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Breaking Stubborn Habits Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2021 1:00 am

Breaking Stubborn Habits Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 3, 2021 1:00 am

Some people try to explain away their bad habits. They say, “It’s just the way I am. I can’t change.” But these explanations are excuses, and these excuses conceal a lie. The Apostle Paul calls our bad habits “footholds for the devil.” In this message we learn how we can resolve to say no to these habits—and say no to the devil as well.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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One reason for us.

Jesus phone number for some people to explain away their bad habits. They say it's just the way I am. I can't change that's a lot. The apostle Paul calls our bad habits footholds for the devil today, you could resolve to say no to those habits and say no to the devil as well find out how the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. For many of us the process of getting to know seems too hard to even attempt yesterday and of course what you mean by that is getting to say no to the devil no to sin.

And yes to God and getting there is difficult but it is possible as you listen to this series of messages today.

You might notice that it is an older series preached here at the Moody church, but we wanted you to hear it.

For this reason, we believe that it has great relevance to where you find yourself today because no matter how long we have walked with God.

There are still areas of our life that must be captured by Christ victories that must be one and we believe that this series of messages will help you. I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit and it can be yours for a gift of any amount. Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I'll be giving you that contact info again at the end of this message. For now I want you to just listen as we lay some groundwork for transformation of the human heart using the promises of God, last of a verse 29 let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth somebody who can't control his tongue just seems to be out of control. I just say whatever comes into my mind. I give people a piece of my mind's and don't ever give someone a piece of your mind, unless you're absolutely sure that you can get by with a little bit you have left over. What does the text say limit your conversation to that which is good for edification. According to the need of the moment say my we did that it would be very silent. Well, maybe we need some silence, but it may give grace to those who hear when I was in Bible. Still, there was a one of my colleagues in the classroom who suggested I memorize Psalm 141 verse three and it was a good rebuke.

I guess in those days I spoke a lot because it says, set a watch before my mouthguard the door of my lips ever done that and you know it only happens when hell is taken out of the human heart because the Bible says that the tongue is set on fire of hell. Your tongue, which wants to gossip which wants to cut which is so interested in faults of other Christians. You just want to sniff out everything you can see there's a real problem. There will the answer is limit your speech to what is edifying then. Notice also lists bitterness.

Verse 31 let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you disable what is the answer to that.

It's in verse 32.

Be kind one to another, choose to forgive, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.

And just as Jesus Christ absorbed our hurt, so that we would be off the hook in our relationship with God in the very same way. We must be willing to absorb the hurt of those who have wronged desk and to set them free.

That we might need to be free of all bitterness, and the answer to be free of bitterness is for us to be focusing our attention upon Jesus Christ and what he has done in our behalf. So what does Paul say is this. First of all, you have a new nature.

Secondly he says you need some new clothes cast off those old habits is a but Paul didn't list my business anything about alcoholism or smoking, or perhaps there is some form of immorality you can fit in whatever you want to fit in here it works. The very same way you begin to live up to the new nature that has been created within you by miracle of God.

If you're a believer in Jesus Christ then noticed. Third, he says you need a new sensitivity verse 30 and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed unto the day of redemption is the tragic to live with a roommate that you can speak to this no communication at all between the two of you. You sit there and you have long discussions about nothing. Total silence because all kinds of hurts and feelings that are unresolved. Isn't it tragic to have a marriage where there is no communication. But isn't it even more tragic to have the Holy Spirit of God within you, but he is grieved and therefore there is no communication at all. Notice that the spirit does not become angry. The Bible says that the spirit becomes grieved and the word that is used there for grieved indicates the real sensitivity of the Holy Spirit of God. Just to think that when we go on in our sinful habits.

We are is it where running roughshod over the Holy Spirit acting just as if the fact that he is within us. Doesn't matter at all. Thinking to ourselves that we can do things in secret that we would never do in public because we are more concerned about what people think about us than we are about what the Holy Spirit of God thinks about us and in that way, grieving him, for he is a person and he feels hurt when his inner promptings or disregard pulses don't grieve the spirit and how you do it by not casting off the old life spirit of God is hurt. Now I can imagine that there is some of you saying you know pastor what you're saying is probably right but there's one thing wrong with it.

It just doesn't work. We heard it all before you know that were supposed to stop whining and put away bitterness and control her temper, but you don't understand. I have tried dozens of times I've asked God to help me. I have done everything doesn't work well. I have one more bit of advice for you notice when the text of Scripture says in verse 20 7I deliberately omitted a moment ago noticed. Paul froze this in and do not give the devil an opportunity. The Greek word could be better translated. Do not give the devil a foothold.

