How many of you struggled to feed the good wolf this past week? Last week’s blog post (here) talked about having self-control, and how we get to make a choice daily on which path, aka wolf, we are going to feed. We have to decide whether to give in to our natural desires of greed, pride, or a host of other sinful activities; or whether to go against our fleshly desires and choose a Godly life. If the decision is to choose Godly, now the battle begins, and you need to equip yourself to win the war. I am going to suggest implementing three steps that will help you accomplish your goals.
You might have the desire to make the right choice, but most of the time, “desire” is not all that you need. Sometimes the urge to eat healthier and choose an orange is outweighed by the desire to eat the doughnut. The momentary pleasure that we get from the doughnut is soon replaced by disappointment in ourselves for giving in to our fleshly desires. So, I am going to give you three things that you can do to help you make the right choices in the future.
You need to tell someone close to you where you are now, and what your goal is. You don’t have to announce this to the entire world, but maybe your best friend who will tell you the “hard” truths and keep you on the path you want to walk.
In almost every area of our life, it is easier to accomplish our goals if we have someone walking the same path with us and holding us accountable. The hardest part is saying the words to a friend. Secrets and lies love hiding in the dark, but exposing them to the light is what can rid you of them. So, find your person, and then tell them “where” you are, and where “you want to go.” Here is an example for someone wanting help with their diet:
“I eat like crap, and I feel like I am out of control when it comes to food.” That would be the “where I am” portion. Now, for the “where I want to go” part, I would say: “I want to try and cut out salty treats and desserts, and instead, choose to eat fresh fruits and more vegetables.” Then, you would want to talk to your accountability partner daily and tell them how you are doing in your struggle.
If your struggle is with your faith, then the conversation might go like this:
“I feel like I am struggling to feel God in my life.” If that is where you are, then maybe you might want to go here instead. “I want to feel closer to God and be led by the Holy Spirit.” Once again, having that person that you can talk to about your daily activities can keep you on the path that you want to take.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
The Lord is the only one who has the power to forgive you of your sins, but He encourages us to tell our sins to each other so that we can pray for each other. Your accountability person can’t forgive you, but they can help to give you the strength to not sin again.
Having the want is not enough; you must have discipline also. No one likes discipline, but it is necessary to accomplish everything in your life. Discipline means the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. Most of the time, when I think about discipline, I think of a child. We can all agree that children need discipline in their lives to learn to make the right choices. Why would we ever think that when we become adults that we wouldn’t still need discipline?
Back to the struggle of eating healthy, you have told your accountability person where you want to go, and now you must have the discipline to stay on the path. An example would be to choose healthy foods when you go to the grocery store or out to eat. If you don’t bring home the foods that are bad for you, then you are less likely to stray from your chosen path.
If you struggled to become closer to God, and you have already confessed to your accountability person. Then, the next step would be to implement some discipline. Reading your Bible daily, listening to online sermons, or joining small groups at church are all great ways to stay disciplined and on the path toward becoming closer to God.
You probably think that I got the order wrong here. Most of us believe that you have to have the desire before you can get the discipline. Instead, having the discipline will turn it into desire. I bet you are shaking your heads right now, thinking that you have no idea what I am saying.
Let’s go back to our struggles above. Until I get the discipline to choose healthier foods, the desire won’t accomplish anything. Having a desire will let me buy new appliances that will help me to cook my healthy food. The desire to eat healthier will see new cookbooks showing up on my shelf. But, none of those things will help me get to my goal until I have the discipline to put those things in action. Once I am disciplined enough to choose the right food in the store, and then come home and use the cookbook in that new appliance, then the desire to keep doing that will set in.
Once I am disciplined enough to read my Bible daily, listen to sermons online, and join in small groups at church, then I will see the desire to want God in my life even more.
1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
There is one last thing that we have to do to accomplish our goals, and that is to “let” the Hold Spirit work in our lives.
25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
I hope that this encourages you to get an accountability friend, to get disciplined, and to find the desire to accomplish your goals. But, the most important thing that we can do is to “let us” follow where the Spirit leads in EVERY part of our lives.
Have A Blessed Day!