The power of a changed mind Pt II
The power to change bad habits
Synopsis of sermon 10/11/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Romans 6:12-13: 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
The great equalizer in this place is our bad habits. 1 John 8-9 – says if you say you have no sins, you are a lie and truth is not in you. We all have areas in our life that are called bad habits. Ex- Moses had a habit of murder, Solomon had a habit of having concubines, and Peter had a habit to talking too much and not talking enough when he should have. Paul was saved on Damascus Road. After his conversion experience, he became sold out for the experience of Christ. In Romans 7, Paul vacillates between what he should do and what he shouldn’t do. 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh. He asked God to remove it and the Lord said no because his grace was sufficient enough to sustain him.
All of us have struggles or bad habits. We have to realize that we don’t have to struggle with our bad habits by ourselves. God is able to help us overcome every bad habit in our life. The devil wants to taint our witness, through our bad habits. No matter how deep our habits are in our blood line, if we want to overcome it, we can overcome it. It will be hard to identify who has bad habits just by just looking at them, because we have all become masters of covering our habits up. In fact someone sitting next to you right now is thinking about their bad habit as we speak. There is someone reading this right now that thinking about their bad habits.
Paul says whatever you yield yourself to, is what you will be a slave to. Romans 6:16: 16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?- This scripture simply asks what you are going to be a slave to. If you have bad habits, you have to ask yourself what is the source of your struggle?
I. Acknowledge the source of the struggle
1. What are we dealing with? Habits manifest in the flesh. Ephesians 6:12: 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. -We have to recognize where the battle really is. There is a war going on between the spirit and the flesh. The Devil wants to make you a slave to your flesh.
2. Steps that make you a slave to your flesh:
a. Words produce your thinking.
b. Thinking drives your emotions.
c. Your emotions dictate your decisions.
d. Your decisions determine your action.
e. Your actions shape your habits.
f. Your habits form your character.
g. Your character determines your destiny.
3. Whatever you speak is often what you thinking. Ex-Some people will tell you they didn’t mean to say what they said, but truthfully, they had been thinking it for a long time. They just didn’t mean for you to hear them say it. What you think affects your decisions, your decisions prompt your actions, your actions change your habits, and habits form your character. The thing you do consistently forms who we are. Ex-We like alcohol, don’t know when to say no, then we become an alcoholic.
4. The habit you are struggling with is a window the devil needs to bring a curse into your family. This is the avenue the devil uses to bring curses into your life. Habit has little to do with you and a lot to do with generations behind you. The habits you deal with now are about the demons passed down through your blood line. Ex-When we are entering relationships, we should ask how did this person’s mother and father act towards each other. If you go to the doctor, most of questions they ask on the questionnaire have nothing to do with you, but a lot to do with your family. The point is that you can look at the family and see what habits or flaws a person may have a potential to have. Exodus 34:7: 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. – This scripture tells how sin can be passed from one generation to the other which is often referred to as a curse. The devil wants the habit to shape your character to form your destiny. One little thing can affect our whole future. This is why the bible says the Devil comes to seek steal and destroy.
5. We have to know the source of our curse. The devil has used our habit to come in and affect our destiny. Many say they love the Lord but do not know what it really takes. Galatians 3:13: 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: -Jesus took the curse off of you and put in himself. Christ means anointed one. This is the day we have to declare that Satan is defeated. We are no longer going to let the curse affect our life. Go to the source of how your habit began? Satan feeds our habits. Ex-You don’t just wake up addicted to drugs. Your habits are made up of years of stuff. Until you go to the source of your habit, you will never overcome it.
II. Amenable to specific sacrifices
1. You got to be willing to obey. James 1:22: 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. – Don’t just be a hearer of the word, but a doer of the word. Remember in Psalm 1:1: 1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. – Whomever you walk with, you will end in the same situation, because you get comfortable hanging there. Remember birds of a feather flock together. In other words, if you hang around mess, you will eventually end up in mess, because you get comfortable in the mess.
2. What brings about discomfort of your habit is the word. James 1:2: 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; – If you still have a habit and you are still comfortable in it, then it suggests that you are not getting enough word. The word is what makes you uncomfortable with your habit. You got to get to a point that you lose your desire for your habit. You have to get the word so embedded in you, you will want to stop. This is why the Devil doesn’t want you to get the word. Ex-When the word is embedded in you, when you try to go back and revisit your habit, you no longer feel comfortable anymore, because you no longer fit in.
3. The word will stalk you. Paul says when you obey this word, you stop being comfortable. We have to say that whatever it takes, we are willing to deal with this habit.
4. It will take crucifixion. 1 Corinthians 15:31: 31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. -stuff be rising up in us every day, but we have to crucify it. 1 Peter 4:1-2: 1Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. –Having crucified the habit, we no longer suffer in your flesh any longer. Galatians 5:24-25: 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – live and walk in the spirit. .
5. Crucifixion is always public. Galatians 2:20: 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. -When they crucified Christ, they did so publicly. Part of crucifixion is humiliation. Crucifixion is not designed d to be comfortable. It is suppose to stretch you. Everyone wants the blessing, but no one wants to die. Ex-Bishop explains he tried to kill some roaches one day. He recalls his Dad saying until you get something to kill all the roaches, they are going to keep coming. This is the formula for removing all bad habits. You got to kill it all when it comes to habits. We have to kill everything by saying “Lord we subject ourselves to the cross”. If you are going to be what God wants you to be, you have to be willing to go through crucifixion.
III. Available to surrender to the savior
1. If you could handle your habit, we wouldn’t have the habit. This must mean that there must be something deeper that we must do aside from coming to church when it comes to handling our habits. After all, many of us come to church, yet still struggle with habits. Dealing with our habits involves surrender. Paul opens up by saying whatever you surrender yourself to, you will be a slave to. Ex- The problem with commitment is not commitment. Our problem with commitment is focus. Your issue is not commitment; it is what you are committed to that is the problem.
2. We got saved growing up and a word was used that got lost along the way. Converted is the word. Conversion experiences are powerful, because they are deeper than church. The whole idea of being in church is the encounter with Christ. When a thing is converted, you are really changing the use of the same thing you were using. Romans 6:17-We were one thing, but now we are not. – If you really want to break your bad habit, ask the Lord to covert you. You have to say, “Lord, work on my heart and my attitude.’ We need a total re-haul. Ex- Bishop tells of a story of a friend of his having a store. He explains the store is junky, because it is cluttered. He has stuff unrelated to what he supposed to be selling laying all around the store. There is an accumulation of insignificant items throughout the store. One day Bishop goes to the store and sees a sign that says pardon the mess. (Kind of how God does when he remodels our life. He says to others, pardon the mess). Bishop asks for his friend and the new Manager says he bought his friend out. The new Manager purchased the store and was cleaning the clutter out and remodeling the store. Just like this, Jesus came and bought us out. If you let Jesus buy you out, he will put you under new management and remove the trash out of your life. He we remodel you so you can get a fresh start. God can handle your bad habits!