OVERCOMING HARMFUL AND ADDICTIVE HABITS
It is the desire of our Heavenly Father that we put off sinful and harmful practices. However, because we have developed sinful habits and sinful responses over the period of our lifetime, it is often difficult to overcome the factors that negate our becoming the persons we want and hope to be. So when the scripture, such as that recorded in Romans 6:11-14, commands us to "count yourselves dead to sin", "don't let sin reign in your mortal bodies", and "do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness", we immediately see the need to identify those factors which trigger our sinful responses. Our next step involves trying to eliminate those factors from our life. We soon learn that many of the trials we face are not outwardly imposed upon us. Painfully we come to grasp the fact that we have met the enemy and it is us. Often we are content to bask in the knowledge that we have been saved without giving any thought to our corrupt inner nature and our need to "put on the new man, created in righteousness" as Paul describes in Ephesians 4:23-24. How can this be accomplished?
You can begin by memorizing this verse. "There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of destruction". (Proverbs 16:25) This will serve as a constant reminder that our inner sinful nature, which all of mankind since Adam has been cursed with, cannot be trusted. It is so easy for us to minimize sin and to convince ourselves that we are really good persons. Satan continues to deceive us into thinking that we are self-sufficient. Again, the use of scripture memorization is of great value in overcoming this delusion of the enemy. MEMORIZE PROVERBS 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
Next, MEMORIZE EPHESIANS 5:8-10 For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
As we memorize the word of God, we are constantly building up our inner resolve to develop lifestyles that are pleasing to God and bring honor and praise to Him. Our next step involves evaluating our sincerity and commitment to labor until with the help of the Spirit of Christ we have been made free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
Have I taken ownership of my sins that contribute to my current situation by both acknowledging and repenting of them?
Am I seeking to replace ungodly attitudes and activities with holy ones?
Am I looking for a quick feel good fix, or do I truly want to be like Jesus?
Have I applied myself to the memorization of the above scripture verses?
Do I believe God will use them to change my attitudes and harmful behavior?
Have I honored God by attending worship and seeking out godly friends?
Have I selfishly focused only on me, or have I sought to encourage others?
Have I intentionally avoided persons, places, and activities that tempt me?
Have I intentionally focused on things that are wholesome and good?
If I could repeat this week again, what would I desire to do differently?
Remember these words of admonition from the Word of God. "Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good pleasing and perfect will." [Romans 12:1-2] NIV