January 3 / Proverbs 3 / Matthew 3

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Proverbs 3:7

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

Keep it simple. Keep it consistent.

Proverbs 3:21-26

do not let these escape from your sight…the Lord will be your confidence

The Lord must be our confidence, for only in Him does true power dwell. So how do we do this? By not letting “these” escape from our sight. What are “these”? His wisdom, His prudence, His ways. We do not let them escape our sight by intentionally keeping them before us at all times.

If you don’t program your mind, the world will gladly do it for you. The volume of this world is  turned up very, very loud (to eleven!). All the more reason we must purposefully keep God and His commands right in front of our eyes, mostly through time spent with Him. Maybe we have Scriptures and prayers posted in our car. A tattoo. Whatever it takes to keep the Lord before you always, to foster a long obedience in the same direction. Oh the power of habit. Form good habits and become their slave.

I keep the Lord before me always. Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. -Psalm 16:8

Matthew 3:8

“You’d better prove your repentance by bearing the right sort of fruit!” -John the Baptizer

Repentance is a changing of the way one thinks and therefore a changing of the way one lives. It is not merely believing the correct doctrine or a keeping of the proper rules, though it may include that.

It is internal and done for God by allowing Him to work in our hearts through surrender to Him. This surrender is done by laying ourselves bare to Him through our seeking of Him.

If you are truly seeking God from the sincerity of your heart, it will show in the way you think and the life you live. Again, this is not simply external. There is no sacred checklist to keep to see if you’re there. It is known only to you and to God.

He wants to crush your old destructive habits of thought. Do you believe this? Do you believe He can? I promise you He will, but only if you allow it. That is the free will He has granted us. Only if you honestly lay it out before Him will He transform you. And this, over much time typically, though some have experienced it acutely. He works in His wisdom and in His timing. Trust the process.

Start by just opening yourself up to the possibility that He can and will transform your mind to a new place of freedom from old twisted habits of thought and action. For transformation begins with doubt–doubt that your old thoughts are true. Just to simply doubt the world’s ways or your selfish habits as being life-giving can begin to topple false narratives and start life for you anew and free. “Maybe castigating, upbraiding, and berating myself constantly is not the way to true happiness and freedom in Christ…hmmm…”

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