In my world summer is a great time for catching up on household projects. This summer one of my projects involved replacing the curtains in my living room.
It started when JCPenneys had a 65% off curtain sale (Cha-ching!) When I saw the advertisement I realized that my curtains had to be at least 15 years old. After looking into the cost of dry cleaning, I decided it would be WAY, WAY, cheaper to just get new curtains. And when my fabulous, amazing, generous, stupendous, awesome, incredible, fantastic, friend offered to hem them for me for free (I have ZERO sewing skills) I was all in.
We ordered the curtains, my fabulous, amazing, generous, stupendous, awesome, incredible, fantastic, friend hemmed them (seriously someone who hems your curtains deserves all of these superlatives!), and then she mailed them to my house.
That’s when I made a big mistake---I didn’t hang them right away.
Instead, I saw that they were wrinkled and thought, “Ehhh, they can wait until I have time.”
Seriously bad move!!!
Why? Because as they sat the wrinkles became more permanent. By the time I actually did hang them, they didn’t look at all like they should have. (In fact, my Dad and brother thought I’d ruined them.)
However, I knew from years of watching my Mom make curtains that they could still be transformed---it would just take some work. And so it began….
First, I had to use clothespins to reform the pleats.
Every morning and every night I had to re-pin the curtains trying to create pleats and get rid of wrinkles.
This wasn’t just for a few days, but several weeks until the curtains took on their proper shape and hung as they should.
Day after day as I worked with the curtains I’d think, “This is so much like our lives.”
The truth is that most of us have made poor choices that have damaged our lives either a little or a lot.
Whether it was something we chose to do or something that was done to us, I truly believe that we’re all a little damaged---we all have wrinkles in our minds and souls that need to be worked out.
Here’s the thing---very rarely do these issues just magically fade away without some effort. (It sure would be nice if they did.)
Instead, removing the “wrinkles” from our lives so that we can be the women God has called us to be and fulfill our purpose in life, requires effort.
First, we need to make the decision that we want to change.
Then we need to ask the Holy Spirit what steps He wants us to take to change in our lives.
Finally, day after day after day after day, we need to do it.
We need to be proactive. We need to put forth the effort, and most importantly, we need to be consistent.
Even though the effort isn’t always easy---I can say from experience that the results are worth the effort.
For example, I’ve mentioned before that when my dad’s lies were being uncovered, the Holy Spirit used this time to point out that root of lying was slowly infiltrating its way into my life. Although until that point, I’d basically ignored it as a “sinlet,” seeing it as no big deal, the Holy Spirit began showing me that it’s the little foxes that spoil the grapes (Song of Solomon 2:15) and I needed to deal with this generational iniquity before it grew out of proportion and destroyed my life.
In addition to repenting of this sin and making lists of every time I’d lied, the Holy Spirit required me to discipline myself to speak only truth all of the time. If what I said wasn’t 100% truthful, then I had to correct it. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds. It took a lot of work and there were many times when I had to go back and correct myself.
I remember one bad habit I’d picked up was rounding down whenever I said how much I paid for something. For instance if I paid $9.99 I’d say I paid $9 to make it look like I spent less. While going through this process the Holy Spirit taught me to say $9.99 or $10 (which was closer to the truth).
What’s the big deal?
Well, it wasn’t about the 99 cents. It was about speaking truth and overcoming the stronghold of lying to make things seem better. It was a “behavior modification” that I had to make so that I could completely overcome and conquer this sin that had caused so much destruction in my family.
Forcing myself to speak nothing but truth over and over and over again, created a permanent change in my heart. Now the “wrinkle” of lying is not an issue---I’ve overcome through the power of Jesus and a lot of consistent hard work.
That’s where the rubber meets the road---when we make the commitment to the lifestyle changes that will make a difference in our lives.
Are we willing to put forth the effort?
Even more, are we willing to be consistent with the effort?
The answers to these two questions will tell you whether or not you really want all God has for you, or whether you’re willing to simply live with your issues.
So today, I challenge you to ask yourself:
1. What is the #1 issue in my life that needs to be overcome?
2. What is 1 step that I can begin taking to overcome this issue in my life?
3. Am I willing to do it?
If you answered “yes” don’t let anything keep you from consistently doing it!
And remember, you can do it!! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can change.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
(I Corinthians 15:57).
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be obedient. You can make the lifestyle changes you need to make. You can be healed and overcome any sin or bondage in your life.
The only thing standing in your way is your decision to do it and do it consistently!
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