Transformation: To please God you need heart transformation. Recovery doesn’t work for the long haul. Here’s how to transform! This article by Dr. Donna Hart, PhD, appeared first on her website and is used with permission.
In our culture today, nearly every common behavioral problem is seen as a disorder or disease. It could include things like overeating, excessive spending, alcohol, drugs, or shopping. The heart of the problem can feel like a disease that has attacked you.
This can happen to me on my way home from a long day.
I am driving along and all I can think about is the chocolate ice cream in the refrigerator. I am thinking that I have had a hard day and I just need to reward myself with that chocolate ice cream. I have had dinner a couple of hours prior and I am not even hungry. I might even be dreaming about how much better I would feel if I had one of those Dairy Queen blizzards. I feel like I am being attacked by the chocolate disease.
This chocolate disease is a not a disease but a problem with my heart. In these moments, am I having a problem with what I am worshiping? If we are to define worship, we find it is a reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power and any thought, word, and act then becomes worship.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Do You Worship Your Idols?
When I say idolatry what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Idolatry is defined as the worship of a physical object as a god or immoderate attachment or devotion to something. It is in the “immoderate” that leads to extreme thinking and behaving. It is an attachment to a physical object for the purpose of worship.
Who do you worship?
Everyone worships either a physical object, themselves as “god,” a false religion’s god, or the one true God: The Lord Jesus Christ. The word “idolatry” can be applied to any pleasure that becomes so excessively desired that it replaces the desire to worship God. Can both the love of pleasure and the avoidance of pain or escape fuel any addiction?
Two Paths: Which Do You Choose?
There are two paths for us to travel in life.
The first path is to follow the flesh and its desires to seek pleasure and avoid pain. One who walks down this road is living to please self. Theologians call this type of lifestyle “idolatry” and the worship of self.
The second path is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. One who travels down this road is living to please the Lord. This type of lifestyle could be called “Christianity” and a proper understanding of “worship.” It leads to transformation.
The Bible does not view man as born good. The Bible shows that all people are born with a selfish sinful nature. The focus of the sin nature is to please self.
As people with addictive behaviors and habits, must we have our hearts changed? We cannot change our own hearts. Only God has the power to change someone’s heart.
God Changes Your Heart
God changes the idolatrous hearts of Christians by making their hearts to want to do the right thing.
Willingness is the essential starting point. When God changes your heart, then you can begin to replace your stinking ungodly thinking with the perfect, joyful, and righteous thinking of God himself.
If you find yourself as a Christian struggling with addictive and idolatrous habits and have had a heart change and yet you find yourself still struggling with an addictive habit, do you then need a complete “transformation” and not just a “recovery” of your “old self?”
All Christians have three primary responsibilities in the “transformation” process (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- Put off the old habit patterns of the flesh.
- Renew the mind with God’s Word.
- Put on godly habits of the Holy Spirit.
Rather than temporary change you require a complete “transformation” from your old self, old way of thinking, addictive habits, and old manner of speaking.
Your “new self” must now live in a way that pleases and glorifies God. It is not a “recovering” process of forever grappling with a more powerful foe with no real hope of overcoming it. Instead, it is a “transformation” process and by God’s grace you will become a new creation in Christ, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I would love to hear from you and how the Lord is transforming your life.
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