Attitude changes are difficult to make, particularly those that have been ingrained for a very long time. They say it takes 21 days to either make or break a habit. In my experience, it depends on how deeply those threads run in one’s life. Some things can be changed in a matter of minutes while others take a long time of unravelling, peeling the layers of the onion, allowing God to chop off smaller rootlets so that the tap-root can be pulled out. It takes time, patience, and diligence…all of which we do not possess in and of ourselves.
We do, however, have an advocate with the Father who understands our struggles and remembers that we are weak in the face of the Laws of Love. Father God has left us with some instructions through His Word, encouragement through the work of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus who stands in the gap for us in intercession.
Most things in life are journeys, processes as opposed to “events” such as epiphanies, sudden realizations through revelations to our minds and hearts. While change can begin there, it is rarely the substance of our lives. However, there DOES need to come a time of decision-making about which path we are going to follow. From there, we can use the strength, peace, and determination that come through relationship with the Holy Spirit…our Comforter, Counsellor, and encourager. This in no way means that our journey is easy; it means that the path is doable.
The quintessential thing is the struggle over our minds. The most important commandment that God ever gave His people was to REMEMBER the things He had done for them already. Why? So they could use the conviction those memories gave to combat the lies the enemy would whisper about God being unfaithful, unloving, or uncaring. Training our minds to continually focus on who God is and what He has already accomplished puts things into perspective because we then recall that God sees the big picture our minds are too finite to see. It involves daily decisions to follow His instructions, such as remembering to put on our spiritual armor as laid out in Ephesians 6.
Staying in touch with God and His Word is critical to our success with the struggle within. This means daily time in the Word, prayer, and worship. Listen to Him as well as talk to Him. Keep asking Him to speak to you and to help you hear His voice through the Holy Spirit in everything you do and everywhere you go. Ask for confirmation of what you believe He is telling you.
Positive thinking in God’s way does not mean that we deny the existence of the difficulty; it means that we place our trust in the fact that God is always bigger than anything that comes our way, and that He is on our side. He is well aware of the raw pain of enduring the betrayal of close friends, excruciating loneliness, and even despair. Call on Him and He will come to you. He said He would not see His children begging in the streets…I believe that scripture was speaking most importantly about our souls and the love banquet He has prepared for us so that we would have the strength, wherewithal, and determination emanating from Him, in order to meet this world and its challenges head on.
I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back. God doesn’t make junk. And if you feel like a refuse heap, remember…there is no better place to grow something than a compost pile!