Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Why Do I Do What I Don’t Want to Do?
In review of John 8:32 it says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NIV).
Today’s passage comes from John 8:31-32. In it Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Jesus himself is the truth that sets me free. He is the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right. He frees me from continued slavery to sin, from self-deception, and from deception by Satan. He shows me clearly the way to eternal life with God. Thus, Jesus does not give me freedom to do what I want, but freedom to follow God. As I seek to serve God, Jesus' perfect truth frees me to be all that God meant me to be.
So why is it I do what I don’t want to do? Or why it’s so hard to do the things that I know are the right things to do?
I’m learning that my sinful nature causes me to often make wrong choices. I can relate to the apostle Paul when he says, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. . . . So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:15, 17-18 NLT).
Even after I’ve committed my life, there’s this tension inside of me. I have my good nature that God gave me, but I also have my old sinful nature that is pulling at me. But there is a way out! Jesus promised in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NIV).
The secret to personal change is not willpower. It’s not a pill. It’s not a resolution. It’s not some vow that I make. The secret to personal change is not something I do or say. The secret to personal change is something I know. I know the truth. When I change the way I think, it changes the way I feel. And when I change the way I feel, it changes the way I act. Behind every self-defeating act is a lie I believe. It may be a lie about myself, my past or future, God, or others.
Why do I do something that you know is bad for me? Because I think there’s some kind of payoff. That’s the lie! I can only change and fulfill God’s purpose for my life if I start with God’s truth. If I want to change the way I live, I have to start in my mind. I have to know and believe God’s truth.
When I know the truth, the truth will set me free. I have to expose and uncover the lies that I have been accepting. Some of those lies I picked up on the playground as a kid or from TV. Some of them I picked up from my parents or I creatively thought them up myself. But they are lies, and when I reject them and instead find out what God has to say, I will experience freedom like I’ve never known.
Jesus will reveal to us the truth, and that truth will free us.
What this means to me:
When I am faithful to follow him, he will reveal to me the truth, and this truth will set me free.
In summary, when I believe in and follow Him, he will reveal the truth, and the truth will set me free for Jesus is the source of truth. His truth will free me from slavery to sin, self-deception and deception from Satan. My sinful nature (making me think there is a payoff) will cause me to make wrong choices. The secret to change is something I know, the truth. When I change the way I think, it will change the way I feel and my actions
Today Father “I pray that you will help me hold onto your truths and allow them to negate my sinful nature. I also ask you Father to continue to work in me to live out your truths. Please give me wisdom and clarity as I think through situations that come my way or projects that I need to complete. Allow me to clearly communicate with the CEO on how things are today and what my plans / road maps are to put in solid repeatable processes. Please allow me to respond appropriately when I’m being questioned or challenged. In Jesus name I pray, amen!”
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