“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.”
The message of Ezekiel 36 is the restoration of Israel. God said that the day would come for Israel when their punishment would end and that they would be restored to their land. What a great encouragement this message must have been for the remnant who returned to Israel, even though they were still under the control of the Gentile world.
However, the restoration to their homeland didn’t erase their memory. God said that, when the day came that they were restored, they would remember their “evil ways” and their “doings.” Remembering their ways and doings would result in them loathing their decision not to serve the LORD.
The “ways” that God is talking about were their habits, and the “doings” were their actions that they performed. It was the habits that they established that produced the actions they performed. These habits and actions all caused a consequence that Israel loathed. If Israel had established the right habits, the right actions would have followed, and that would have resulted in blessings instead of consequences. Several lessons can be learned from this verse that can impact your life and future for the good if you will apply these lessons.
First, a habit is started by the first action. Nobody inherits bad habits; they acquire bad habits by doing the first action. If you don’t want to have bad habits, you would be wise never to do the first sinful action. Many people have lived a life of regret because of the bad habits they established. The key to not having bad habits is not to allow yourself to do the wrong action the first time. If there is never a first time to do something wrong, there will never be a second time to do it, which results in no bad habit being learned.
Second, habits and actions are the result of your thought life. It is what you allow yourself to be exposed to that determines what habits you establish and what actions you perform. If you don’t want to have bad habits and actions, you had better protect your thought life to keep it from influencing you to do wrong. The places you go, the people you meet, the books you read, and the things you see and hear will all influence your thought life. Every person who established bad habits and actions in their life were first exposed to something that influenced their mind for wrong. If you protect what influences your mind, you can protect yourself from establishing the wrong habits and actions.
Third, you replace bad habits by establishing good ones. Once bad habits are established, the only way to remove them is to establish good habits in their place. You will have to start doing good on purpose so that you can push out the bad habit by establishing a good habit in its place. It is truly this simple; habits are established by what you tell yourself to do.
Fourth, whether you suffer consequences or enjoy blessings is determined by what habits and actions you establish in your life. The enjoyment of your future is determined by what habits you establish. My friend, don’t let your bad habits cause you to live a life of consequences. Replace those bad habits with good ones and you can enjoy a blessed future.