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Breaking Stubborn Habits Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2021 1:00 am

Breaking Stubborn Habits Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 2, 2021 1:00 am

Many of us are stuck in a rut of bad habits. But we should think of today as the starting line for a new race, and we should learn how to turn our backs on behavior that slows us down. In this message we learn that freedom is possible, even for those trapped in deep darkness.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Run with endurance the race is Flores looking to Jesus under improvement and many of us are stuck in a rut. Bad habits today is the starting line for a new race and learn how to turn our backs on behavior that slows us down. Freedom is possible even for those trapped in darkness to find out more moody church. This is with Dr. Sir changing make it across the finish line leads are all of us have stubborn habits ingrained behavior. It's hard to stop. Tell us where we're going in this new series will Dave on one level, we know that God transforms us through the new birth and that transformation is permanent, but living the Christian life is one of struggle and so what I think we need to do is to understand that God's program is to changes over a period of time. It's called sanctification. It doesn't happen all at once, that there are steps that we can take to enable God's transforming power in our daily walk and that's what this series of messages is all about, and I trust that as people listen that they will be encouraged. I hope that they will be given some direction that you don't have to be in that rut that you spoke about just a moment ago. Dave, we do need to move beyond that. And God grants us the grace to do it and the principles are in his word. That's why am asking all who are listening to listen carefully now as we discussed the struggles that we all have and God's direction for our future may begin by asking you a question. How do you go about changing human behavior is an alcoholic makes many promises that he's going to change. Some of you wives may live with a man like that says that this is going to be the last time I'm ever going to get drunk but you know, God knows that those promises aren't going to change it is a man who has the vice of gambling, which is a form of stealing heard about the man who went to Las Vegas and a $16,000 Cadillac and came back in a $200,000 Greyhound bus and he gets this into his blood and he sees that he's wasting his paycheck just their camp stock or you think of a man in some form of immorality.

He really means well when he says I want to change. But no matter how well he means he never does you think of criminals to go through certain behavioral patterns and that they do everything within their power to say next time I'm going to live differently, but next time they slip back in their own ways how you change a man like that. Now you know that behaviorism, which is the common accepted philosophy taught in our universities today is that a man does what he does because of his environment. First of all, Skinner and others have done some work with rats and with chickens and they found that when you reward them and when you punish them for certain kinds of behavior they can be made to fit into a certain pattern. Therefore, all of life: behavior is conditioned. Determine if you will buy preceding causes of environment so the feeling is that there is no such thing as a criminal.

There is only a criminal environment under some trees to behaviorism.

We spank our children we really want them and we punish them in order to guide them along certain ways, but all that can never make a life changing transformation and then of course there are those who say no. It's in your heredity it's in your gene. That's why you behave the way you do. Those of you who read the trip will know a couple of weeks ago. It had an article on sex offenders in which it says that a new drug has now been invented which when given to a person and help that individual will lower their drives and their passions, but the article went on to say that it is indeed only a temporary measure doesn't solve the basic problem of motivation and change of behavior. Now let's remember in order to understand what's happening man is a tripartite being, a body, a soul that is to say, a mind, emotion and will, and then he also has a spirit and the spirit is the deepest level of human existence it in the realm of the spirit. The spirits can inform and control of the conscience. It's also the spirit that can be in contact with God in the spirit of man and unsaved man. That spirit is cut off from God. So man is dead toward God, but it is quick and that it is made alive when regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

Another great difference between the way that human beings change behavior and the way God changes behavior is simply this man begins from the outside any hopes that what happens on the outside will work itself in you take drugs to change your hormones. A chemical change of the body, hopefully, will cause a change in the soul and perhaps also at the level of spirit.

God may use these outer influences but God's way is totally different.

God's way is to begin in the inner man. He begins at the very rock bottom of our personalities begins with the spirit down deep inside, and then having changed that behavior begins to work itself out from the inside you turn to Ephesians chapter 4 the passage of Scripture that was just read to us. Let's notice how God changes office. First of all, he gives us a new cell. A new self protect says in verse 24 of Ephesians 4. Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

The new self created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. That means that when a person accepts Christ as his Savior, God does a miracle within any actually changes the person at the level of the spirit by doing a miracle creating a new nature and making the day humanists spirit alive before God, you realize that when you accept Christ as your Savior. There is a miracle that happens within you that can be done only by God. And there's no contribution that you can make toward that miracle when God creates. He does not use human power.

