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Devotional

Conditioned To Fail

Sunday, May 13, 2018

When a young elephant is added to the circus, a heavy chain is fastened around the animal's leg. Then a long stake, which is connected to the chain, is driven deep into the ground to prevent the animal from breaking loose and wandering away. The young, energetic elephant constantly tugs on the chain trying to escape. But, after failing to break free from yanking on the chain day after day, he eventually gives up trying.

However, when the elephant becomes an adult, a rope is tied around his leg that is attached to a short stake that is pushed into the ground. The elephant could easily break the rope if he hadn't been "conditioned" as a young elephant to believe the restraint on his leg is more powerful than he.

Many Christians have become conditioned to believe that they are powerless to break free from distorted thinking. However, we can escape wrong thoughts if we'll put them through a process of renewal. Much like renovating a building, old thought patterns must be torn down first, and then replaced with new thoughts. The Apostle Paul instructs us how to do this:

"...Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth" (Ephesians 4:22-24 NAS).

Just like with any renovation, it is a process that takes time, but it's not impossible! God has supplied us with the equipment we need to complete this renovation process. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says:

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for resetting the direction of a man's life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work" (Phillips).

God's Word is able to reset the course of our lives regardless of the nature of our distorted thoughts — whether they relate to our health, our finances, our employment, or our relationships.

Begin to search the Bible for scriptures that specifically address the problem and write them down on a 3" X 5" card or a sticky note. Each time our thoughts drift off course, we can read the scriptures on the card and meditate on them throughout the day. Soon the distorted thoughts will be replaced with God's thoughts.

Then while lying in bed, before we drift off to sleep at night, recall the verses mentally. Don't go to sleep until at least one scripture is brought to mind. We may have to get out of bed to look at our card, but eventually with enough practice they will flow out of our hearts with ease. This is more than a memorization program — it's the living Word of God remolding us from within.

In the morning, before we get out of bed, bring this scripture to mind again. If we practice this regularly, the scriptures will become rooted and established in our hearts and that's when our lives will begin to change dramatically!


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