February 2

Changing Your Default Settings, Part 4

II Chronicles 32:8  With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.

Old Default Setting

“My response to stress is: The thing I need to do here is survive.”

What God says:

John 6:29  Jesus answered and said to him, “ This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent [not just survive].”

Luke 1:38  Then Mary said, “…Let it be to me according to your word.”

Psalm 143:9-10  Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; in You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

The survival strategies we have all developed may have worked in the past, or have seemed to according to our thinking. We often look back on what we call our “saving grace” in a hard situation. But if it wasn’t the Lord Himself, what got us through then is probably hurting us now. What we did to survive back in the day is often the very thing that keeps us from moving forward today.

In our pasts, many of us were either too young or too shocked by hard times to turn to the Lord, so we did our best to come up with perspectives and habits of acting or thinking that we thought would get us through. Most of the time, this is done subconsciously. But whatever we substituted for active faith in God eventually has to go. We may have great respect and even love for our old survival strategies. But 1), they work less effectively over time, and 2), they become an impediment to spiritual progress.

Looking back on when you were younger, what mental or emotional “survival strategies” did you develop? Did you judge a whole gender, or a whole group of people? Did you make a habit of avoiding certain things because they challenged your sense of survival or safety? Did you vow to always do something or make sure something never happened?

To get free from those old bondages, we have to venture into places where we might feel as if we’re going to be destroyed if we don’t protect ourselves with old strategies. It’s a painful necessity at times to go there, but it will lead us to discover new grace and a stronger faith.

New Setting

“I will seek God for His will in each situation, even if it threatens my feelings of survival. Since He is my defender, I will survive.”

Prayer: Lord, I want to trust more in You, not in what I’ve developed up to now to survive. Show me how to do Your will in each situation, especially in those where I might be tempted to go back to my old ways. Show me that my continued survival is found in following You and Your ways.

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