Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Aug. 1, 2007

August 1, 2007

Getting Rid of Old Habits

Sharon Jaynes



Today’s Truth

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approver what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will”. (Romans 12:2)


Friend to Friend

All of the activities ten-year-old Miriam enjoyed, she loved riding horses the best. Charlie, her favorite horse, had a sleek chestnut mane, well-defined muscular legs, and a fierce strong will to match. Miriam felt powerful and self-assured when controlling this massive animal – except, that is, when he caught a glimpse of the barn. Whenever Miriam and Charlie returned from a jaunt in the woods, as soon as they got close enough for him to see the barn, he bolted homeward, forcing Miriam to hang on to the reins for dear life.


One day, Miriam’s riding instructor witness this strong willed animal taking control of his master. She was indignant.


“Miriam! What are you doing?” she asked. “You can not let that animal control you in that manner! Bring that horse back out of the barn this instant.”


Dutifully, Miriam mounted Charlie and led him a distance away from the stalls.


“Now,” the older wiser woman instructed, “when you turn around and Charlie sees the barn and begins to run toward it, turn you reigns all the way to the right. Do no let him go forward.”


On cue, Miriam steered her horse toward the stalls. On cue, he began to bolt.


“Turn him! Turn him!” the instructor shouted.


Young Miriam pulled the reigns to the right as hard as she could until the horse’s head was inches away from touching his right shoulder. But instead of obeying her lead, Charlie fought her with the force of a war horse. Round and round the horse and rider circled.


“Don’t let go,” the instructor shouted. “You must break his will!”


After ten long minutes, of going in circles, Miriam and Charlie grew exhausted and quite dizzy. He stopped circling. She stopped pulling him to the right.

“Now gently tap him to see if he will walk toward the barn instead of run,” the instructor commanded.


Charlie did not bolt, but walked at a steady pace. Miriam had broken the horse’s will and she now regained control of this beautiful animal as he submitted to his master’s touch.


Just like Miriam’s horse that had a tendency to bolt toward the barn, we tend to fall back into old habit patterns. This tendency can only be broken when we are walking by the spirit and yielding to our Master’s touch. If we find ourselves going in circles, it could be that God is trying to keep us from bolting to the barn. It could be that He is trying to rein us in so that we will walk in tandem with Him.


Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, help me not to continue in old habit patterns that are harmful and ungodly. Rein me in when I run ahead of you and spur me on when I lag behind. I give the reigns to you to do with my life what you will. In Jesus’ name, Amen


Now it’s Your Turn

Evaluate your life and see if there are areas where you seem to be going in circles. Could it be God is trying to get your attention and lead you into a different direction?


Write down on a piece of paper an old habit pattern that you know God is asking you to change. This could be negative speech, critical spirit, smoking, or any number of things.


Ask yourself, “Who is holding the reins in my life right this moment God or me?”


More from the Girlfriends

Have you ever wondered…if I am a new creation in Christ, then why do I struggle with some of the same old habits? If so, you’re not alone. What you might need is a Faith Lift! Learn more about God’s transforming power in Sharon’s book, Experience the Ultimate Makeover.



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