“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)

 

Stimulating and invigorating as change may be- it is never easy. Changes are especially tough when it comes to certain habits that haunt and harm us. That kind of change is excruciating-  but it is not impossible. Jeremiah pointed out the difficulty of breaking into an established life pattern. “Accustomed to doing evil”, literally means, “Learned in evil.” We who are learned in evil cannot do good; evil habits that remain unchanged prohibit it. Evil is a habit that is learned; it is contracted and cultivated by long hours of practice.

In one sense, we have learned to act and react in sinful, unbiblical ways with ease with a measure of pleasure. Admittedly, there are many times we do it unconsciously and on those occasions, the depth of our habits is more revealing. It is vital that we see ourselves as we really are in the light of God’s written Word. The number one enemy of change is the hard-core self-satisfied sin nature within you. Like a spoiled child, it has been gratified and indulged for years, so it will not give up without a violent temper tantrum. Change is its greatest threat and a confrontation between the two is inevitable. Change must be allowed to face and conquer the intimidations of inward habit.

“Putting off” the clothes of the old man (the old, habitual lifestyle) will not be complete until you are determined to “Put on” the garment of the new man. (The new fresh, Christian lifestyle) The tailor’s name is the Holy Spirit and He is a Master of fitting your frame. But the process will be painful and costly. You can count on Him to dispose off your old threadbare wardrobe as quickly as He outfits you with the new.

Change- real change takes place slowly. In the first gear, not overdrive. Far too many Christians get discouraged and give up. Like ice-skating or mastering a musical instrument, certain techniques have to be discovered and developed in the daily discipline of living. Breaking habit patterns you established during the past years cannot occur in a few brief days. Remember that “Instant” change is as rare as it is phoney.

God did not give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity; He gave His Word to change our lives. Can you name a couple of specific changes God has implemented in your life during the past six months? What are you asking the Lord to alter and adjust in your life that needs immediate attention?  By the way, the Holy Spirit is also on call twenty- four hours a day when you have the urge to slip into the old deeds “Just one more time.” If you ask Him, He will help you remember what you looked like on the day you first met Him.