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Three Prerequisites For Change Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2021 1:00 am

Three Prerequisites For Change Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 4, 2021 1:00 am

All of us have bad habits we need to lose, whether habitual lying, addictions to substances or sex, or moral failures. But what we lack is the means to break the cycles of bondage that hold us prisoner. God sets three conditions for our freedom. In this message we learn about three prerequisites for change.

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One wasn't doing was raising his voice. Jesus phoned her home and wanted being addicted to substances or sex moral failures. All of us have bad habits we need to lose what we lack is the means to break cycles of bondage prisoner God set three conditions for your freedom and what they are church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Sir clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line delete certain you'll be sharing three prerequisites for change.

Why will these three important messages going to explain that if I were to summarize these three prerequisites. I would say simply the word submission or to put it differently, do we want to change or do we not want to change. You might be surprised at the number of people who are content with their bondage is in with their sentence so will be discussing that. And as you listen.

You'll also notice that these messages were recorded at an earlier time many years ago, but we also believe that these messages are absolutely important as we walk the journey of life. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. It's because of people like you that we can continue.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner people to stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

Here's what you can do to find more info go to RTW RTW Click on the endurance partner button or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 but now let us listen carefully and discover what we need to do if we are serious about changing our lives is once a man in the Middle Ages we use to make links for change and his links were made so strong that he used to brag about it is to tell other people that when you see a link with my mark on it. You know that it's a link that cannot be broken. And one day that man committed a crime and he was put in jail and he was confident that he was going to get out of jail but he discovered that the changes by which he had been bound were chained that had his own mark the very links that he had made in the links that he had manufactured became the links that bound him and how often it is in life that we get ourselves into habits that bind us habits that are almost like the links of a chain that cramp us and that tie us down and confine us. Often times these habits are things that develop simply because we perhaps as we go along in life we develop wrong thought patterns in these thought patterns eventually lead to certain types of behavior and then that behavior ensnares this and we cry out to God to be delivered and sometimes were not delivered even though we cry up to him for deliverance and sometimes those habits become so bad that they may become something like alcohol and alcoholism. And how many people there are in the world who would just like to be free of alcohol. They just like to be able to shed that word and that weight and they genuinely try to be free and they determined that they will be free and they vow that they will be free and they promise their wives that they will be free but they're not then you find that there are those who develop habits such as the pattern of worry and pretty soon after years and years of worry, we develop that habit and we just learn to live with it and we learn to cope with it and we learn to accept it until suddenly.

Our system breaks down under its weight, but basically we have become enslaved by a bad habit now oftentimes were told that the way in which you break a bad habit is to yield to the Lord so there many people who in moments the usually of guilt, usually after they've gone through that same cycle over and over again and they begin to see that their lives are becoming ensnared in a very dangerous path. They cry up to God and they sailed on yield and they really are sincere, but it doesn't last. You know what happens to a person like that they go through a cycle in their lives were they repeatedly yield to the Lord and they commit the same sin over and over again the same habit, time and time again until they become deeply, deeply disillusioned, and the latter state of people like that become worse than the former. If you want to find out how to avoid that. You have to come back next week but you know that as a result of these habits that we tend to develop. We sometimes wonder why it is that the temptations in life that lead to those habits. We wonder why it is that those temptations are so desperately strong and before I get into some principles tonight. I'd like to. By way of introduction comment on that. You know that I teach at Moody Bible Institute, and sometimes the students at Moody come to see me and they say why is it that the temptations of life that ensnare us.

Why are those temptations so desperately powerful, why is it that a person can burn and be consumed so easily with loss student covetousness and pride. Why is it that God doesn't do something to make life easier and you know that he could he could. God could just go like that and he could exterminate the devil now that it help, wouldn't it. If God were to do away with the devil. It would make life a whole lot easier for a lot of people. And you know God could do it. Why doesn't he, so that our choice in life would be a little bit more easy.

And that it would be weighted in the direction of God rather than in the direction of sin. God could do that, you know that something else that God could do is he could create us with natures even if they were sinful natures he could make it so that our natures were not quite so desire is to be enticed with evil. Now God could do that he could take some of those passions that are within us and he could somehow ease the money could throw some cold water on them and then the choice to serve God could be easy or God could put us in places we won't be tempted quite so strongly.

Have you ever said to yourself all. I wouldn't have done that but look at where I was. Look at the person that God put next to me.

