My quiet time for now consists of readings out of "Jesus Calling" by Sara Young and a daily reading plan from YouVersion Bible app titled "Soul Detox". I would REALLY recommend both of these resources. YouVersion is a free app you can put on your smart phone/IPAD or access on your computer that does all sorts of things. Just search reading plans to find one that sounds fitting for you right now. Jesus Calling also has an app you can use.
So, a couple weeks ago I was already behind on Jesus Calling and was a few days into Soul Detox when the verse for BOTH devotions that I was reading that day was Romans 12:2. Then yesterday I was struggling to figure out what I was going to share today and pulled up my saved "favorite" Proverbs 31 devos and the first one I pulled up was titled, "Getting Unstuck from My Thinking Rut" by Lysa TerKeurst. It ALSO had the key verse of Romans 12:2. Obviously, I needed to hear this verse, so I figured God might want me to share it with you, too. (Icing on the cake: THIS morning I did my reading out of Jesus Calling and it was on ROMANS 12:2!!!)
It's nice when God is so obvious! (And I bet you're wondering what Romans 12:2 says.)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I'll let you read the devo. Makes sense why it's SO hard to change our bad habits and reflexive responses that we often regret after-the-fact.
My struggle ebbs and flows. Comes and goes. Seems to be more pronounced when I'm stressed out and short on time with a long list of to-do's. I've had accountability. I've tried to memorize scripture (James1:19, for example). Pray about it. Journal it "out of my system". Unfortunately, I continue to do the very thing Paul writes of in Romans chapter seven:
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Surely we all have these particular struggles in our lives.
How do we APPLY Romans 12:2?
First: How do I "conform to the pattern of the world"? What is that pattern?
- too busy so we have no time for God or the most important things
- wives don't respect their husbands
- we deserve everything right now
- it's all about me
- pray continuously (1Thes 5:17)
- meditate day & night (Psalm 1:2)
- wives submit to your husbands as is fitting to the Lord (Col 3:18)
- we have been saved through grace. a gift. nothing we do to deserve it. (Eph 2:8)
Third: How can I be "transformed by the renewing of my mind"?
- time spent in the Bible - in various ways: bible study, short devotions, longer meditations, journaling
- prayer & confession - in-the-moment prayers, dedicated time of prayer, remembering to include confession, praise & thanksgiving
- accountability - ask a friend to follow up with you on a habit you're trying to change
- thankful list - if your thoughts flow with negativity, start a list of positives & dwell on those when your thoughts head south