Dream word – CLEAN
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” NKJV
Die Hard 48 – applying newness
Will you allow me tonight to take a practical principle from the spiritual reality that our text places before us tonight for in England, these are the dog days of the Holiday season, those quite few hours, the darkest and quietest of all maybe, between the passing of the night and the coming of the dawn. Christmas is over and everyone is waiting expectantly for the celebration of the coming New Year. Plans and preparations are afoot!
I love new beginnings! Every Lord’s day for me is the beginning of a brand new week! So you can imagine how excited I get about the coming of a brand New Year and all the New Year’s Resolutions, New Year plans, and New Year actions I have lined up. However, I am sure you will agree with me when I say that often, it is often only a very few days into the New Year, when the old habits so completely take over your life once more, that disappointment, disillusion and settled acceptance and sameness, take up their residence in the house they were so determinedly thrown out of just a few days previously. Why does this happen?
Well it is a true saying that “old habits die hard!” In other words, habits are so linked to ways of thinking, so rooted to heart attitudes, so entrenched in the groove of our life, that resolution alone will not break them! No it takes nothing short of mental, emotional and physical annihilation to get rid of them! If you’re going to be a pussycat about your New Year’s resolutions then in a few days, they will have vanished like the morning mist. Some things in you have to die this New Year and friend, it is you that is going to have to kill them!
So tonight, here are just six short thoughts for you to consider, to ruminate on and to hopefully, put into action.
Identify those things which have to go. Identify those things which are perpetuating the existence of those things you wish to eliminate. Consider:
What location do they thrive in – then change the location.
What thought processes feeds them – modify the process.
What heart desires attract them – kill those desires.
Identify, change, modify and kill are, however, not enough. At best they will leave a yawning vacuum which will be filled and usually by things nastier than you tried to get rid of. No honest, this is a terrible spiritual principle. A vacuum of vacant badness, will attract more of the same! So, it is absolutely necessary and life giving to yourself, that once you’ve created a space, you must fill it with good things!
So then, Change: Get some different friends, catch a different train, get up at a different time, read some different books, watch some different movies, etc etc. Change = different.
Modify your thought patterns. Open the Scriptures. Memorise a verse per day, a promise to be yours. Read it out loud. Read it loud some seven times per day!
Kill your sinful, unhealthy, death laden desires. Show no mercy to them, do not heed their pleading screams Kill them!
Substitute the old and bad desires with new and better ones. Yes, go and court some more desires, no really, stir up the good desires this time, in whatever righteous way you can. Think about how to do that! What gives you life?
Yes, old habits die hard so the last thing I want to say to you tonight is get ready for the long, long haul. For you must consistently apply the newness. Indeed I would say to you tonight that the main key to opening the newness of the coming year is consistency.
This year, if you follow my advice, you shall see the Lord Jesus like never before, and others still mourning will not believe your fresh new vision and the change wrought in you! Identify, change, modify, kill, substitute and continue.
Listen: “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.” Mark 16:9-11 NKJV
Pray: Lord, help me to prepare to throw these scabby things out of my life! Lord, heal me, help me and fill me with a passionate and merciless consistency that this coming year, I might see You as I have never seen You before. Amen Lord, amen!
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