Trapped by habits?
Are you a born-again Christian, but you've got problems? It is not a shame to have problems, but you are not glorifying His Name when you allow these problems to rule your life. Problems are there to overcome. It may not happen overnight but, IT WILL HAPPEN!
John 8:36...Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Galatians 4:7...Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
You see, according to these scriptures you don't have to be ruled by bad habits if you don't want to, that is. Your battle may not be easy, but on the other hand you may just receive an instant miracle. Just expect the most from God!
You'll get the best result when you lean on the Lord, study the Word, obey the scriptures and walk in His ways.
Mark 11:24... Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you WILL have them... Did you get that?
Mark 9:23...ALL things are possible (with God) to them that believe!
Let me first testify what the Lord did in my life concerning my tobacco smoking habit.
I know exactly how you feel. I was bound and a slave of nicotine, even after I got saved. I could not shake it. So, I would say to the Lord: "Well Lord, this is my last pack (still 20 to go) and that's it." When they were gone, I would say: "OK, Lord, one more pack (again 20 more to go)." This went on for some time until I came under strong conviction while visiting a Christian brother and his wife. As I walked into the dining room and lighted my smoke stick (they didn't smoke, of course), they went into the kitchen. They never said anything like; quit your smoking here, or such.
They must have been praying while in the kitchen, because all of a sudden it dawned on me that I kept on promising the Lord while He had healed my mentally ill sister and saved my soul, and I could not even keep my promise to Him.
I realized then, how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it. I COULD NOT KEEP MY PROMISE! At that moment, sitting right at the dining room table with this cigarette in my mouth, I was hit like the lightning and I said: "Lord, I want to quit, but I CAN'T, I am a slave!" "DELIVER ME, O LORD", was my cry.
Immediately, I fell unconscious over the table, I don't know for how long. When I came with it, I KNEW I just had undergone an "OPERATION", because I felt different. I looked around, but I was still alone in the dining room. I took my pack of cigarettes, walked to the wood stove and threw them in. "I am delivered, I'm set free," I cried.
I KNEW, THAT I KNEW, I was free. AMEN! HALLELUJAH!
The next day, at my job, they couldn't believe it. We were invited at a dinner party by the boss. After dinner he said to me: "Trudy, would you like a cigarette?" I had a big smile and said: "No thank you!" His eyes about rolled out of his head, he said: "Are you sick or something , can't you even have a smoke?" I replied: "O, yes, I may smoke, but I don't HAVE TO anymore." The boss was dumbfounded. I was just smiling and soooo happy.
See, I was set free! There was no force anymore to make me smoke, the power was broken in Jesus name. Although I could smoke, I didn't want to anymore. My desperate cry and sincere desire unlocked the power of God.
I instantly quit smoking 2 to 3 packs per day and NEVER HAD TO TOUCH IT AGAIN, NEVER EVEN HAD A DESIRE TO SMOKE. This was in 1961, long time ago. HALLELUJAH!
Psalm 18:6... In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (NAS)
God does not need our abilities or qualifications to do things, He needs our surrendered will. He is quite capable of working everything out in our lives, if we allow Him to. Thank you Jesus!
John 15:7... If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Psalm 50:15... Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.
Psalm 65:5... By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us.
Praise His wonderful Name!
We may be limited, but He can and will do the IMPOSSIBLE, if we surrender our ALL to Him. Selling out to Jesus Christ, is the ONLY way!
Now, believers have different experiences, but deliverance of any bad habit, be it smoking, drinking, overeating, gossiping, etc should be based on the scriptures and some have to hold on harder than others.
A habit is a pattern of action that we have learned - it can be good or bad. Of course, you are concerned about your bad habit(s).
Doing something the same way many times impresses in our minds and can make that action almost an automatic response. Much of what we do every day is a matter of habit, i.e. eating daily, brushing your teeth after meals, dressing when you wake up etc. These habits save us time, because we don't have to think about whether to take a shower first or to make our bed first. Our mind, not having to focus on these details, can devote its attention to more challenging tasks.
