The Patterns in our Lives

Back off far enough from the details of our daily lives and the
patterns of our lives can be seen. Patterns are like rhythms and
themes of a piece of music- they are the underlying structure that
makes a song the same each time it is performed. Whether we see them
or not, these are the patterns that establishes our behavior, attitudes
and character. And by their very nature they replicate themselves over
and over. Our life patterns follow us into new days, into new
relationships, into new endeavors, into new surroundings. Vaguely
familiar as though we have been here before – traditional, expected,
nostalgic, dependable and predictable – but are they life giving? The
question is: are the patterns producing the desired results? If I try
to build an airplane but I am using a pattern for a barn I am going to
have hard time flying my barn. The pattern must match the desired
goal. And if my pattern is outdated, I will likely be less than
optimal in my effectiveness.

These patterns are established by
the ideas or the examples of people who influence our lives. We
acquire our patterns through education, cultural influences or who we
make our heroes. We pattern ourselves after the people we see we want
to be like. These are the patterns that establish our perspectives and
life view. This can be good, if the patterns that are governing us are
life giving and faith releasing. But poor patterns produce poor
results.

It’s easy to get stuck in these patterns, whether they
are good or bad. Change is essential to our future, and yet we are
powerless to effect the changes we want to make without changing the
patterns that influence our lives now. My conclusion: change the
patterns that we live by, and we will change the kind of life we live.
This applies to every aspect of our life – family relationships,
ministry, use of finances, even our walk with God.

So how is this done? Here are a few things that can help.

  • Examine
    the patterns of your life – both those that have emerged over a period
    of time and those that you have patterned your life after. Know what
    patterns you are being influenced by. Consider asking someone you
    trust to give you an assessment. Let God search you and show you the
    patterns. 2 Corinthians 13:5-6
  • Through prayer and observation
    consider which patterns are working for you and which patterns are
    working against you. Be honest! Let God show you what He sees and
    knows about you. Galatians 6:4-5
  • Be willing to confess and
    forsake patterns (traditions, attitudes, life views) that are not life
    giving. Why continue to do the same things over and over expecting to
    have different results? Just because it is the traditional thing to do
    doesn’t mean it is the right pattern for this day. Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Confirm
    and strengthen patterns that are in agreement with God given revelation
    and Biblical truth. This keeps us alive to present day relevancy.
    Hebrews 8:5-6
  • Open up to new influences that will help
    establish new patterns. Walk with those that are exemplifying and
    successfully living the kind of life you believe you are called to
    live. Become accountable. Find mentors, read books, listen to tapes …
    do what it takes. Heb. 12:1-2; Philippians 3:17
  • Be steadfast,
    determined, patient, persevering until the changes are made and the old
    patterns are replaced with the new ones. Obey the revelations you
    receive from God when you pray. Do the hard work. James 1:4
  • Walk in the reality of the new day. Don't go back to the former things. Romans 12:2


May
the Lord bless your honest determination to make the appropriate
changes in the patterns of your life and may you be able to celebrate
the blessing of those changes in the near future.