We have had so much rain and snow lately and the ground is extremely wet and soggy.  On the days I run outside I have noticed a large number of muddy tracks where drivers have veered off of the road.  I see them everywhere.  Some are on the lawns where people didn’t quite make it onto their driveway.  Others are large, deeply embedded tire marks where someone appeared to have slid off the road for a brief second only to rebound before things got ugly (I did wonder how many of those people were texting and driving).

As I was pondering with God why He was highlighting them, I felt Him reminding me that we developing patterns in our lives that steer us off of His path.  As we continue to walk in those grooves, the ruts just gets deeper.

Isaiah 40:3-5The Message (MSG)

3-5 Thunder in the desert!
    “Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
    a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
    level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
    clear out the rocks.
Then God’s bright glory will shine
    and everyone will see it.
    Yes. Just as God has said.”

How do we get out of the rut when the grooves have become so deep that we keep making the same mistake over and over?  One thing that is helpful is to track your pattern (rut).  I am going to use the example of materialism. You can use this method for any patterns in your life.  First you need to lay out on paper how you got into this rut in the first place.

For example, most people with the issue of materialism, the cycle goes something like this:

Shopping Cycle

The key to getting out of the rut is to stop the pattern at the thought.  You can’t stop yourself from seeing things that are directly in your line of vision that you may desire, but when the initial thought comes, you can take it captive.

2 Corinthians 10:5 [Full Chapter]
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

When you recognize the destructive thought, submit it to Christ and focus on how great you will feel when you resist and finally break your pattern of old behavior.  In my opinion, we always need Jesus’ help with the ruts in our lives.  If we try to do it solely on willpower we will most likely fail.  As we track our pattern/rut with God, He will direct us to the road that leads to freedom.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that you want me to be set free from every destructive, old pattern in my life.  Please help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as You illuminate the path to freedom.  In Jesus name, amen.




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