But unfortunately, while we are recording all these helpful experiences, we also can allow ourselves to develop bad habits -unthinking patterns of doing things the wrong way. When you choose time after time to drink too much, or to put off doing necessary jobs, or to argue with your mate, your are forming bad habits.
Some people are fighting common habits like overeating, procrastinating or watching too much television. Other habits might not be as common, but the problem is the same: The bad habits have control over you.
The first thing you have to do is to admit you have a bad habit.
This may be difficult because habits tend to become invisible. They have become such a normal activity that the brains are no longer consciously noticing them.
Let's be honest - you may be fighting a dependence on alcohol or drugs, nicotine, caffeine or sweets for that matter. You may be trying to overcome bad habits; such as swearing, undesirable sexual activity, bad temper or gossiping.
Habits develop without you noticing the consequences they are having on your life. Then when you finally see the results and decide to change, they have you in a trap. You want to quit, but you can't.
Some habits are stronger than others. But they were developed in the same way - by repeating the same actions over and over. Once you recognize what habits are and how you got them in the first place, you can see that it's possible to change them. You want to regain control of your life?
You must want to change.
Change is disturbing to us. It is in human nature to resist change. It threatens our Status Quo.
The apostle Paul describes his own personal struggle to overcome: "For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me" (Rom.7:19-20).
No one can overcome a habit who doesn't really want to do so. You must seriously want to change before you will be motivated to take the steps to freedom.
Confess to God your sin, surrender your will to Him. Do what you can do and what you cannot do, let Him do it. Simple like that... If you mean business, He will do what is needed!.
It is advisable to have a trustworthy person present, when you make your commitment, as a witness. This person will be helpful in time of temptation.Recognize when you do it. Think back and keep a record of what seems to trigger that bad habit, in whose company it may occur, or if you do it alone, and how often you repeat it. Knowing how those bad habits are practised, gives you a chance to break the pattern by purposely doing something else.
You must replace bad habits with good ones. If a certain thought triggers your bad habit, don't let that thought stay in your mind. Submit your thoughts unto God and change from what you were doing. Call upon the name of the Lord and tell satan to get behind you, that you don't want to listen to him.
Instead of overeating, to cure feelings of discouragement or depression, walk, jog or go swimming and start praising the Lord. Become physically active and get involved in other positive activities to improve yourself. This can also give you confidence and motivation.
Stop a habit immediately. Completely stopping the negative behavior immediately is by far the most effective method of breaking bad habits. Make a firm commitment and destroy anything (as much as allowable) what is related to the bad habit. With overeating, you can replace sweets with fruit or vegetables, to start you off. Don't eat until you are full, at meal times. This gives your stomach a chance to shrink.
Don't make excuses. Habits actually program you to resist change. Once a habit is ingrained, it can become invisible to the conscious mind and you try to ignore it. Or you try to make excuses. Refuse to think, I can't change, or nobody is perfect. Thoughts like that will only strengthen the chains the habit has on you.
Rather think on these Scriptures: 1 John5:4,5 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more that conquerors through Him that loved us.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
How do you overcome?
Whatever is in the Scriptures is attainable, or else it wouldn't be in there. So... have Faith. Confess with her mouth... Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.
Phil. 4:13 Paul said: "I can do all things, through Christ who strenghtens me". If this is good for Paul, it is good for you!
Live by the Word, and don't guestion God.
Stand your ground in faith, and you'll come out victoriously on the other side!
Have Faith in God. Mark 11:22. You are heading for victory.
Isn't working on overcoming much better than just settling for slavery to your habit?
I have been instantly delivered from one addiction, but with some others I really had to work on them. At the same token, I overcame and now I'm His slave. You can experience the same Victory!
Seek advice and Christian counsel when you need it, especially from those with experience, wisdom and special training in the field.
God's Word provides direction and encouragement, the Holy Spirit provides power to overcome. Have faith in God!.
Copyright © Dr. Trudy Veerman, 1996-2014. All rights reserved.