I'm sure you will agree that most of us humans have very peculiar and quirky personalities. It's strange how we are easily influenced and persuaded in certain things and stubborn as a mule about others.
When it comes to admitting we are wrong in our views or that we are heading in the wrong direction, it doesn't take long for us to reveal our contrary and rebellious attitudes. Most people seldom say it out loud but are content with the way they believe and hope that everyone will leave them alone and mind their own business. Which by the way, explains why many individuals are not interested in going to church or reading the Bible.
However, when it comes to personal transformation, our spiritual relationship with God is not the only topic on the menu.
I was reminded the other day about my own defiant nature when I was on the phone with my mother and the conversation turned to food. We were talking about how difficult it is to diet and how most of us are addicted to all the delicious things we love. Then out of the blue, she said that I should go through our cabinets and refrigerator and throw out everything that tastes good.
After a moment of silence, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. I don't mind chatting about considerations that could help control bad eating habits, and everything was going fine until she hit a nerve with the radical idea of tossing everything out except a can of green beans and a box of plain popcorn. I did not vow that I would go to that extreme, and we had a good laugh about it, but after our conversation, I continued to ponder about why I felt so threatened and even intimidated by the idea of not being able to have what I want.
Even though I realize that exercise and strict dieting is a healthy direction, down in my heart I was not very enthusiastic. So why am I more excited about a huge buffet than an apple and a piece of toast? This would be wonderful advice if a person was passionate about making a positive lifestyle change. The problem is that I am not ready to focus, commit or dedicate my complete mind, soul and heart on this. In fact, the way I see it is that no one can accomplish any type of transformation until they are convicted and burdened with their desperate need and become absolutely locked in with fierce perseverance and unwavering determination.
Food is only one example of the many temptations that attempt to influence and urge us to indulge. We know there is nothing wrong with enjoying life and all the blessing that God has provided, but we are referring to desires that are bad for us. The concept of our subject has more to do with being mature and in control of our flesh instead of a servant to our cravings and emotions.
God refers to the human body as a temple or housing that contains our spirit, which receives instructions directly from heaven. And then our mind and conscience make the decision to follow God or something else.
This is why it's critical for the mind to be renewed through the power of God in order for his will to be accomplished in our life. Without this willing agreement between our spirit and mind, there is minimal faith or spiritual advancement.
From God's perspective, we are not to be controlled or possessed by anything or anyone but him. Mankind is referred to as vessels of clay, but unfortunately, the clay spends much of its existence resisting the potter's instructions and commands.
I remember years ago writing a song called, "Willing To Change," and it was a result of my personal research about yielding our will and allowing God to intervene and rearrange our priorities. Again, this requires a surrender of our plans and imaginations, which is painful, to say the least.
It's our freewill that must submit and choose to open the door of our heart in order to invite Christ to sit on the throne of our conscience and rule as the Lord of our life. Whether progressing into a better person, having a healthier lifestyle or growing closer to God, our vision to change must be stronger than our desire to remain the same.
William F. Holland Jr. is a minister and chaplain based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Learn more about his new book, "Convictions and Considerations," at billyhollandministries.com.