April 30, 2018
Ephesians 4:28… Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Have you discovered? It is not enough to stop a bad habit. You must replace it. Even the most adventurous of us like routine. Set a positive routine. When you find something that is good for you and for others, make it a habit. Too often we make habits out of bad actions. Paul warns us here to stop bad actions, but not to top there; start a good action to replace the time spent in the bad one. And to change the reaction to stimuli. We have triggers. Sometimes they are unrelated to the action itself. For example… a drunk might drink himself to oblivion many days. The trigger is not the taste of booze. It might be a need for mindless activity, or in some cases, it might be the need for companionship. We all need companionship. But we can select how we get it. One way to resist the devil is to respond in a God way to temptation. Break out in a praise song or grab your Bible and start reading. The devil can’t read your mind; but, he can watch how you respond and learn what works and what doesn’t. This scripture is about more than stealing; it is about whatever plagues you. When we resist the urge to engage in a questionable activity, the devil is temporarily pushed away. I say “temporarily” because he will likely not give up trying. After the temptations of Jesus, as seen in Luke 4, It is written, “Satan left Him for a more opportune time.” You will probably not get rid of him forever. But, sometimes we just need a break. “Leave me alone!” One truth about life with God is that it is lived on offence, not defense. In the beginning, God created. God so loved the world that He gave. Both of those were actions, not reactions. We don’t need to be tossed about by waves or pushed about by ideas; we live with the creator of the universe. We can act on our own. God is love. he forgives us and fills us with his presence. You and I are filled with God’s love. His love is active; it gives. That is who we are, active, giving, loving people.
Engage in that life; don’t live as a reactionary.