This phrase, “stop it,” may seem counterintuitive since my previous post was titled “DO. NOT. QUIT.” However, the two ideas work together. In order to say “yes” to the right things, we must be willing to say “no” to the wrong things. In order to keep going, we must be willing to let some things go along the way.
Take a minute and think about all the things you are saying “yes” to right now? You may even want to write it down so you can see the full impact of where your time is spent. Is your list full of a bunch of things that would be considered good, but maybe not RIGHT for you? You may even feel numb with busyness because you aren’t doing the RIGHT THING that God has specifically for you.
I recently learned there is a rare condition called Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP), in which a person cannot feel (and has never felt) physical pain. Because feeling physical pain is vital for survival, CIP is an extremely dangerous condition.
It is common for people with the condition to die in childhood due to injuries or illnesses going unnoticed. Burn injuries are among the more common injuries. We need the sensation of pain to let us know when our bodies need extra care. It’s an important signal.
When we sense pain, we pay attention to our bodies and can take steps to fix what hurts. Pain also may prevent us from injuring a body part even more. The sad truth is just because you don’t feel the heat doesn’t mean you won’t get burned!
This condition can be the same thing with our spiritual life. If you doing all the wrong things to feel important or fill your time to avoid your feelings, you will not be able to sense the signal your body sends that you need to scale back or take care of yourself or refocus your efforts to what God wants for you.
In the same token, it’s like someone saying the same thing to you so much that you tune them out. You are numb to their direction, you aren’t heeding the warning or correction. Paul had some strong words of correction to the church in Ephesus. “That is not the way you learned.” – Ephesians 4:20
We are not to live the way we used to live because we are not the people we used to be. The Bible was written to be obeyed and not simply studied. This matters because our new life in Christ affects the way we live life. This explains why we have such deep hurts.
How do we move away from our sin and push toward holiness?
I suggest the answer is found in two little words …
- Stop walking the way you walked.
- Stop thinking the way you thought.
- Stop excluding God the way you tried.
- Stop desiring more and more just to be unsatisfied.
WHY? Because you and I know better! If we don’t get this, we will keep living a broken life, on auto-pilot doing all the things, that aren’t RIGHT for YOU. Remember, just because you don’t feel the heat doesn’t mean you won’t get burned!
TAKE HEART THESE POWERFUL WORDS FROM Charles Spurgeon: “What settings are you in when you fall? AVOID THEM. What props do you have that support your sin? ELIMINATE THEM. What people are you usually with? AVOID THEM.
There are two equally damning lies Satan wants us to believe and if we take the bait, we will find ourselves in a compromising position leading to a downward spiral:
- Just once won’t hurt.
- Now that you have ruined your life, you are beyond God’s use and might as well enjoy sinning.
LEARN TO SAY NO! It will be of more use to you than being able to read another language. I invite you to meditate on the following (almost 800 years old) prayer For Ordering a Life Wisely by Thomas Aquinas:
“O merciful God, grant that I may desire ardently, search prudently, recognize truly, and bring to perfect completion whatever is pleasing to You for the praise and glory of Your name. Grant to me, O Lord my God, that I may not falter in times of prosperity or adversity, so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter. May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You; may I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from You. May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone, but You.”
If you didn’t evaluate and make a list at the beginning of this post, you should. Spend some time in prayer and really ask God to highlight HIS MOST IMPORTANT work for YOU!
GET STARTED NOW
- Stop one bad habit today.
- Start one good habit today.
- Ask one person for support and help.
I am praying for you!