I wouldn't of fallen into that sin. But why is it that God allowed these circumstances to happen, and as a result of those circumstances I fail into my old habits I would become angry. But look at who I married her fault tell you I've got some things to say about that in the series. I've got some things to say about it, but I want you to know that one of the reasons why God lets us be tempted so strongly is because he wants to develop. For one thing, within us great self understanding. He wants you to get a good look at how we can wicked you are.

He wants you to know that there is within you the capacity for all sorts of sins. Don't you ever think that your heart your sinful nature is a lot purer and better than Hitler's. The only thing that distinguishes us from all the criminals in the world is our environment and the grace of God than God sometimes wants to simply show us how evil we are, and therefore he allows the temptations and he allows us to be in circumstances just to prove that we are apart from his grace desperately wicked.

You know that there is something else though the God wants to do in the temptations in the habits of life. He wants to give us a clear choice to choose in his direction. He really does and he wants that choice to be made so clear that he says offer a whole lot of temptation and the way to give you lots of chances to see whether or not you really love me, you can't say that you love somebody until you've had to make a hard choice in their favor. You can't say that you love your wife until you've taken care of her when she's been sick or when some tragedies happen we can say that we love God with all our hearts are whole minded OR whole so and we can say that we lovely them without consuming passion until we have faced the strongest temptation and we have said all God because of you will.

I will resist that temptation and I will choose in your direction. God says that's why throw lots of temptation in your path give you lots of opportunity to make sure that your loyalty lies in the right direction and God is concerned and interested in doing that in our lives and so he allows us to be put into places where we are tempted, in fact, sometimes he puts us there he puts is there and so one of the things that God wants to do is to develop a bat and he wants to do something else and that is show us his power show us his power, and if you today are bound by some habit that you'd like to get rid of.

If there is something that you just like to be able to shake and you've tried a thousand times and you haven't God wants to display his power and he wants to show that he can deliver you because he can. Is there a song that says he breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free his blood can make the vilest clean in his blood availed for the and God can deliver you. He can deliver you from laziness he can deliver you from sensuality he can deliver you from a hot temper. He can deliver you from worry he can deliver you from covetousness he can deliver you because he's in the business of delivering you and if you have a problem like that. I just am really glad tonight that you do not because I rejoice in your sin, but I rejoice in what God is going to teach you as a result of the deliverance process. That's the whole reason why he doesn't do away with the devil, that's the reason why he doesn't make it easier is he wants us to use every temptation and every bad habit as a steppingstone and he wants to use it to teach us and to purchase and to conform us to Christ's image and so he throws all of these difficulties in our path and we get ourselves entangled in all sorts of bad habits and messes because God says I want to use that in your life to show you my power and my greatness and my grace doesn't justify your sin or your habit but it shows you the might and the ability of a God who can take hold of the messes of life and can use those messes as stepping stones and he wants to be able to take the temptations in your life and turn them into triumphs. So don't become upset if you're in a bad habit become upset with the habit, but I want you to know that there is hope and there is deliverance and I want you to be able to focus on that deliverance because God can free you. God can for you now what I like to do is to ask you to turn with me this evening to the third chapter of Genesis Genesis chapter 3 because I want to give you tonight.

Three things that you've got to believe in order to be set free from your bad habit. Three things that you must believe you must believe now believing these three things in themselves will not deliver you but they will set the foundation for deliverance. You know, Genesis chapter 3 is a great chapter because here's where all of our problems got started, and it shows you how Satan works and that he works the very same way today.

He's not like General Motors. He doesn't bring out a new model every year basically the same things that Satan uses the same tactics are used today I want to give you three things that you've got to believe very deeply before you become a candidate for deliverance.

The first thing that you have to be convinced of is this that God is good God is good. Do you know that this temptation in the garden of Eden was basically casting doubt on God's goodness your member.

It says in verse two that the woman said to the serpent from the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die, and the serpent said on the woman you shall not surely die for God knows that in the day that you eat thereof.

Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Do you see what Satan is saying he is saying Eve don't you understand, God is withholding something very good from you. God is withholding from you the privilege of knowing good from evil of having your eyes open and of being enlightened as a matter of fact, if you disobey him that if you eat of that tree you will actually become like him. But God isn't good and he wants to rob you from that privilege and because he wants to rob you of that privilege. He has said don't do it. But listen, God hasn't gone to your best interests in mind. How do you know there are many people today who think that if God were to deliver them from their sinful habit they would be missing out on some gray pleasure.

And that's why they don't really want to be delivered a student in one of our Bible schools here in America said, quote some of the students in this school.

Look at the world and think they have been shipped.