It is totally divine power. Your responsibility is only to believe in the miracle of the new birth is done by God and by God alone, without any contribution of human effort because the miracle is so special.

Now many of us when we accepted Christ as Savior. If we did as children, we can perhaps remember that miracle very well, or maybe the transformation wasn't that dramatic, we may not have even felt different. When I was a little boy I used to pray every night that Jesus would come into my heart and was convinced he never did that about the age 14 I was so miserable and my parents asked if they could pray with me because they could see my misery and it was at that time they explained that I had to receive Christ by faith.

Even if I couldn't see any change in my feelings and I remember the next day I had so much peace and I had a sense of belonging to God that I never experienced before and I thought to myself this is conversion and I believe that it was some of you had that experience you for testimonies were people of said you know I just had this weight of sin and this misery and suddenly I saw that Jesus was the Savior of the world and I put my faith in him, and the cast of myself upon his mercy and instantly I knew I had met God just like Dorie Van Stone in that orphanage sitting there never having heard of God except through swearing, knowing nothing about what Jesus had done for her and some students come and tell the gospel to the children at the orphanage and she sits there and says God nobody has ever loved me you love me. You've got all of me and that night when she went to bed. She said she cried because it was the first time in the 13 years she'd ever experienced a sense of peace and thought to herself this must be God, and it was conversion. So you see what God does is he does a miracle within he quickens that human spirit and makes it alive to God gives us that new self. And then of course he gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the area where the human spirit is so difficult to talk about these things because were not talking about a spatial relationship is to say, we can pinpoint it in space where it is in the body because it exists in the what philosophers call the realm of metaphysics, namely that which is beyond the physical, but the spirit of God comes to indwell believers.

Therefore, having been changed from the inside out.

We then also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of God dwell within us.

That's the first step in changing behavior, you receive a new self. But there's a second step in that is, you now have to put on a new wardrobe. Paul here uses the imagery beginning at verse 25 of laying aside, just like you might cast aside an old garment folder saying that it's time for you now to live up to the new self that God is created within you, and you can do that by casting aside your old habits and you put on some new ones because if you've been changed in the inside. You now can see that behavior work itself out in terms of experience in terms of changed habits, and so he says live up to who you now are your child of God begin to live like what you been taken out of prison shed those prison clothes and get on with the business of putting on some new clothes close of freedom that with your Bibles open but very quickly look at five habits that Paul says we should get rid of and that these closed should be cast aside and you want to put on some new clothes as a believer. Notice what they are number one lie verse 25. Therefore, laying aside falsehood. Falsehood is the way of the world.

It belongs to the old life.

What do you do you put it aside and instead you are close with what you begin to speak truth. You see the answer for falsehood is truth that seem so basic.

But you know that that's true because if you were to speak truth. Every time you are tempted to lie or every time you did lie or exaggerate were to say to the person excuse me and you go back to them and confess your sin and ask them to forgive you for what you said you would soon begin to speak truth and are people today who find it so hard to speak truth because they are still bound by their old life.

You know it's so easy for us to speak error, not just by outright lying, but by exaggeration, Lord has sometimes had to rebuke me for that, you know, you're telling a story and if you just add a little detail that's just an addition.

But make such a better story. I mean, something is missing. Unless you add that little bit that really didn't happen. I noticed that the motivation ought to be says because we are members one of another. That's why we ought to tell the truth, you begin to lie.

You hurt yourself. And when you hurt yourself. You hurt the body. There's just no way about my body began to lie.

If I began to say my brain to my mind it to speak more accurately what to say to my hand. Would you please rise and the hand deceives and doesn't rise I'd be in trouble. You think it's tough watching me now you just see what it would be like that.

So Paul says Lionel cast it aside, speak truth number two. What about your temper. It says the angry and do not sin right to be angry Mark chapter 3 verse five. Jesus was livid with anger when he saw the hardness of their hearts. One of our problems is that we can't get angry about the things that ought to stir us and make us angry, but Paul says that when angry, do not sin. So you see, you cast off that undergarment cold is a hot temper, and particularly in marital relationships how important it is that that be cast aside and the answer is deal with all of the issues that come up through communication learn to communicate, learn to solve the problems that cause the anger and do it before the sun goes down. Don't let that anger fester.

My wife and I have sometimes had disagreements with gone to sleep without them being resolved and that's tough. That's tough.

