breaking cycles

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Normally autumn is full of contrasts: bright blue skies against golden yellow cornfields. Bright red and gold leaves. Emerald grass and brown fields. Skies filled with constellations twinkling on a midnight curtain. But the skies have been pregnant with clouds, heavy and foreboding.

 

These gray days of marching forward no matter what while shrouded in lack of light have become symbolic to my faith. I believe the sun has risen even though I can’t see or feel it and so I behave in a way that confirms that belief.

 

I get up and follow my morning routine of teeth brushing, face washing, coffee making, praying and scripture reading. When the clock says 8am, I begin the day’s work and at noon, I break for lunch. All the while, it’s gray, depressing gray, and my spirit wilts and a scowl digs permanent furrows in my brow.

 

But when the sunshine pierces the gray mass, I rejoice by throwing my arms up, upturn my face, close my eyes and feel the sun warming my bones. Then I tuck the remembrance of what it feels like into my memory when the gray blankets my world once again.

 

It’s a simple illustration, but living out broken cycles is like wrestling through the sunny and gray days.

 

Living as #cyclebreakers means that we’ll have days when we feel like we’re conquerors, but we’ll also have days when we will feel imprisoned to old ways, habits, and thoughts.

 

In those moments, you must remember that you are a conqueror who lives by faith.

 

Living by faith is an active, continual journey upward and onward. It’s fluid and moving and ebbs and flows. Then it circles back around to readdress an old wound or realign a misguided heart. Yes, we receive Jesus by faith, but then we activate that faith when we live the truth of what we believe.

 

Will it be hard? Yes.

 

Will we see the fruit? Maybe.

 

Will we be forever changed? Absolutely.

 

You are a bold, fierce cycle-breaker because of the One who reigns in your heart.

 

Live boldly with activated faith like these examples:

 

Noah. . . who’s faith led him to spend 120 years building the ark, who teaches us faith in the face of ridicule.

 

Abraham. . . who left his hometown to go to a land he didn’t know who teaches us faith in the heart of God to lead and guide us.

 

Moses. . . who confronted Pharaoh, delivered his people, and led an unruly nation to the Promised land who teaches us our strength comes not from us, but from the One who is strength.

 

Joshua. . . and the Israelites in their unusual military strategy against Jericho who show us how to be obedient even when we don’t understand how things will work out.

 

Jesus. . . as he went to the cross to break the sin cycle once and for all and who is everything we need.

 

Believe and act. That’s the key to breaking cycles.

 

When you fail (because you will) refuse to accept condemnation and self-recrimination. Confess, receive forgiveness (from yourself, too), ask for strength, and move on.

 

Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for obedience.

 

These tools of breaking cycles are in your toolkit now. Each one works in conjunction with each other to break cycles, but the one you reach for will depend on what’s happening in your head and heart.

 

Do your thoughts ride an incessant merry-go-round? Be still.

 

Are your thoughts breathing life or reeking of death? Be aware. Capture them. Change them.

 

Is there a stronghold in your way? Use your weapons.

 

Activating your faith means walking boldly in the face of your fears, enemies, and failures because of who is in you. God’s Holy Spirit will strengthen you, encourage you, and build you up. (Acts 9:31) He spreads a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He leads you to quiet waters and restores your soul.

 

He is for you and and not against you and equips you with every good gift in order to bring glory to him here in this life.

 

The Takeaway

 

Remember God equips you for the task. He’s set you free from the bondage of sin and he will enable you to break the patterns that prevent you from running in his freedom.

 

Listen to this song and ponder it’s meaning.

 

 

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I write to encourage you that you can experience a vibrant, transformative relationship with God even if your past or your shame tells you otherwise. God invites you upward and onward, will you join me? You'll receive weekly devotionals straight to your inbox. By subscribing you'll receive my 7-Day Devotional, Kicking Perfect, as a thank-you gift from me!

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