Patterns are a big part of our lives. In fact, everything in our lives is linked to patterns whether good or bad.
What’s wild about these patterns is that many times we don’t know we’re doing life through them. It’s almost like they’re an unconscious part of what we do, how we respond, how we process and how we function.
This is because we developed them in the formation years of our lives. We’ve absorbed many through our family, neighborhood, lifestyle, success, failures and more. Along the way these patterns have attached themselves to us from what we know and have seen and furthermore,
we’ve used them to survive.
The problem is, some of these patterns are not good and they can hinder us from our purpose in God.
But, God can help change these patterns and adopt new ones that help us thrive in life through Jesus. We know we’re not perfect but we can be healthy!
”Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2
One version of this verse says it this way, “Don’t copy the behavior and patterns of this world.”
This indicates that God has patterns to take the place of the world’s patterns. Our part is to understand what the unhealthy patterns of our lives are and then receive the patterns God has for us.
Here’s a few patterns from the world we could have.
Not forgiving others when they hurt us.
Loving only the people that are like us and then loving only those people who do something for us.
Doing life to for only me, myself and I.
Thinking life is about being better than others and getting ahead of them.
Thinking and argument or disagreement means they shouldn’t be your friend.
Avoiding people who challenge you.
Only give and love when others give that to you first.
Living through jealousy and envy.
Thinking what happened to you makes you a victim as your only spot in life.
These are just a few patterns that are not God’s way and he desires to heal us and then change the patterns we operate by.
One thing I love about Jesus is that he cares so much about every detail of our lives, that he wants to help us have healthy patterns in our lives.
”The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.“Psalms 37:23
So, how do we see these patterns change?
The answer is layered but for this blog I want to focus on his ways and thoughts.
The patterns we’ve adopted from the world are based on our ways and thoughts. His patterns are based on his ways and thoughts. Therefore when we address this issue in our lives, it starts with us receiving his ways and thoughts as our own.
His ways and thoughts are found in his word.
For example, here’s the patterns I mentioned above done through God’s way and thoughts.
We choose to forgive others when they hurt us, because God has forgiven us when we hurt him.
We choose to love our friends and our enemies. We also choose to have friends that are different from us and we give because God first gave to us.
We choose to do life through Jesus and find purpose by serving him and others.
We choose to let God makes us better versions of ourselves and while achieving our goals, we can help others too.
We choose to argue fair and build bridges. We can agree to disagree and find common ground.
We choose to have trusted people in our lives that challenge us to follow Jesus and do life his way.
We choose to give love and serve others whether they give to us or not.
We choose to live by being thankful for what we have and happy for others blessings. If God has blessed them, that means God can bless me.
What happened to me does not define me, but it does give a platform for God to work in me. I’m an overcomer through Jesus.
Notice the difference in God’s ways and thoughts verses our own!
When we let Jesus formulate these patterns in us, it changes our behavior, our outlook, our interactions with others, how we live, how we talk, how we love and more. If literally impacts everything!
So, what patterns are you living by that God wants to change?
My encouragement is to acknowledge it, then ask God for his ways and thoughts in that pattern being done differently. From there begin the practice of walking out this new way of living.
Please know, this will take time as we navigate ourselves being retrained in how we live. The main thing is we don’t quit and we give God a chance to move in our lives.
We can do this through Christ and it’s worth it. His ways and thoughts are not only higher than ours but they’re always better too!
I pray 2024 is an amazing year for you moving into the new patterns Jesus has for you.
Have a great week and the best is yet to come,
City Church Bloomington, Indiana