Don't give the devil a foothold. Why does Paul put that he and he speaking about anger but I think it does apply to all of the other habits and I think that is the key right there. See what happens.

Is this here's a person who begins to become involved in a simple habit and he set a point where he could stop if he wants to affect he does stop at times and he doesn't realize that that that's the worst moment of his life because he says to himself.

You see, after all, I am not controlled by this habit, I cannot stop and it sets him up for a gigantic bowl. This is what happens to alcoholics all the time will be so tired and so sick of themselves, though. Say never again and sure enough they go for a whole month without it, and then they say to themselves, see I'm not an alcoholic.

After all, I've got it licked I can stop whenever I like, and they are on the most dangerous slide that one could ever imagine.

It was Mark Twain who said of course I can give up smoking. I've done at 500 time.

He said now in those cases, Satan, and by that I mean a personal demonic spirit will attach himself to enter an individual and will gain a foothold and that foothold even in the life of the believer will be so strong, Satan will entrench himself. This demon will stay there and will simply say that as long as you are in my territory. I will Share back territory and I will hold it and I will not give it up so here's this Christian who reads Ephesians chapter 4 pulses put off the old man and he tries to put off the old man and he can't he can't break these habits any Christ economies is gone I ask you to help me and he still defeated any camp put off those habits and even begins to say Satan could be involved in this and he rebukes the devil and the devil doesn't leave and you do that a few times and pretty soon you'll just simply say pastor it's all right for you to preach these things but it just doesn't work because it's the role of the devil to get you to believe the change is impossible and it's his responsibility to bring up images and experiences in your mind in which you have failed to prove that what he is saying is right.

Why doesn't the definitely. Why is it that you can say begone the Satan and you're back in the very same habits, sincere though you were the answer is, not only do you need a new sensitivity in the new nature and the new set of clothes. But you also need new submission would you turn to James chapter 4 for just a moment. James chapter 4 verse seven going to give you enough time to find this so that you see it in the text of Scripture. James 47 says submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. You notice the sequence of events there.

James says, first of all submit to God, then resist the devil and he will flee from you. If you do not submit to God first. You can resist the devil and he will keep that foothold he will not leave you see what God wants us to do in all of the experiences of life is.

He is very desirous that we be fully submissive to what he wants. In fact, if you want to know what God is after in your life.

It is that he might be able to take you and to break you in total brokenness before him and you are not broken until you are broken in the area of your strength. Scripture says that Jacob, the Lord touched the sinew of his thigh. One doctor said that that's the most important sin you and it's the strongest and the whole body goddesses.

That's what I want to touch a person here's a man, for example, who is known in the business world because of his tremendous ability in business at God-given gift, but he is unbroken. He has un-surrendered. He is doing his own thing. God will take a man like that and put them through bankruptcy if he has to. I've known one man. I think he's on his fifth bankruptcy. And he still does not understand that it is because he is unbroken, unwilling to yield to God that the hardness of his heart, despite the fact that he is religious and saved the hardness of his heart prevents God from doing what he really wants to do in his life he see if I have the ability to preach and teach the word of God. But if I am unbroken and you know God's data continually work on but if I am unbroken people will leave and they will say we enjoyed it. It was interesting and was even helpful.permanent fruit will ever come of it until I'm smashed to smithereens before God in the very area of my strength. Now there are people who resist God, they make up their own mind. They say I am going to be so stubborn. I don't care what God does. I don't care how much pressure he puts upon me.

I will not submit and they are bound by their habits they have given the devil a foothold and they command him to leave and he will not leave and it is because they are un-submitted to God, you know, one of the best illustrations of this in all the Bible, a man who remained unbroken to the end it was Jonah God to send Jonah to Nineveh. Jonah says I'm going down to Joppa and when he was there in the boat. He said to the man when it was found out that he was the culprit. He says cast me into the sea, and he realized that Jonah didn't realize that God had prepared a fish to swallow Aesop and being cast into the sea. He genuinely believed that he was drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and that's what he wanted because Jonah said I am so stubborn I am so angry at God for sending me to those Ninevites whom I hate so much that I would rather die and be cast into the sea than to be obedient and there in the middle of that fascia member.

He finally cried out to God and we read it we say well, God finally got Jonah. Will I say to you, not quite, because it is true that Jonah went to Nineveh later. But do you know he still was. Unbowed, in unbroken outwardly, he obeyed God when God sent that great revival to Nineveh. Jonah was complaining about it and he was sitting there waiting for the destruction to come on the city and he was so angry he told God to kill that can stand even bear in the belly of the fish as though he prayed, and though he besought God and told God how sorry he was, he still wasn't broken before God and you know that there Christians today who are just that stubborn dust that stubborn there Christians who say Lord I would rather that I die of a heart attack. I would rather commit suicide with all of its ugly circumstances connected with it that even suicide is more attractive than absolute submission to your will and purpose, and as long as they are unsubmitted to God, the habits stay.