Oh I feel so sorry for marriages where that happens all the time and how I thank God for my wonderful wife is sitting right over there because I'll tell you when God gave her to me. You gave the most precious gift he could ever give to a man and we have had to learn that when difficulties arise and would she and I do not always agree that when difficulties arise, they must be dealt with immediately. Because if you let them faster. They will always grow and be magnified and it will be totally out of proportion.

And that's what he sings is cast aside that hot temper that anger and the put on. What does he say the ability to resolve the issue.

Parenthetically, some people have a hot temper because the issues that cause them anger are deep down inside almost at the level of spirit. Perhaps it's rebellion against their circumstances. They may be rebelling against their parents, they may feel that they are failures. They may hate God because of the way they look all kinds of things and suddenly here's a man who's a volcano just waiting to go off slightest thing set them into a tizzy and the real root cause could be any one of the things I've listed or guilt but down there. He's to deal with the things that are causing the anger.

Third, stealing says in verse 28 to let him who steals steel no longer punctuation is very important you heard about the thief who read this verse. This way, let him who steals steel no longer let him labor with his hands. You know it's easy for us to say well I haven't broken into a store, so I don't steel but you know there are people who steal from their employers because they don't work a full eight hours there.

People who steal from the government will hurry over quickly when we speak of that there are people who steal from God the Malachi says will a man rob God of the answer is yes, people often do it in their tithes and offerings. People who gamble they steel in these ways and notice what the answer to stealing is you cast that government decide and what you put in its place.

He says let him work with his hands so I don't have a job. I'm sorry but it doesn't say unless of course the economy is bad and you don't have a job then don't work with your hands is not in the text of Scripture. It might be in the reverse division but it's not in my translation there too many people today who aren't willing to do absolutely anything to have a job and I mean anything unless of course it's immoral or wrong, and as a result they fall into the temptation of stealing, not because of hunger know that a lot of people who are wealthy who steal it is because first of all because of laziness and secondly because of greed and so the answer is work with your hands, says Paul, and give what the text says you have the temptation to steal, you begin to work at whatever thine hand defined is to do you do it with all your might.

And then you begin to give generously and every time the offering is taken give a little bit more than you think you can afford. You know that that will take care of your habit of stealing with the text of Scripture teaches. Well, let's keep moving on. What about blasphemy. Verse 29 let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth somebody you 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 is 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 will. My friend, this is Pastor Luther, you and I know that we aren't what we want to be but were on our way.

I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit. You know Seneca who was a philosopher, said all that a hand would come down from heaven and delivered me from my sins. Aren't you glad that her hand has come down from heaven. I believe that this book will give you a blueprint to grow in your Christian walk and to be rid of the things that bind you and hold you back for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

The title of the book is how to break a stubborn habit and I believe that over a period of time. God indeed, as we cooperate with him through our obedience brings about incremental changes so that we can move beyond our past that we are not burdened down by things that really are detrimental to our walk and as you frequently here on this broadcast God enables us to make it all the way to the finish line.

And that is my desire for you.

We hear it running to win are committed to give you resources to help you in your Christian walk asked for how to break a stubborn habit and once again that contact information, go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for helping us as a result of your help running to win is heard around the world.

1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life tithing. It means giving 1/10 of your income to God through the church and through other ministries. Cornelius wants to know Pastor Luther's take on tithing he puts it like this.

I want to know what Moody church believes about tithing. I've heard some say this is an Old Testament concept that is been done away with.

Cornelius, thank you for asking. In the New Testament, there is no emphasis on tithing and I'll tell you why, because under grace. We have a brand-new relationship with God and therefore we should give as God has prospered us. We should give with joy. We should not be bound by a law that says you must give that takes out the actual heart of what giving is all about. In the Old Testament the 10% was a kind of attacks.

It was used in the temple. It was used to pay the priest etc. etc. and in the New Testament we don't have that and therefore tithing is not a requirement, but Cornelius, I do need to add that 10% is a good way to begin the giving process.

It's a good benchmark and if we give generously will want to give even more generously, and according to second Corinthians, God is going to prosper us so that we can give more as a whole. A matter of the heart, not of the law. So go in peace, Cornelius, but be generous.

And God will bless you, thank you, Cornelius, and thank you Pastor Luther 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 is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago 60614 Dr. Erwin Luther has part one of breaking stubborn habit.

The first of four messages on getting to know a series designed to set you free from that which binds you next time. More on removing footholds.

The devil can use. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister to win his sponsor, Moody church

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