Do you know that if you ever work with young people, you discover that the number one problem with young people, and I might add, of older people to accept that they are more subtle. The number one problem is that they and the the wicked. They believe that God is withholding something good and they believe that in their sensuality, and in their habits of laziness and in their habits of covetousness they really believe that if God were to deliver them that they would be missing out on some thing that is pleasurable in life and consequently they are not convinced that the way of God is better than the way of the devil you know that that's number one problem. That's the number one problem with people who come to other people for counseling. They are not convinced that if they were to give up their sin and they were to give up their bitterness.

They are not convinced that that would be right because after all, that would not be pleasurable because then you couldn't get even with the person against whom you have that grudge.

People basically believe that they have some pleasure even the end of their sin that they don't like to give up and tonight you cannot give up that sinful habit until you are convinced that the pleasures of sin are not nearly as satisfying as the pleasures that exist on God's right hand. You can't give up your cinemas, your convinced event.

It is only when you say God I believe that your fullness and knowledge of you and freedom is better than slavery to some of the sinful things I'm doing. It is only when you come to that conclusion that you are a candidate for God's deliverance. Although Satan does this do you know what he said to Eve, he said EA hath God said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden and then you remember Eve said yes we may eat of them all except one. There probably were hundreds of trees in the garden of Eden that they could eat from the Satan point out to Eve all of the trees that she can eat from all know know he zeroes in on the one that she can't eat from and it is not one that he magnifies and exaggerates and in the process he blinds arise to all of the things that she can do in the garden. Now Satan is the same way he comes to you and he says you mean to say that God says you can do this well. I really think that you're going to miss out on some pleasure in life. You mean to say that your God restricts you and you have one thing that you can do or five things you can do just to think you go around once in life and you've got to grab for all the gusto you can get and you won't get any gusto. If you follow God and some people believe him.

Isn't it tragic to think that there are some things that we can't do if were yielded to Jesus Christ but do you know that for the things that we cannot do. There are 101 blessings waiting for us to participate in and we are participants of the oceans of God's infinite and matchless grace and Satan blinds us to that and he zeroes in on the one or two things that supposedly give pleasure and say you mean to say that your God wouldn't let you do that and I want you to realize then that the first thing that you have to believe with all of your heart, is that God is good and slavery to God is much better than slavery to the devil.

It is better to be a servant of the most high, than it is to be a servant of the devil and you've got a believe that with all of your heart. You have to believe that God is not in heaven. Simply taking the fun out of life, you have to believe that the commandments of God are basically given not only for God's glory. Though they are that but also for our good and if you don't believe that I don't whether you're going to be delivered. I really do. I think that you will look at the world or look at your sinful habit and say I'm going to keep it because if God delivers me. I'm going to miss out on something and if you aren't convinced that God's way is best you're going to get back into the old sinful patterns. You know, this is Pastor Luther I have to say that what I just preached is absolutely true. I believe many people don't make progress in their lives spiritually speaking, because they doubt the goodness of God. They don't think that God is really trustworthy. They think that if they submit to him. He's going to demand of them things that are going to be very unpleasant when they forget that ultimately God is sovereign.

Anyway, bottom line, let's believe that he is good and submit. I want to thank the many of you who continue to minister to us here at running to win. Did you know that running to win is now heard all throughout the country of Nigeria. We are so pleased and this is possible because of the many people who support this ministry, Nigeria in Africa is its most populous country with over 200 million people.

And despite a surge of Christian missionaries and evangelists. Nigeria has one of the largest Muslim populations in west Africa, but running to win. Is there running to win is heard throughout the country.

This of course rejoices my heart but it's because of people like you. As I mentioned, just a moment ago would you consider standing with us regularly with your prayers and your gifts becoming an endurance partner. That's the way to do it. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Would you consider helping us on a regular basis.

Once again RTW Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time once again for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. All agree that some theological pursuits are a waste of time, such as asking how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, but one of our thoughtful listeners has come up with this challenge for you Dr. Luther are there now all the angels that there will ever be, or will more be created. Well, I think that the first of all, the Bible doesn't speak to that but I am of the conviction that there will not be more created.

I think when God decided to create the angelic host and I love that phrase in the Psalms that says he commanded, and they were created. I think God created myriads and myriads of angels and he probably created enough so I don't think more are going to be created.

Simple question. Simple answer. Thank you Dr. 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 us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. We must believe that God is good. That's the first of three prerequisites for change.

The second of four messages Dr. Erwin Luther's series on getting to know next time more things. We must believe before we can be free. Thanks for listening, Dr. Erwin Luther this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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