Until it’s automatic.

November 6, 2007

I enjoy long drives. Mountain roads & long stretches by the sea or between farms* are choice (*long roads between farms always means lots & lots of beautiful sky).

For some people, something about being in a car just lulls them to sleep. For me, being in a car is like staring into a campfire; as I drive, I respond to the surroundings (red lights, cars in front braking, lane changes, etc.), but my mind is often miles & miles away.

When my mind goes into that distant, contemplative mode, & when I’m not consciously thinking about where I’m going, I’ll automatically start driving toward home or toward church (home when I’m northbound, church when I’m southbound). Unless I make a conscious decision to travel in another direction, my mind will automatically direct me to these much-frequented places.

It began with knowledge (knowing how to get home or to church) & was reinforced with much repetition until it became automatic (continually driving to & from those places).

Apart from Christ, I naturally gravitate towards sin. Not only do I have this sinful inclination within me, but all the road signs in this world point in the opposite direction of God’s way.

I struggle to break myself of sinful habits & practices – traces of that old self & old way of life. My “car” isn’t helplessly set on “automatic” towards sin anymore; I can choose to drive in the other direction. But I’ve driven down that road so many times now that my mind has been trained to automatically direct me there.

Yet, by His grace, provision, & enabling, I can (& must) transform my mind by immersing myself in His Word & training myself to travel in the right Direction . . . until it becomes automatic. In this life, as long as sin still dwells in me, it will never be completely automatic; but one glorious Day, it will be.

It begins with knowledge (in His Word) & is reinforced with much repetition (a long, continued obedience to Him from the heart).

“Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:5-7).

“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

“But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

“[Older women] are to teach what is good, and so train the young women . . . that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-4, 5)

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

“For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14).

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

“They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray” (2 Peter 2:14-15).

What are we training our hearts in? Where are we training our feet to go?
Let it be in His way. Let it be constant training in His ways until it becomes automatic for us to walk in them & turn neither to the right nor to the left.


One Response to “Until it’s automatic.”

  1. Kau Says:

    i’ve noticed that unless I’m deliberately and purposefully thinking about and trying to obey God, I’m probably not doing it. Its like if I’m not striving, I’m probably sliding.

    Nice post.

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