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Developing Habits Of Righteousness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2021 1:00 am

Developing Habits Of Righteousness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 8, 2021 1:00 am

It’s one thing to resolve to break a bad habit. But what works a lot better is to resolve to develop a good habit. We can jump off the starting blocks into a whole new life with positive habits that can fill the vacuum of our former bondage to bad habits. In this message we learn how.

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The reason for us to Jesus phone number for it's one thing to resolve that what works a lot better used to resolve to develop a good we can jump off the starting blocks into a whole new life, positive habits that can fill the vacuum of our former bondage today will learn how church Chicago this morning with Dr. Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line leads are why is it easier to maintain bad habit is to develop good ones.

To put it varies.

The fact is that we are actually desire driven. I remember years ago reading an article by the great theologian Jonathan Edwards and he proves that conclusively people who have a desire for God are attracted to the word of God.

People who have desires toward the flesh will walk in fleshly ways and because we are all fallen. We all gravitate to habits that are destructive. Now here's what God wants us to do. He wants us to understand that there is a different path.

It's his path. It involves accountability. It involves acknowledging our sin, but we don't have to stay where we are.

I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit. This book is been a tremendous blessing to a lot of people and I believe it will help you in your walk with God. It'll not only help you, but you can think of other people also that it will bless and give a path forward for gift of any amount.

It can be yours. You go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 RTW or 1-888-218-9337. God does not want you to stay where you are. You don't have to be stuck. You can move forward. Listen carefully. It was once a man who was involved in an adulterous affair. He was a Christian man. In fact he was a Christian leader and of course as a result of this relationship. He was deeply deeply troubled, and in much guilt. Sometimes he would take his Bible and he would read long passages of Scripture that condemned the sin of adultery and he would vow that he would never, never, never do that again.

There's also another man that I know who decided after smoking for 20 years that he was going to kick the habit he had tried many many times before but this time it was desperately important that he do so and so he decided that he would in fact he made a schedule of how many cigarettes he was going to smoke per day and decrease that number as time went on and he had it all worked out that under no circumstances would he do anything else than break that habit. I also know a woman who was under great depression, deep bitterness and she vowed that she would give up that bitterness. She cried to God that she would give up that bitterness and with his help and with his with committing herself totally to God, she sometimes prayed for hours for deliverance that you might not be better that one of the amazing things about all of these three incidences, all of which are true is simply this, that in each case, the people were Christians in each case they return to back to their same habits and in each case, the latter's state was worse than the former.

In the case of the Christian man involved in this affair. He ended up divorcing his wife wrecking his family. Her family, causing a tremendous amount of heartache in his own life and in the lives of his children. In the case of the man who was going to give up smoking. He eventually did not hold to his habit but went back to it again and now is more firmly convinced than ever that he could never possibly give up that habit and he doesn't even want to try in the case of the woman who was bitter, she is still bitter.

Only now, her bitterness has turned to deep depression.

All three of these called on God for help and they yielded themselves to the Lord and they said, Lord, help me and apparently he didn't.

Is that amazing. Now you can say oh they were insincere. You know if they would've really really really yielded themselves to God that would never happen. You can't really say that because I believe that they were sincere. I believe that they were as sincere as it is possible for people under those conditions to be in the gospel which the Bible says is the power of God onto salvation did not change them startling isn't it. But it's true. How can that happen. Why is it that when we become new creatures in Jesus Christ.

We can sometimes go along in life and develop a sinful habit and even ask God to help us and he doesn't seem to how you break those sinful habits. Well I'm going to tell you three reasons why the three people that I mentioned didn't break their sinful habit and then were going to turn to the Scriptures, which is the place were always the answers come and will see how that the Bible makes provisions for all three problems that I'm going to talk about isn't it wonderful how many of you read your Bibles. Can I see your hands. Please, 64, that's not too bad at Moody church year's amazing know-how that the Bible has answers to questions that are very important in our lives.

Let me give you three reasons why it was that they did not break their sinful habits even though they yielded themselves to God. At one point in time. Number one they misunderstood the purpose they misunderstood the purpose of struggles. You see, they didn't realize that one of the things that God wanted to do in their lives was more than simply break this sinful habit. They didn't realize that God wanted to do a major overhaul job on them and that in doing that they would be driven very, very close to God.

They didn't look at it that way. In the case of the man who was involved in this affair. He was concerned only that God take care of that one situation and leave the rest of his life on touched. You see, God wanted to move into his life and do much more than simply break that sinful habit.

God wanted him to establish a new relationship with his wife and get some problems that they had had for many years straightened out God wanted him to straighten out his relationship with his children and become a brand-new man in his mind and is hard in his soul, but he didn't see that all he wanted was deliverance in one little area.

He wanted a new spark plug in his car.

