, any kind of personal improvement program simply by willpower you eventually give up, because you get tired and you get stressed and you haven’t change the inside of you.  so as a result you don’t change yourself.  you’re just forcing yourself to do something that is unnatural to you.  and eventually you’re going to give up.

so if you want to change a persistent pattern in your life that you don’t like about you, you don’t focus on your behavior and you don’t focus on the circumstance and you don’t focus on the temptation. 

you don’t even focus on how you feel.  you focus on what’s going on in my heart.  what’s going on inside of me that causes me to want to do this?  that means you have to do a little heart examination.  you’ve got to do a spiritual x-ray of your heart. 

if you want to change it starts with the inside out if you want permanent change. 

just a thought from the front porch…

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