It was a kneejerk reaction!” “I did it subconsciously.” “It was muscle memory.”
I am sure that all of us have used these phrases more times than we can possibly count. They are the things that we say when we are able to, for the good or the bad, give a response or reaction in any given moment without thought.
It’s what we do by rote. We’ve done it so much that our flesh knows what to do without even being told to do so.
Having worked in retail, I had gotten to a place, that without thinking, or even looking, I could easily push in the computer function for a credit card payment. On the one hand, being able to do so was very efficient. On the other, it was a hindrance especially if I had asked the customer what for of tender they were using to pay and their choice was not credit.
Still, without fail, my fingers would jump ahead and punch in the function for credit and I would have to backtrack on the transaction to fix the issue I had caused by allowing my muscle memory to lead beyond the process of thought.
In the realm of faith, allowing certain ‘kneejerk’ reactions or ‘muscle memories’, to guide our walk becomes great sources of delay and dilemma.
As we discovered last week, to choose our own adventure as we grow to different levels of maturity in Christ, we have to first be repentant or ever-changing our mind. We have to choose to change our mind no matter the circumstances.
The same holds true for our responses.
ADVENTURE TOOL #2: CHANGE YOUR RESPONSES
To be able to change your mind creates a momentary gap between a situation and your response. This is the moment where our second Adventure Tool is utilized, and this is where we get to choose our responses.
One of the biggest problems we have in our faith walk is not the enemy of our souls, but our very own flesh. This is why we were urged in the Word to put it do death daily.
Although our flesh can be trained to submit to the ruling of the Spirit, oftentimes, if left to its own devices, it will do everything contrary to what produces faith and righteousness, thusly leading us into victory.
OLD vs NEW RESPONSES
The kneejerk reactions of the flesh in the challenging crossroads of faith are to rage, to complain, to give up, to yield to fear, to get off the path and go a completely different direction. It’s ultimately to doubt the faithfulness of God and His love and grace for you.
But when we change our mind, when we determine to hold on to the word of promise and truth that the Lord has given us before we took our first step forward in faith, we also get to choose new responses.
New responses in the moments of challenge are:
- Meditation: The biblical context for meditation is not the act of emptying ones mind, but rather to mutter under one’s breath the Word of God. Our new response for victory begins with the recitation of the Word of God. Christ Jesus did this while being challenged by the evil one in the wilderness, and as a result, He remained in victory (MATTHEW 4:1-11). Joshua was even promised that he would have victory by meditating on the Word of God as he prepared to take possession of the Promised Land (JOSHUA 1:1-9).
- Trust: The Word also tells us that “faith comes by hearing.” When we choose to speak the Word or faith is increased even in the face of impossibility. When our faith increases our trust increases as well (ROMANS 10:17).
- Rest: When we submit to the Word we find ourselves resting in the Word which is a result of trust. For when we meditate on the Word, we cannot help but look to the person of Jesus, and this is to abide in Him (John 15:1-9).
- Praise: And when we are focused on the Person of Christ Jesus when we bask in His glory, love, and goodness, we can’t help but praise! And When we praise we can’t help but know that it is well. Thusly, continuing to walk forward in faith, beyond the trying and lying circumstances!
Choosing to change our responses to those that align with the pattern of His Word produces the increase of faith and the ability to keep walking forward. No longer are we hitting the usually keys out of old muscle memory or taking the bait of the evil one that derails our progress.
Instead, we are being transformed into more of His likeness and taking possession of the promises He has set before us. And over time, our kneejerk responses to negative circumstances will begin with turning our eyes to Christ Jesus with faith and expectation!
Recap of Adventure Tools:
#1.The first step in choosing Christ’s adventure for our lives is to choose to allow our minds not to be swayed by our circumstances.
#2. The second step in choosing Christ’s adventure for our lives is to choose our responses to the circumstances. We choose to fuel our response by faith and truth, and not fear and doubt.
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!