Friends, today I am excited to share this guest post from my daughter, Gillian Fritzsche, who lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
A few weeks ago my pastor gave a talk about deliverance and how a change in our habits plays a part in that. You can find the message here (look for the February 2 message). Some of the other ways we talk about this process is:
- Repentance and obedience
- Deliverance and a new life
- Surrender and sustained change
- Justification and sanctification
This morning I was thinking about that talk and how it included the encouragement to change our habits — he invited us be prayed for to experience breakthrough, but reminded us that changed habits are part of the process. That we need to implement the reality of the breakthrough in the habits of our daily lives.
Though we may receive deliverance on a Sunday (or a Wednesday, or whenever), and sometimes we get to rejoice that it is a supernatural miracle and we don’t struggle with that issue ever again, there are other times that the deliverance is a slow healing. We continue to struggle afterwards and might wonder, “Did I really receive deliverance?”
I’ve been there. I’ve recently gone through a period of intense and debilitating fear and anxiety. But I’m grateful today to say I’ve been delivered from it. There was one moment when I received a revelation that I had access to heavenly deliverance, but, after that, there was a process of habitually recalling that revelation and putting action to my faith.
I want to encourage us all (and I’m preaching to myself again too) that yes! We did receive deliverance! Always! Every day! Thousands of years ago on the cross! And sometimes deliverance is instantaneous — i.e. someone who is seeking healing from addiction ceases to ever desire the vice again — but sometimes that deliverance is not immediately seen. But I want to remind you, it is always available, in heaven, for you to receive.
As my pastor shared, changed habits play a part in this. One of the habits that I have had to learn to cultivate in the last few months comes from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of our own flesh, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
I have had to (re)learn how to bring every thought captive. If a feeling of fear comes, I say, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love!” If a feeling of hopelessness comes, I say, “Christ is in me! I have the hope of glory!”
I’ll be standing there, wherever I am, saying out loud, “I don’t accept that thought. I rejoice in the truth found in the Bible.” And then I state that truth, out loud.
It’s a day by day, moment by moment, habit of rejecting the thoughts that come to exalt themselves against the promises found in God’s word and replacing them with the actual promises that are God’s truth!
And my experience has been that the more I slay those thoughts, the more I am able to walk in faith and not fear. And over time, the deliverance from fear and anxiety that I was hoping for is the deliverance that I walk in on a daily basis.
I encourage us all today to examine our habits. What do we do when a thought comes that we know does not line up with the truth found in the Bible? What is our next action? What is our next thought? If you have been made righteous by grace through faith (salvation), then you can be as bold as a lion in claiming your deliverance and changing your habits.
There’s a saying on the wall at my seven-year-old’s martial arts gym:
“It doesn’t get easier; you just get stronger.”