The behavior doesn't change, and they asked the devil to leave and he doesn't because he is a foothold and says I can stay here because you are unsubmitted to me and I would say the last six weeks.

God has really taught me some things about submission. One of the things he's taught me is that you can never submit in a hurry. I used always think all that you have to do is sing a song you know I surrender all, and mean it. And if you had a tear in your eye. It really counted. I find that I can't submit in a hurry. Sometimes I have to struggle and agonize before God. That's the first thing God has taught me the second thing that he's teaching me is that I can't submit only once I've to submit in the morning before 9 o'clock and then I have to submit at noon and I have to submit in the afternoon and I've to submit in the evening, because unless we are willing to submit totally in total agreement with God we become undependable. God may use this as he used Jonah, but it will always be with a sense of purposelessness because of our own stubbornness, and I think today of people, Christians who are put on the shelf whom God is been trying to break for years and they just will not bow, they will know about God may use the most precious thing that a man has he may even use his children and those children go astray, and the parents cursed God because after all, those children were reared in the church and they were taught verses of Scripture and now they are following the Lord, and the parents say we deserve better than that. And really what God was waiting for is for those people those parents to be totally totally submitted to God in every point and still they don't then because their heart is stubborn, just like mine and just like yours and I read many books too many.

Maybe I find it there so many writers today was that you know we're just human and we just have to understand that God remembers that we are but dust all that is true, but sometimes we sell the Lord Jesus Christ short on his ability to deliver his people from their sins.

And there Christians with habits and they learn to live with those habits and they have compromised and they said that the word of God is not true and they have been so stubborn that God is brought all these things into their lives and they still fight and they still argue and days are unbowed, and on though they may pray. Like Jonah in the belly of the fish and because of that the devil never flees from. How does God change people.

He gives them a new nature and new cell. He gives them a new set of clothes, a new sensitivity a new submission and when they are fully submitted.

The devil loses his foothold and they are free. Remember that God has not come to Rocky God doesn't want submission.

Just so that he can humiliate you. He wants it that he might to bless you that the garments of the old life would be cast aside that you might walk in freedom enjoy and in victory. Of course, of course, he can deliver you from that simple. And you know my friend.

I've written a book entitled how to say no to a stubborn habit. Perhaps you say to yourself I don't have an addiction. I don't know even what my stubborn habits might be. I believe that this book is for you anyway and I'll tell you why, because all of us have deficits in our lives.

All of us struggle with issues and I think that this book actually gives you a roadmap to help you in personal transformation that God wants to bring about for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now you say will Pastor Luther, who would this book be good for well as I've mentioned, it might be very good for you.

I think it will be you know someone who is struggling somebody who needs direction and hope.

I believe that this resource will be of tremendous help. It's entitled how to break a stubborn habit.

Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for helping us. It's because of people like you that the ministry of running to win is found in more than 20 countries of the world. Thanks in advance. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Coping with life's hard knocks is today's focus will ask Pastor Luther to offer his counsel to Karen who emailed us this story. My husband lost his job recently. He's in despair, he began drinking again.

Just as he did before we were married we have two small children. I'm scared for them and for our future. I can't talk to my husband about this because he says he has it under control so he just gets angry and defensive.

What should I do Karen. My heart goes out to you and I'm sure that our entire listening audience. I hope that all of them pray a prayer right now in your behalf what you need to do is to tell your husband that you are going to confide in. Some friends about his drinking problem. He's going to become angry.

He's going to become defensive because I know something about alcoholics that you have to do it. What you need to do is to understand that he will not change until there is pressure. You know sometimes it is said that people don't change until they see the light. That's not true. They don't change until they feel the heat.

So what you need to do is to show here some really tough love. You also need to enlist some people to pray for you.

You need to get some wise counsel. Go to your pastor. Go to a counselor and find out what it is that you should really do in this situation, you know, your husband may be helped. I pray that he shall be, but I think that you're at a very critical time because people who begin to find their comfort in drink usually go in that direction. Alcoholism is a curse. And this man needs to be confronted with reality. As soon as possible. God will help you Karen to do what you need to do will be there with you all the way thank you Pastor Luther for helping Karen with what is obviously a really tough situation. If you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's great men for your race of life. Dr. Irwin Sir has concluded breaking stubborn habits. The first of four messages in his series getting to know a series designed to set you free from that which binds you next time tuning to learn about three prerequisites for change.

Thanks for listening, Dr. Irwin, Luzerne, this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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