God wanted to give them the major overhaul. You know you take the man who is interested in breaking his habit of smoking.

You know why he wanted to break that habit because the doctor said that he might die of lung cancer and that's a good reason to try to kick a habit. But that wasn't radical enough, God wasn't interested merely in dishing out a little bit of victory to this man so that he could overcome that here was a man who was basically Col. who had taken no spiritual leadership in his home.

Here was a man that God wanted to use going through this process of victory to develop him into a mature, godly individual with a very close walk to Jehovah, the Lord God, but he wasn't interested in that he was interested in taking a habit so that he won't die of lung cancer. See, God wanted to use this as a steppingstone I was speaking recently to a homosexual who was able to overcome those habits and become normal in his relationships. He is one of the most godly men I know. I don't know of any man who is as sensitive to the Lord and sensitive as to how to handle temptation.

Is this man, why because in the process of overcoming that bad habit he was driven into the Scriptures and he was driven close to God and he learned principles that branch out into all areas of life and that's what God wants to do to you if you're here tonight and you've got a bad habit.

You can rejoice because you've probably got some company sitting very close to you and that if you're here tonight and you've got a bad habit.

You can rejoice because God wants to use it as a tremendous steppingstone to develop character in your life and to make you an man and a woman of God that you've never been before that in the process of overcoming that you might be driven close to the arms of the Almighty. In the case of the woman who was bitter.

She wanted to overcome her bitterness because she found out that being bitter is not a whole lot of fun.

But you know God wanted her to confess your sins of self-pity that led to that bitterness and he wanted to get all sorts of things straightened out that she wouldn't let him touch that all that she wanted was to feel better and God isn't in the business of just making people feel better. Number one they misunderstood the purpose of trial. Their goal was to limited.

They didn't see the total picture. They didn't see what God wanted to do radically in their hearts number two they misunderstood the principal or they didn't understand it all.

The principle of replacement a replacement. Now that's a word that I've just thrown in for want of a better one. Maybe you can think of a better term, but let me explain what I mean.

Jesus once said that when a demon goes out of a man and his exercise that demon may travel, seeking rest and finding none, and then he finds out that the man whom he left that his whole life is empty, clean and available, and so that demon goes and gets seven others that are more wicked than he, and they inhabit that man and the latter end of that man is worse than the former. Now what was wrong. It is not enough merely to exorcise a demon unless you put something in its place. It is not enough simply to be able to say I will not do the works of the flesh, my friend, you will do the works of the flesh unless you realize that dogs principle is to take a life and to fill it with the Holy Spirit and with his word to push out the work of the flesh, and if you leave a vacuum if you simply renounce sin and then do nothing else, that sin would be back just like that and you will be worse off because you'll say ha ha ha. There is no victory in your latter end will be worse than your former and they misunderstood that. Do you know that the Bible doesn't talk about breaking habits is they will.

Why did you call your series than breaking a sinful habit will preachers do something. Sometimes, that aren't necessarily biblical now. I called it breaking a sinful habit. But you know what the Bible speaks about not so much breaking habits as will see from the word of God. It talks always about replacing them. It always says it do not do this. But do this this this this and this, because there's no such thing as victory in a vacuum, there's no such thing is simply trying to renounce a certain sin without feeling your whole life with a whole lot of other things that will replace it. There's 1/3 thing that these people misunderstood and that is they misunderstood the futility the futility of self effort. Did you know that one of the worst things you can do when you want to really break a habit really get a hold of the temptation. One of the worst things that you can do is determine that you will never, never, never, never do this thing again. Did you know that that does not help. I was just amazed. I was thinking that this past week and I was listening to a tape and I heard a psychologist say end he supposed to know whereof he speaks. Doesn't he. He said, self effort is the most useless step in overcoming an undesirable habit, a resolution not to fall into a previous behavior pattern actually causes us to do it and reinforces that behavior you take a man, for example, he says I am not going to take another drink. No, not me, not another drink and all the while he is thinking of that bottle and thinking of how nice it would be if he could take a man, for example, he says I'm never going to last. Again, I'm never going to last time never going to lost in all the while he's beginning to think of what it would be like if he could and 30 Sunnis back to the same behavior patterns, self effort, actually. According to this man. I think he's right reinforces the very things that we determined not to do. That's why it is that so many people who really determined that they're going to be different, never are. Now what I'd like you to do is to take your Bibles and turn to the third chapter of the book of Colossians. Because in Colossians chapter 3, I think that we find here an answer to all three of these things that God wants to do in our lives. In breaking a sinful habit.

Colossians chapter 3 and I'm going to take out time to read the first 10 verses and I want you to notice very carefully that as I read Paul is not only saying what we shouldn't do, but he saying that we should is that if you then have been raised with Jesus Christ.

