HABITS

DEFINITIONA habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously.  It is a fixed way of thinking, feeling, and acting.

FACTS ABOUT HABITS:

There are good and bad habits.  All habits are not bad.  Habits like a daily devotional time, prayer, and study of God’s Word are good habits to foster.  Bad habits are the problems for which you should seek change.

Some examples of bad habits are addictions, laziness, being critical, gossiping, selfishness, cursing, etc. For believers, bad habits are anything that turn you from God and lead you to respond in an unbiblical way.

Habits begin in the mind.  Lust conceives the thought, the thought becomes an action, and the repeated action becomes a sinful habit (James 1:13-15).  Guard your thoughts because they become words and actions, these become habits, and habits affect your character.

Bad habits become strongholds.  Spiritually speaking, a stronghold is anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  A stronghold is a spiritual point of operation from where Satan can attack you further.  Strongholds include things like sinful attitudes and addictions as well as habits that enslave you and result in you doing what you don’t want to do.

Habits can be changed.  The Bible says:   “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Your spiritual weapons, described in Ephesians 6, have supernatural power to demolish strongholds  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

DEALING WITH  HABITS:

Take personal responsibility for your bad habits.  Do not blame someone else because they modeled or taught you such behavior.

Analyze the root cause of your bad habit.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  When did you develop this habit?   For example, did you start smoking because everyone else was doing it? Discovering why you are doing something will help you conquer it.

Pray about your habits.  Confess sinful habits it to God, ask forgiveness, and claim His strength to help you overcome it (Philippians 4:13).

Put off  old habits and replace them with new.   For each bad habit, attitude, or behavior that the Bible admonishes you to put off,  you are also admonished to “put on”  good ones to replace them.   This means you deliberately–by a decision of your mind–cultivate the opposite of your negative behaviors.  See Appendix Three of this database for behaviors the Bible mandates believers to put off and the new qualities that are to replace them. Focus on building good habits rather than eliminating the bad (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Renew your mind in the Word of God.  Habitual behavior begins in the mind.  It starts as a decision to act or think in a certain way.  As you renew your mind with the Word of God, you will be transformed and break the power of  bad habits  (Romans 12:1-2).

Use the buddy system. If you are trying to break a bad habit like smoking or binge eating, find someone else who is wanting to eliminate the same habit and encourage one another in the process (James 5:16).

Conquer your bad habits in the strength of the Lord.  Philippians 4:13 declares that you can do all things through the strength given by Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 4:15-16 states that you will have help in times of need.

Develop positive spiritual habits.  Habits like a daily devotional time, prayer, and study of God’s Word are excellent habits to foster.

Use your spiritual weapons when Satan tempts you to resume old habits (Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  These weapons have supernatural power to demolish strongholds.  Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7).

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT HABITS:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:15-16)

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  (James 1:13-15)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-10)

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