What is your default setting?
Old habits sometimes die hard. We often live from “muscle memory” and have done certain things for the same way for so long that when a new option or product is available that is much more effective, we still seem to reach out for the old way of doing the task.
When my family and I lived in other countries as missionaries, we had to train ourselves in the “new” ways of the culture. Our old ways had to change if we were going to live successfully. There is always some resistance to adapting to the new options. We were more comfortable with what we knew and how we had responded in the past.
When we were born again, we became a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Old things passed away and all things became new. The “all things” that became new were spiritual realities that were foreign to our minds, words, culture, bodies, families, jobs and emotions. Whether we understood it or not, we moved from the corruption of this present world system into the Kingdom of God. But we are usually so accustomed to the present world system that we tend to live from that system regardless of the new reality.
It seems that the hardest transition for most believers is the transition from living from feelings and emotions to living from the “new creation” spirit. Feelings and emotions have dominated for so long that they have become our “default” setting when challenged by life’s circumstances. Problems, health issues and relationships are often “handled” from our emotions and not from our spirits. Frustration, worry, fear, anger and even depression are often where we begin. Prayer (if we pray) is often birthed in fear or frustration as well. The final response is to often point the finger at God and declare that He doesn’t care, or “why doesn’t He do anything?”
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." But you would not . . . (Isa. 30:15)
The promise to Israel remains applicable to believers today. It is from our spirits that we find rest, quietness (peace) and strength (faith).
When we indulge our emotions and feelings, we are opening the door to confusion and loss in our lives. Without a doubt, choosing to live by the Spirit is a learning curve but it is possible. Not only possible but imperative. Until we learn to change our default setting in our hearts, we will continue to ride the roller coaster of human emotions and wonder why life is so hard.