Practical Living through Biblical Principles

Start to Stop

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By Reverend Shakita Valentine

Artist Jonathan McReynolds released a song in 2018 entitled cycles – that opens up with the lyrics “didn’t I conquer this last year”.  When listening to the song many could identify with at least one of the cycles he listed, if not, there is something that is in your life that keep playing itself out as a vicious cycle, or unwanted pattern. As we embark on a new year, new week or new day full of brand-new mercies this is the perfect time to START TO STOP.

The scriptural impartation is found in Isaiah chapter 65:17 this one passage reads as this, “for behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

Here is God’s response to another prayer about the same thing from the people of Israel and like them we have a tendency to replay some of our prayers about matters that we are likely mature enough to address but there is something in the cycle that keeps pulling us in.  You know what your cycle is that you want to break, but you simply cannot break it – I know you have tried. When I speak of cycles, I am not speaking of the external cycles that are first thought of, like drugs, alcohol, sex those are the surface names – for fear and facades. I would venture to say that cycles are caused by fear and facades.

Our text reference was God responding to a people that were in fear of the detriment promised to them if they continued in their selfish, rebellious ways. I know that is not you, you are just trying to START TO STOP.  They too lived a vicious cycle of on and off loving God, on and off of worshiping Him only, on and off of obeying.  Not too far from starting to stop and starting again and then stopping again to start again. A cycle landing you right where you do not want to be, disappointed because you feel like you have failed again.

I realize it is very difficult to end cycles in your life, they can sometime make you believe that you are not disciplined, and you can become so frustrated to the place where you begin to say; it is what it is. We resolve that it is in “my nature” and eventually become comfortable and complacent in the cycle.  I always respond to that statement, and IT is subject to change.

Here is what you have been waiting for the – how to portion. When you continue to read the chapter, God provides a biblical example to ending cycles – It is an entire culture change.  A total shift from the way to the why. In attempting to end cycles many get addicted to the way of escape verses the why which connects with the soul.  The way is surface the why is substance. In order for you to START to STOP you have to change your personal culture. When you find yourself facing that unwanted habit, or your vicious cycle STOP and ask yourself, am I avoiding a fear or fronting a facade? And simply say it is in my nature to change my culture – my personal culture.

Lord I pray, strip me of my old nature. Deliver me from the addiction to what I am use to, comfortable with or simply acquiesced to because I have seen it play out in my family.  This old nature has hindered my life and possibly delayed my destiny.  All things are lawful, but I am not powered by any of them and there is no temptation without a way of escape. Now, Lord I cast off my former conduct and construct a personal culture that will resolve in ending vicious cycles.  In Jesus name AMEN!

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