INIQUITY = Deciding for myself what is right, doing this “right” in my own strength and moaning and groaning about how hard it is to do “good” so that we get extra credit from others.
In the middle of your brain is a device known as the limbic system which God intends to fill you and your life with PASSION! Information comes flowing into the system and is processed by the amygdala to ascribe the proper emotion: fear, hope, love,pleasure, excitement, anger, loneliness, guilt, anger etc. this then goes round and round in the hypocampus pushing you to DO SOMETHING! When you have finished doing, there is a branch of the hypocampus which REMEMBERS THE PASSION and if the result of doing was pleasant it decides to watch for the chance to repeat. If the result was painful it watches to block you from repeating.
However, I am so messed up that I find pleasure in sin. I find godliness on the other hand, boring, embarrassing, tiring, scary, hard etc. I have a picture of three puppies looking mournful and the caption is, “It’s so hard to be good” . We smile and nod but it is a dangerous attitude. By finding sin pleasurable and godliness painful we train the long term memory of the hypocampus to DO THAT FUN BAD STUFF AGAIN! When we obey, but moan and groan about it, we train the long term memory to say LET’S FIND WAYS TO DO THAT LESS. I know of people who are putting off salvation because they see God as the big spoilsport in the sky so they are going to have their “fun” until they are all burned out and then give the remains for God to suck the life out of!
You may find responses that you have trained into your hypocampus which need to be changed and your logical frontal lobe agrees with God that you need to change. You might even catch yourself and try more godly responses, BUT if you MOAN AND GROAN on how hard it is, your passion-center will not let itself be reprogrammed, it will never learn to delight in God’s ways and you will always fall back into sin.
The problem is that sin and the world give powerful quick pleasure and relief and I compare this with how quickly godliness gives ME pleasure and relief. I need to turn obedience into a pleasure by: affirming that I like having the freedom to be a mature adult. I like doing the difficult and uncomfortable things that bring a good outcome. Then I must picture the long term pleasure, health and benefits of obedience and assure my limbic system that this new way is delightful. For example if I sin by “putting up” with my job instead of being grateful and working creatively and diligently even for an irritating boss; working as if I were working for Jesus; if I try to work more conscientiously but have a long face and feel like God owes me one for my obedience; then I will never retrain the limbic system to hunger for and delight in work.
I remember a lady whom God helped quit using cocaine! For 6 months she thought that God owed her for giving up her wonderful cocaine. Then she realized that she owed God for taking away her artificial “high” her false god and replacing the false high with family friends and himself. Remember Lot’s wife, she obeyed and felt sorry for herself. Having put my hands to the task–don’t look back.
Over and over I read in God’s word that I am to REJOICE in the ordinary things or everyday life that he places in front of me, wives (or husbands) food labor clothes opportunities to minister.
Let me review for the steps of reprogramming the drive center of my brain so that obedience comes more automatic and natural:
- Identify the current passion programming
- predict what could trigger this response and prepare with accountability
- catch the old programming kicking in during a life situation (all reprogramming occurs during an obedience event and not during a sermon or counseling session)
- don’t yell at myself or make excuses or moan “I just can’t resist”
- do assure my habit brain that God’s ways have got to be better than my ways
- OBEY, yield my body members slaves to God “Know ye not that ye are the servants of whom you yield your members to obey?”
- Notice the sense of cleanness peace and the good blessings that accrue to me and others such as a good night’s sleep
- REJOICE and point out to my habit brain”Now wasn’t that a whole lot better! Boy obeying God is great!”
Now, slowly over about 3 months the old passion programming will fade and the new man will be strengthened.