Sun Am Worship By Breaking life's Habits
Text: Gal 5:1 2 Pete 2:19 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
2. C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;
In our churches, there are three kinds of people. There
are spectators, anticipators and participators.
The spectator is just there to observe; the anticipator is expecting real blessings but not doing anything about it; and the
participator is busy singing, praying, ushering, planning and doing the work. The participators are the minority, the
sacred few who are doing "more than others."
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ
hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Today I want to speak to you about how to break free from life controlling habits. Turn with me to:
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
2 Peter 2:19 " For a man is a slave to whatever has
mastered him." (NIV)
Listen to the verse in the (LB) "For a man is a slave to whatever controls him."
Many of the times when a message is brought about
breaking free from habits, people minds immediately switch to..well this will be
good one for the drug addict and the alcoholic, they need a message like
And I agree they do need it, but 2 Peter goes so much further than that and many who sit in this room today need to break free from something.
Peter says, "You are a slave to whatever has mastered you."
Psalms 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
Psalms 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Some people are a slave to work, some people are slave
to jealousy, some people are slave to gossip, Some are slave anger,
pornography, various drugs, and many other vices that hold us in
Whatever it may be 2 Peter 2:19 " For a man is a slave
to whatever has mastered him." (NIV)
So Today I want us to take an inventory of the NEGITIVE
HABITS in our lives that need to be broken
There are several questions I would like to answer today.
#1. HOW DO WE IDENTIFY A HABIT
A negative life controlling habit is something you find yourself doing even though it is destructive ether physical, mentally, emotionally, relationally or spiritually. Or you consistently do something you wish you wouldn't do, but you find yourself doing it any way.
Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do
I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Listen to (TCNT) twenty- century new testament.
"I do not understand my own actions for I am as far from habitually doing what I want to do that I find myself doing the very thing that I hate." (TCNT)
The apostle Paul understood his dilemma he had good intentions.
You must understand good people are bound by bad habits
Some of us, reason in our minds, if we admit we have a habit than we are less than spiritual. Denial is not the way to deal with the problem.
Be honest, look at your life and like Paul, evaluate the thing you find yourself doing that you hate.
Take a moment sometime today or tonight and write down the habits in your life that you want to see victory in.
In a recent survey in Discipleship Journal Magazine, readers reported that their greatest spiritual challenges came from
5. Anger/Bitterness (Tie)
6. Sexual Lust (Tie)
Survey respondents noted that temptations seemed more potent when they neglected their time with God and when tired physically. We are also vulnerable during these time. We can become self-confident, instead of God confident. We should be aware that we are also vulnerable to overconfidence when we experience a spiritual victory.
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn't a technology problem like radar malfunction-or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ships presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.
1. God sees our secret sins and vices.
Psalm 66:18 tells us that if we cherish sin in our hearts that God won't listen to our voices, our prayers. That's how seriously God takes sin.
139:3-4 says that "You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar
with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O
Red Devil Tool Company of Union, N.J. has as their
slogan, "It's easy with the devil." Of course, they are boasting that their
tools transform difficult tasks into simple ones.
Those knowing God's word understand the desire and ambition of Satan, how he seeks to destroy mankind. He makes sin appear to be attractive. He shows how pleasant sin and immoral conduct can be. Of course Satan never shows the tragic end of sin.
One need not look long before seeing the results of the power of sin in the lives of people: premature deaths, broken and dysfunctional homes, plus the loneliness and the heartache sin brings. The bible does say there is a pleasure in sin, but such pleasure is only momentary. The end result is not only pain, but separation from God on earth, then in eternity. Spending eternity in hell is the result of continuing in sin.
Life isn't easy with the devil- it's the most difficult of all lives.
2. God desires for us to confess and repent of sin.
3. God desires a blameless witness for his children. God repeatedly tells the people to be holy for He is holy. He desires for his children to reflect who He is to a lost and dying world. We do that both through words and actions. Our actions especially often speak even louder than our words
# 2. WHY ARE HABITS POWERFUL?
A. They slowly bind you.
Life controlling habits are formed at a snails pace almost unnoticeable.
Usually the person doesn't even know they have formed a habit in their life. And if someone asks they say, "I can quit at any time. This isn't a problem."
Habits are like a cable. Each day we do something in a pattern, we intertwine one thread with another. As the threads are woven together a cable is formed. On any day, the threads we added were too small to be noticed. But, after many threads have been woven in, we find that together they have become an unbreakable cable.
So it is with habits, daily practices over time become habits that are unbreakable.
Bad habits are like comfortable beds: easy to get into, but hard to get out.
Ill. The person who smokes isn't addicted on the first pack of cigarettes. It takes time after time smoke after smoke before the body becomes dependent upon nicotine
Habits are formed through willful behavior The person has given in so many times to this thing that they are now addicted.
This is the reason a habits is so powerful, because it is so subtle.
B. Not only do they slowly bind.. they break your will.
Habits will break your will. Once you have allowed a habit to control you the Bible says,
"That habit is your master."
That habit breaks you down to the point where you don't even try to resist because you feel like you cant break free.
The attitude becomes..
Why should I try, I always go back to doing it again. A habit will break your will to fight.
ILL.I heard the story of how elephants are brought into captivity. Have you ever been to a circus and seen a giant elephant with a small rope around its ankle? Did you ever stop to think, hey, wait a minute? Physically speaking, there is no way that small little rope can hold back that giant elephant! And did you ever wonder how it happened that a giant elephant could be held in place by something that does not have the power to contain him.
