Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your left hand? If you are right-handed, this simple task is suddenly not so simple. That is the way it is every time we try to change a habit or perception. When it comes to sin, we don’t have the power to change on our own. Only through Messiah, Yeshua, can we overcome the power of sin. But with habits and perceptions, we do have the power to change. It is a matter of our will, effort and practice.
As believers, we have become accustomed to thinking that prayer is sufficient. But is it? I believe prayer is the beginning. It is where we seek the grace and blessing of God with the understanding that we need His help in doing what we cannot. But prayer should not replace our responsibility to do what we can to make a change in our lives.
For example, this morning my older daughter told my wife and I at breakfast that she had started brushing her teeth with her left hand because she had read that this would open up the right hemisphere of the brain and help her to become more creative. That made me think, “Is it really possible for us to change the habits that have been embedded into us for so long? Can we really accomplish more than we think?” If, heaven forbid, my right hand stopped working, then I would be forced to use my left hand for things like brushing my teeth. So why should I wait till my situation forces me to change my habit instead of changing it before a crisis? Here my daughter is deciding to make a change to improve herself, even though she knows it will take time and effort.
We were all born with baggage and all have something we will struggle with. But every one who is born again receives a new opportunity for salvation. And what more do we need salvation from? From the old man and the old habits that still try to govern us. Is it possible to change? Yes, it is possible. Is it simple to change? No. Does it require our efforts? Certainly. Every single day.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. -Ephesians 4:22-24