Killing the Cycles of Defeat

by Joanna Pierce on August 14, 2016

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (Galatians 4:8–9, KJV).

Humans are creatures of habit—we do the same things repeatedly. Even when we make mistakes in life, we have a tendency to make them again. Humanity’s repetition of falling short is well documented in Scripture, especially in the book of Judges. We can read about the Nation of Israel’s cycle of living for God, a gradual backslide into serving idols, and then a state of repentance and desire to seek for God.

Cycles of Defeat

Just like Nation of Israel, we endure these cycles in our life, cycles of defeat. We follow after conversations, attitudes, and actions we know won’t have a positive outcome. These cycles come from disobedience and ignorance. Our ignorance is not just a lack of knowledge, but knowing wrong and doing it anyway—ignoring the ensuring consequences.

With every cycle, there is a gradual tearing down of the spiritual wo/man inside of us. But, these cycles don’t just affect us. If we don’t break these cycles in our lives, they will be passed down to future generations (Exodus 20:4–5).

Killing the Cycle

God wants us to live above these cycles; to break them, and kill them until they no longer are a part of our lives. David, when facing the giant Goliath, didn’t stop at wounding him with a sling and a stone. He went over to the fallen giant and cut off his head with his own sword (I Samuel 17:51). We can’t carry around the “wounded giants” and cycles of defeat in our life. God has given us the victory over everything that can come against us in this life. We need to acknowledge who we are in God and that we our house will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

3 Spirits that Defeat Cycles of Defeat

Learning Spirit

If we don’t remember our past, we’ll be condemned to repeat it. If we listen to the Lord, we’ll escape enduring spiritual turmoil. We need to have a teachable spirit and allow God to speak truth into our lives and educate us how to overcome what we’re going through. Our first step is to learn of Jesus (Matthew 11:29–30) and to allow Him into our life. Our goal should be to have a life change; not just a momentary escape from a present situation. We can ask God for the wisdom to break our cycles and be an open vessel for God to pour into (James 1:5).

Doing Spirit

Just because we are educated in the Word doesn’t mean we know how to apply it. James told the church to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only (James 1:22). When we find out the right thing to do, we need to do it. If we know what to do, we should do it. And, if we already know what to do, and we’ve been doing it for a long time, we need to keep doing it. We can’t forget what we’ve learned and what we know is effective (James 1:24). If we know something’s wrong, we should stop doing it!

Holy Spirit

In our quest to break spiritual cycles of defeat, everything until this point has been what we can do. But, there is a part in breaking the cycle we need Jesus to take care of. We are too messed up most of the time to fix ourselves! If the cycle is really going to die, we need Jesus—the presence and infilling of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit needs to come into our lives to save us (John 3:15), because if we don’t have the Spirit, everything we do will be in our own flesh (John 3:6). Our fleshly actions will only product fleshly results, but if we have the Spirit of God, we’ll see supernatural results!

Breaking the Cycles

God has the power to change us today and to help us escape from our defeating cycles. Our first step is to trust Him and follow after His Word. When we surrender our lives up to Him, and our way of doing things, then we’ve put ourselves in a situation to see a miracle happen. We’ll see just how quickly those spiritual cycles will break and those chains will fall.

Adapted from Sunday Morning Service on August 14, 2016