"Come close to God, and God will come close to you." James 4:8 NLT
Thoughts for Today
People who become entrapped by life-controlling issues generally progress through four stages: experimentation, social use, daily preoccupation and finally using the substance or practicing the behavior just to feel normal. Not everyone progresses through all these stages, but there is no way to predict which people who begin the pattern will continue to stage four.
During the experimentation stage, we enjoy the feel-good time when we use the substance or practice the behavior, but we still return to normal feelings following isolated indulgences.
Then we may take a step deeper into The Trap—we enter the stage of social use or practice. Now we begin practicing the behavior regularly but set limits for ourselves about when, where or how we do it. The self-imposed rules make us feel safe and appropriate. We refuse to admit that this practice is beginning to have a stronger and stronger influence in our lives.
Do you see this pattern emerging somewhere in your life? Is there something that is gaining more and more control over your time, your thoughts and your actions? It is vital that you recognize and admit what is happening. As we enter the new year, ask God for his forgiveness and his help. Now is not the time to run from him. It is the time to run to him.
Father, I do see this pattern in my life. Please forgive me. I want to come close to you and invite you to come close to me. Help me get my life back in order. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Living Free DVD Training. Prepare your congregation to minister to hurting people within your church and your community. Through Living Free, your church or ministry can unleash a fresh wave of small group leaders and develop a small group ministry that will result in transformed lives.
PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to [email protected].