ON QUEST – C-R-A-V-E Challenge Wrap-up
March 18, 2019
Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
You did it. You made it through five tough weeks of hard work—Bravo!!
This week is a recap and a bit of a farewell. I have loved writing devotions for MomsHope the past three years. It’s been an honor and a joy. Yet, it’s time to step back and take a little reprieve. I will continue to send encouragement, scriptures, and previously posted devotions over the next month of so. So please stay in touch—I would love to hear from you.
And now, on to our C-R-A-V-E Challenge wrap-up!
As we’ve journeyed through five very specific strategies for change, I hope you have learned something about yourself, God, and His plans for you to experience a better tomorrow.
This week we are walking our way through all five strategies and putting them together to use as one, solid tool. Keep in mind, this process is about progress, not perfection. But it will take practice. And a lot of it.
After you get the hang of it, the C-R-A-V-E Challenge will take all of five minutes. It is designed to be simple, efficient, and useful. Use the acronym to help you remember each strategy. Over time you will find a routine that fits. A specific prayer, key words, visuals, scriptures, and reminders that will help you navigate those critical moments of temptation and anxiety.
The key here is to practice it every chance you get. Because this type of change will only come by repetition.
C – Commit To Pray
R – Replace Feelings With Faith
A – Act Fast
V – Visualize Success
E – Engage New Behaviors
Our first response in this battle to get beyond our cravings requires surrender as we COMMIT TO PRAY.
Prayer is a pocket of potential. It’s our power and creates space for God to work. With a very small window of opportunity to change the course of our action, we are challenged to make a strategic decision in a split-second. When we do, prayer enables us to turn the tide of our impulses.
Our second strategy is rooted in trust as we REPLACE FEELINGS WITH FAITH.
Faith is fierce in its fight for truth. Where feelings fail; faith fights. It knocks down walls and demolishes strongholds. It challenges belief systems, incites spiritual vision and enables uncommon obedience. By replacing our feelings with a statement of faith, we reconcile the struggle within. It is a spiritual absolute because God is not obligated to respond to our feelings; only to His Word.
Our third strategy requires readiness to ACT FAST in the moment of temptation.
Removing yourself from the situation that is pulling you towards the pit shifts our momentum toward the change we desire. The key to this challenge is speed. The faster you make the decision to pivot, the greater your chances of escape will be. Escape will not happen because you want it to happen; it will happen because you decide it will happen.
Our fourth strategy mandates a mindset of victory to VISUALIZE SUCCESS.
Visualization is a useful tool because it promotes focus, confidence, and invites God’s divine hand into the process of transformation. This stage calls for an identity shift from victim to victor. We need to see it, believe it, and embrace it as our own.
Our fifth and final strategy requires resourcefulness to ENGAGE NEW BEHAVIORS.
Based on replacement theory, this exchange of one habit for another is the precursor to ridding ourselves of old, unwanted habits. Our challenge—find a new habit that delivers a similar reward. Over time, as we implement these new habits, they will naturally become our new, and better normal.
And there you have it, the C-R-A-V-E Challenge.
Although the mechanics of this tool are simple, change is not. It rubs against our natural inclination for immediate gratification. The reality is, we only have split seconds to change our mind and our behavior when we are presented with a craving cue. If we don’t stop and reverse the process in that very critical moment, we will fall to old behaviors every time.
This tool is about giving yourself a chance. A chance for change. Initiating a different response will put an unexpected cog in the reward loop, and move you closer to the change you desire.
Please remember, this is not about willpower. This process is about HISpower. This journey is also not about perfection. It’s about progression. Our goal is to learn new patterns of coping by practicing targeted choices in the moments of temptation. And over time, these new patterns will become a beautiful new normal.
Lord God, give me the courage to do the hard work of transformation. Help me to practice the strategies needed to change habits that hinder, anxieties that alienate, and any addictions that are affecting my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
This week is all about practice. This tool needs to be worked for it to work. As soon as you realize you are approaching a moment of temptation or anxiety, work your way through the C-R-A-V-E Challenge.
Change will not happen overnight. It is a process and requires guts, sweat, and possibly even a few tears. You may have to wrestle your way through. But be a fighter. It’s a part of your spiritual DNA.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed as you find your way Beyond The Craving!
(SURRENDER): 2 Corinthians 12:9; “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”
(TRUST) 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”
(READINESS) 1 Corinthians 10:13; “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”
(VICTORY) Proverbs 29:18; “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he”
(RESOURCEFULNESS) Philippians 3:13-14; “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”