by Pastor Tim Burt
Ever feel like you’re boring or stuck in a monotonous rut? I suppose there could be a variety of definitions of what a rut is. When I think of a rut, I think of two things: repetition in what I’m doing, and doing something that isn’t what I want to do most. Repetition in itself isn’t bad. Actually a fair amount of routine helps us develop a more disciplined life.
I remember back when our children were school-age and began summer vacation. Most all our routine flew out the window. It felt good for a short time, but by the end of summer vacation we couldn’t wait for the kids to get back in school so we had some routine again. Initially we struggled getting back into that routine, but it didn’t take long for it to feel good. I would get my daily disciplines back and it always felt good.
I like having my daily routines, but like anyone, we enjoy spice in our life. We like the things that we insert into our life that add flavor such as date nights, being with friends, events and gatherings, vacations, and the change ups and spices of life that make life more interesting. Repetition isn’t bad to me unless as long as it serves a good purpose in my like and helps me achieve my goals and desires. But the repetition of meaningless and unfruitful things only makes me feel like I’m in a rut. The logical thinking would be Well, just break out of it! If it were that easy, then none of us would be in a rut for long.
The Apostle Paul described his ruts like this in Romans 7:15 & 18-19 NLT. “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate… No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” Paul went on to describe that this is how he acted when He was living carnally.
Paul went on to say that as Christians we cannot allow ourself to think we are trapped by carnal thinking and behavior. That was a part of our old life and nature before we received Jesus. The Bibles says that as believers, we have become sons (children) of God. We’ve received His nature, His Spirit, and the Bible says we have His mind, the mind of Christ. Because of that, we can break out of ruts and instead through the power of the Holy Spirit, make the changes we seek God for that He then leads us in. We can escape from ruts! As Romans 8:9 NLT says, “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.”)
Whenever I’m in a rut, I meditate on this truth. I have the Spirit of God living in me, therefore I am not controlled by any sinful nature, nor am I bound by habit or stuck in what I am doing! By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can change things up whenever I deem necessary! There is something else I do. I have done this in various forms over my 42 years as a Christian. It has helped me more than anything else I can point to. It has helped strengthen me in spirit so that I could rid myself of the bad in my routine and replace it with the good. So what is it? I have communed with God early before ever starting anything else in my day. As I wake up, I begin to commune with God, mediating on His promises and who He says I am.
Psalm 5:3 NIV says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 143:8 NLT says, “Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer.” And Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.”
I commune with God in the morning before anything else. I talk with Him and let His Word speak to me. I talk over my day with Him and ask Him to use me and let me be a light for Him. I ask Him to strengthen me to make changes that are good and necessary. I ask Him to strengthen me do to what I know God wants me to do. And in this place of communing, God’s strength comes and my confidence in Him helping me grows. It is in those quiet times with the Lord that I am better able to know what needs to change and find the daily strength to change it. Ruts suffocate our life, but Spirit led changes feels so good! Try it!
Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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