I just started a new Bible study along with an on-line group for this season of Lent. Lent is a time to look inward and reflect on what is keeping me from God and what do I need to do to return to Him. So here are some of my thoughts.
What need am I trying to meet independently of God?
I worship my addictive idol of self when I am bored, procrastinating, or feeling out of sorts. The rebel inside likes to resist, resent and rebel when the house needs cleaned, or I’m overwhelmed by my to-do list, or I “should on myself.” My mind is often my worst enemy in more than one way. My thoughts go dark and negative and self critical. The chemistry in my brain and flesh scream for pleasure (dopamine and adrenaline). My lack of motivation and focus (seratonine and depression) want to be pitied. What a mess!
How can I turn to God and trust Him to meet this need?
So, what to do? I often resist God – knowing he is always there for me and ready to comfort and encourage. I guess the heart idol of Control rules. So when I come to my senses (can take me a long time and usually occurs after pleasure and escape), then I surrender and cry out to my Lord Jesus, I get up, and I “do the next right thing.” Just doing one little thing, like picking up the newspapers, or clearing off the kitchen countertop makes a world of difference. Then I remind myself that I am loved and cherished by my Redeemer and I get back into studying His Word.
So what is the story behind “doing the next right thing” – about 13-14 years ago when I was deep into my porn addiction and seeking help from a counselor and a Celebrate Recovery group, over the course of one week (I remember it was in the summer and I was busy teaching labs and relaxing), God “stated” to me over 3 times those very specific words – Just get up and do the next right thing!” It was via Christian radio – thru a song, a sermon by Chuck Swindoll, hearing Sheila Walsh speaking about a book (if I remember correctly), and the speaker at Celebrate Recovery saying those very words. All four sources said the same thing. I have learned over the years that when God speaks to me, it is thru multiple sources saying the same thing. And guess what, God’s word pretty much says the same thing – Paul writes that we are to leave behind our past and strive towards the goal. So I’m striving with a few stumbles along the way but I keep getting back up and doing the next right thing.
Thanks for listening!