Just Say No. Yea. Right. Won’t happen! How many of us know that it’s easier said than done? Just Say No. Just Say No was a campaign that was initiated by the United States Government back in the 1980s when crack cocaine, a cheap form of cocaine was first developed and was reported to have devastating effects on communities, especially the African American community. It was reported that the use of the drug went up from 4.8 million to 5.8 million by 1987 overall, and was available in all but four states at that time. It was also reported that the number of emergency room visits due to the use of the drug soared “between 1984 and 1987.” In an effort to “revisit and combat the war on drugs” by President Ronald Regan at that time, the Just Say No campaign was initiated by the government and his wife, Nancy Regan became the national spokesperson for this campaign. She encouraged people, especially school age children to Just Say No to drugs. Just as an FYI, the campaign came under some criticism but I won’t get into that because that’s not the point of the blog. If you want more details you can click on this link: https://www.history.com/topics/1980s/just-say-no.
As I said at the beginning, Just Say No is easier said than done which brings me to a bible verse that I was reading during my quiet time. It is found in Psalms 141:4 NLT:
Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong.
This verse didn’t really strike me or made an impression until I read the commentary in my Life Application Study Bible which caused me to pause and take a deeper look and meditate on it because the commentary really spoke to me:
Evil acts begin with evil desires. It isn’t enough to ask God to keep you away from temptation, make you stronger, or change your circumstances. You must ask Him to change you on the inside—at the level of your desires.
Wow! I hope you’re seeing what I’m seeing as you read this! I could have easily titled this blog Inner Transformation, Heart Transformation or How to Overcome Sabotaging Behavior or a few other appropriate titles because transformation is the key to lasting changes. If you've read some of my blogs, you are familiar with the sayings: “We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.” (1 Thess. 5:23) That “We” is the real us. The hidden man of the heart. Our soul which is where our desires and personality are found.
In order to just say no, things have to change at what I call the heart level. It’s those desires that you have to deal with in your hidden man (1 Peter 3:4). It’s those desires that we feel we can’t tell anyone about when we ask them to pray for us. It’s those hidden or secret struggles that only you and God knows about and you have every intention of taking them to your grave, never, ever sharing them with anyone! But I have to encourage you that just saying no won’t do it alone. It’s when you deal with the hidden man of the heart that you will begin to see transformation or real changes taking place. That’s when you will begin to experience sustained breakthroughs and will begin to overcome obstacles and sabotaging behaviors. I want to encourage you to be open and honest with yourself about your struggles, your weakness, and your shortcomings. When you get to the place of asking God to change your desires for a certain thing (s) that you know are not productive for your life, it doesn’t matter what it is, it doesn’t matter how long, how deep, or how dark the situation, when you open up to God about it and admit that it’s a struggle and you can’t do it alone, you will begin to move forward to a healthier place. It’s when you will begin to feel whole again. Where things will begin to align and come into agreement in your 3 part being: Spirit, soul and body.
In my book More Than A Conqueror: Regaining your willpower over food, there’s a chapter about Red Flag Foods and sometimes I get a desire for those foods that I know are not productive for my life. God told me once, don’t desire them. Easier said than done! Yea. Right. Not in my own strength! I had to pray and ask God to help me not to desire them. I could not do that in my own strength! If you have a habit that’s longstanding, sometimes you have to get something stronger than a mere slogan to overcome in that area. That’s why I always tell people to get God involved so He can begin the process of changing your desires. Transforming you from within. It’s when the heart changes that you will begin to see results. As long as you desire it, that desire will become stronger than your will to resist it.
I encourage you to ask God to change your desires. To help bring inner transformation so that you’re not drifting back to old habits. In the meantime, I invite you begin to use the bible verses on my website, Scriptures that will help you to move forward. They are available as a free download.
Helping you to discard your past so you can embrace your future,
Changing Mindsets, Changing Lives
Check out all the resources on the website which are designed to help you to get to your healthy place as you learn how to submit all things to Christ.