de·ter·mi·na·tion: the act of deciding definitely and firmly; also : the result of such an act of decision b : firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end
I find myself on a bit of a personal journey of self-discovery. I don’t know if that’s odd or normal for a man of my age, but whatever. I find people who have patterns of self destruction who shrug off their own personal responsibility for the rubble of their own life and those they have affected by simply saying, “hey, that’s just the way I am.”
Some people take a more spiritual approach toward adjusting behavior by praying. They ask God to simply remove the patterns from them. Hey, I’m not saying God can’t or won’t do that. What I’m saying is that I believe that more often than not, God is going to require our participation in the process of changing destructive behavior patterns. It is easy to just ask God to surgically remove it as we move on skipping and whistling through the rest of our lives. But I believe God loves us so much that He opts instead to take us down a more challenging course where we must participate in the process.
We must choose.
This is where I find myself. As I wrote the other day about God being my “spotter”, or like a father teaching a child to ride a bike, God is there with us. But it is up to me to grab the bar or pedal my bike. God can do a lot with a heart and mind set on Him. I choose to stand upon the truth. I choose to let go of the past. I choose to not be afraid of failure or disappointment. I choose to forsake my old way of thinking and behaving. I choose to put my trust and hope in God.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not a big lumpy mess. I simply have some flawed tendencies in extreme situations. And I don’t want to diminish God’s part in this whole choice thing. God is not just some bystander while we do all the work. Ephesians 4 is a great chapter for me, among so many other great verses and chapters that I have researched and read constantly. Through His word, God strengthens me and reminds me of my victory. I can’t be victorious without Him, and He can’t get the victory in my life without me choosing to walk in it.
I am determined. My mind is made up that I’m done with the old patterns. My heart is fixed on God’s truth about who I am, and more significantly, about who I am in Him. The stakes are too high to let my old ways affect my future.