Keep seeking the things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above and not on the things that are on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body is dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry, for it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them. You also once walked when you were living in them. But now you also put them aside anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie one to another, since you have laid aside the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him was just read that far for a moment I want you to notice three observations from this passage of Scripture regarding the way in which we should live our lives.

The first is this. If you are interested in breaking that sinful habit number one you must re-adjust your values.

Notice this if you have been raised with Christ, and you are in the Greek text. Incidentally, there's no doubt about the fact that you have been raised. It could be translated since you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. In other words, one of the things that God wants us to do is to so readjust our values in life that we realize that the important things are the things that are not seen.

Like Moses, your member who endured as seeing him who is invisible and is so readjust our lives that we will realize that our temptations and our struggles and our bad habits are to be broken by the spirit of the Lord so that we will be more and more conformed to what God wants is not a matter of God simply dishing out a little bit of victory here in a little bit of victory. There, she gets a matter of God taking us through a process. A process of struggle and development and maturity that ultimately we might re-organize our entire lives. That's what God wants. And one of thing.

It is when God wants to do that in our lives, and he uses the bad habits to do it. That's right.

I'm not justifying the bad habits.

But as you overcome some of the things that you have begun to do God will see that he wants to do something much more than simply clean up one little area of your life. Think of Abraham. The Bible says in Genesis chapter 22 verse one and God did tempt Abraham you say oh no, no, God doesn't tempt people well yes he does. He leads them to the place of temptation.

Now I realize that in James. The Bible says that God does not tempt anyone and if you read the rest of those verses. You'll find very clearly. It says that in that context. Temptation means a solicitation to evil. God does not cause us to sin. When we sin we must take responsibility for that. But God doesn't lead us to the place of temptation just like the Holy Spirit drove Christ into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And so the Bible says that God tempted Abraham tempted him to do what well through my challenges that are you going to obey me or are you going to obey your own desires. Are you going to be willing to slay your son or are you not what a tremendous temptation for Abraham to say I will not obey God. I won't kill my boy don't you think he was tempted to do it.

Of course, but you remember that when Abraham was finished. That temptation had he won, and he chosen God's favor that the angel of the Lord came out of heaven and spoke to him and you remember that the angel of the Lord told Abraham not to sacrifice his son and eventually remember there was a ram caught in the thicket and Abraham took that ram and offered them for sacrifice to God. But the Bible says that Abraham named in that place of Joe over to Gyro the Lord will provide. What does that mean it means that Abraham received a new revelation of God. Think of all of the new thoughts that Abraham had in his mind as he left that mountain. Think of all of the new insights that he had into God and into his working as a result of that struggle. His knowledge and his appreciation of the Lord to God Jehovah was in lie and that's what God wants to do when he rigs you of that sinful habit. God wants you to re-adjust your values that you might see that the important things are the things that are not seen on the unimportant things are the things that we work for every day the things that are seen now. You'll begin to see then that God has something much broader and much more important in mind. You know what God's will is for us, don't you, you know, sometimes we quote that verse Romans 828 we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. You know it says in the next verse, whom he did for no he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son. That is the good that is referred to in the preceding verse and you see, God works all things together for good. That is to say, he takes all of the struggles of life wife, that we might be conformed to the image of his son. That's what God wants to do in your life. It's not just a matter of giving you victory over a sliver of your existence.

It is that he might be able to begin old much larger work you have to readjust your values and say do I really have my priorities in life straight.

Have I really allowed God to show me what is important.

This is Pastor Luther and those are very important questions. Aren't they. I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit.

I want you to know it's more than just talking about stubborn habits. It's really how to live a life of holiness how to move in the right direction. I believe that this book will be a great blessing to you and I also think that you already know people who also would benefit from it now for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. You go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that info again give you time to get a pencil, but at the same time I want to thank you so much for your support of this ministry. If you've been blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win. It's because other people have made investments in this ministry and that enables us to spread this good news throughout 20 different countries in three different languages you're a part of what we are doing. I want to thank you so much for helping us and our desire here at running to win as you frequently here is to help you make it successfully all the way to the finish line in the book I've written, entitled how to break a stubborn habit.

I believe will help you do just that.

Remember it's a bigger picture as to what God wants to do in the life of every one of us are a gift of any amount.

It can be yours. Go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Meanwhile let us take heed as we walk with God that we might do so in obedience always desiring his will. Knowing that in the end, it is best following him is the way to fulfillment and to look back on a life that has been well lived. I think this book will help you how to break a stubborn habit. You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 next time will get into Colossians chapter 3 with Dr. Erwin Lucerne was brought part one developing habits of righteousness, the third of four messages in his series on getting to know.

Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin Lucerne this is Dave McAllister running to win his sponsor teacher

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