Here's how it works. When trainers begin taming a baby elephant, they place a heavy chain around its ankle and stake the chain into the ground. Day after day, hour after hour, the baby elephant struggles to escape. But his efforts are in vain. He simply cannot break free from the grips of that powerful chain. Eventually he surrenders. He resolves in his mind that there is no possible way he can escape that chain. So he relinquishes forever the struggle to be free.
Then when he has given up trying, his masters replace that giant chain with the small little rope. If the elephant ever opened his eyes to the truth, he could break free at any moment. All it would take is one try, but since the elephant doesn't know that, he doesn't take a step in the right direction of freedom.
And so it happens that ten, twenty, thirty years later, the giant elephant remains held in bondage by something that really has no power to control him, except the power he chooses to give it.
When I first heard this, a voice cried out within me, Darrell that's the Church! Many of my people are allowing their lives to be controlled by things that no longer have the power to control them.
Is this true with you as well? The apostle Paul wrote, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." Gal. 5:1
Some of you are sitting here right now feeling like right now. You don't even have the will to fight, because the habit has broken your will.
Once a habit has broken your will to fight, you feel a sense of hopelessness.
At this point the habit its self owns you because you have allowed it to own you. Maybe some of you feel like you have lost the will to fight because your will has been broken. That is the power of a bad habit.
C. Why else are habits so powerful, they destroy your life?
Church bad habits will destroy you and other along with you.
They destroy you in many different ways: Physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.
ILL. In terms of war, a habit can be like a beach head. If a country was to go off to war to fight in a place where their enemy already occupies and controls that territory, they will try to establish a beach head.
Troops will get out of boats and go up on the shore. They try to establish a point of safety, by putting up sand bags and hiding behind they.
To the enemy with such power and control this act could seem harmless. But once a beach head is established, that platoon now evades and establishes another and another, working their way up the shores inch by inch on ground that they did not have.
Once they are fully established, they become a strong hold and many times go on to victory.
As a person, a habit is just like a beach head. At first it seems very harmless, at any time in the early stages you could rid yourself. In fact you convince yourself you could stop at any time.
The habit take a stronger foothold, advancing a little more taking away a little more of your freedom. Over a period of time that habit like the enemy begins to advance and destroy you.
How many marriages have been lost to habits?
How many families have been divide because of habits?
How many jobs have been lost
How many relationships destroyed because of habits?
How many mind wasted because of habits?
How many diseases?
# 3. Finally today How Can You Come Clean?
How can you break free from the grip of a bad habit in your life, from the smallest to the largest?
First you must understand what God's word says in 1 Cor. 10:13
1 Cor. 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, 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."
God lets us know that in every situation with every temptation he provides victory.
Steps to victory:
A. Admit you have a problem.
Everything starts with confession. Accepting the responsibility that you have a problem. They say in the Twelve Steps program, that you cannot win until you know you have a problem.
1Jn.1:9 "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
I believe true healing starts with confession. Many people give in to a state of denial, they never admit they have a problem therefore they never break free.
Alcoholics who never admit they are alcoholics wont find freedom.
People filled with anger who wont admit they have a problem wont get freedom.
The first step is recognizing you are bound and you have a problem that is the first step in breaking free.
B. Depend on God's power to combat bad habits.
Phil. 4:13 "I can do all thing through Christ which strengths me."
Is. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
When it comes to being set free from habits that bind, Jesus can do more in a moment than doctors can do in a lifetime.
God must become your primary source of strength.
Start your days off with God, and he will help you through the day to overcome and show you a way out. The more you allow God to be part of your life the more you will see him working in you.
You have to stop trying to do this by yourself. He did not say go along but said draw near to me. James 4:7
C. Bad habits must be replaced by good ones.
Num. 33:50-56 "But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them."
God told Moses that before the Israelites settled in the promise land, they should drive out the wicked inhabitants and destroy their idols. In Colossians 3 Paul encourages us to live as Christians in the same manner: throwing away our old way of living and moving ahead into our new life of obedience to God and faith in Jesus Christ.
Like the Israelites moving into the promise land, we can destroy the wickedness in our life, or we can settle down and live with it. To move in and possess the new life, we must drive out the sinful thoughts and practices to make room for the new.
NEW HABITS TO REPLACE THE BAD ONES
D. Find support from others.
God says it is absolutely essential for your recovery or healing. We are healed by admitting our faults to one another. Why do I need to drag another person into this? Why can't I just admit it to God? Why don't I just pray about it, make a list, talk to God about it? But why do I need to tell another person?
Because the root of our problem is relational. We lie to each other. We deceive each other. We're dishonest with each other. We wear masks. We pretend we have it together. But we don't. and we deny our true feelings, and we play games.
We end up living with shame and it makes us insecure. If
they really knew the truth about me, they wouldn't love me.
God says revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. The amazing thing is, when you risk honesty with someone, all of a sudden , this feeling of freedom comes into your life. You realize that everybody has habits and often they have the same one you do.
James. 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
The Bible tells us that we need to bare one another's burdens.
E. Take one day at a time.
Matt. 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread."
Why? Because God wants to give you enough strength to change for one day, not for the week, one month, the rest of your life. He wants to take it one day at a time so you trust in Him.
That's like the old saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." You take a life problem (you did not get the habit over night) and you break it down into bite size pieces and you work on it one day at a time and you get God's strength one Day at a time.
Any victory, no matter how minor, you thank God for it, and you take one defeat at a time, and you get victory one day at a time.
- Don't worry about tomorrow.
- Don't worry about a week.
- Don't worry about a month.
- Don't worry about a year.
- Concentrate on today.
Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"