Habits are patterns established through repetition. Our brains love repetition. I took piano lessons when I was young. Last year I took up piano again. I have had to practice the same scales and chords over and over. Why? I need to groove them into my brain. Autopilot comes with repetition. Let us consider that good habits are grooves, but bad habits are ruts.
Here is a progression I would like you to consider. Our motives are backed by what we believe. Behind every thought is a motive. Our thoughts precede our actions. Our actions carry an attitude, which forms habits. Do you know any habitual grumpy folks? It all goes back to what they believe about themselves, others, or their circumstances.
The root of stubborn practices is rebellion. 1 Samuel 15:22-23 were Samuel’s words from the Lord to Saul regarding his disobedience. It says, “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord…”
Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way…” These verses spell out the crux of stubborn habits. They are sin patterns. How do we cast out the old and bring in the new?
First, look for stubborn practices. They are usually things about your character that you have tried to change, but you have failed time and time again. It is a rut. I encourage you to go before the Holy Spirit and ask Him these questions. Where is the hidden rebellion in my heart? What lie have I believed? What motivative is behind this stubborn habit? When He shows you then confess them as sin.
Tomorrow I will give you an example of casting out the old and embracing the new.