Monday, September 17, 2007

How to Break-free from a Bad Habit

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Every one of us have SOMETHING to rejoice about. God is so good and faithful to us!

As I type this blog, my heart is overjoyed at the day we had yesterday. We celebrated our 60th Anniversary as a church (First Assembly of God-West Memphis, AR), and what an awesome time it was. Our service in the Family Life Center included a song sung by former choir members, and it was beautiful, as well as emotional. We then had a 27 minute slide presentation that took us down memory lane, along with many displays from years and decades gone by. Former Pastor, Bruce McCarty then preached the sermon and did a great job. After the service, we then went to Eugene Woods Community Center and had a great time of fellowship and food. Those of us that are a part of First Assembly of God in West Memphis are so blessed to have such a rich heritage and history. Once again, we were reminded in many ways, of how faithful God has been to us. He doesn't change, and is the SAME yesterday, today and forever. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making our celebration such a HUGE success. We couldn't have done it without you.

This morning in prayer, the Lord began to deal with me about the importance of breaking bad habits. I am going to spend this week discussing "How to BREAKFREE from a bad habit."

Every one of us has bad habits. I've got a lot of them. You've got some, too. Some of our bad habits are obvious. Some of them are kind of hidden. It doesn't matter. Either way they mess up our lives and keep us from being all that God wants us to be.

What do you do when you want to break a bad habit? One of the things is go over to a book Store and look at all the self help books because there are thousands of books out there that will help you overcome bad habits. They may tell you some things to do but they don't have the power, they don't have the energy to bring about genuine, lasting change. You've read some of these books. I have, too. They'll say things like, "Take control of your life." Right! I can't take control of today, much less my entire life. Telling a person, "Shape up! Get rid of all your bad habits. Take control of your life" is like saying to a guy who's fallen off a skyscraper, "Stop falling!" He'd love to stop falling, but he doesn't have the power.

"... they are slaves of destructive habits -- for a man is a slave of anything that has conquered him." 2 Peter 2:19 (GN)

2 Peter 2:19 (NIV) They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

Today, we're going to begin to look at God's way. What the Bible says about "How to break a bad habit." Nine steps to break your bad habit. I put these nine steps in an acrostic so you'll remember them. They spell out BREAK FREE. We will look at the first two today.


Proverbs 27:1 says "Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then." In other words, don't start next month, don't start next week, tomorrow. Start today. Every day that you procrastinate on changing a bad habit it gets more deeply ingrained. Every day you put off changing the things you know should be changed in your life, they become more habitual. They become stronger with delay. God says, "Don't wait! Don't put it off. Do it today."

Ecclesiastes 11:4 (Living Bible) "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" There's never a better time than now. You need to quit saying, "One of these days I'm going to get my act together... One of these days I'm going to get right with God ... One of these days I'm going to do what I know is the right thing to do..." "One of these days" is "none of these days". Do it now.

Think of a habit you'd like to change. We're going to start now.


You'll never break out of any bad habit until you accept responsibility personally and you say, "This is my problem." It's human nature that we love to blame everybody else for all the problems in our lives, all of our unhappiness. Our favorite phrase in America today is, "It's not my fault." We like to excuse and accuse. We excuse ourselves from all of our faults, our failures, our flops, and flubs and we love to accuse everybody else and point out their irregularities, their sins, their malfunctions, and their dysfunction and on and on. We accuse and excuse. It's human nature. We hide and we hurl. We hide our sins, we hide our faults and then we hurl little bombs at everybody else. Verbal bombs...

The most bizarre, the most insane thing is when we blame God for our problems. God lets us have a free will and then we make all kinds of stupid decisions and we get ourselves into a mess. And when we get into a mess we say, "Why did You do this, God?" We blame Him for problems that we bring on ourselves. God says, "You're the one who did it. I gave you the free will and your decision was to do that. You're reaping the results."

This is not a new problem. Notice what the Bible says: Proverbs

"Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then they blame the Lord." This was true of Adam. Remember the devil tempted Eve and she ate of the fruit and then she gave it to Adam. God came to Adam and said, "What's going on?" God knew exactly what was going on. He just wanted Adam to admit what was going on. Adam, when he sinned, took it just like a man. He blamed his wife. In Genesis, he said, "The woman you gave me." "It's your fault, God. I didn't ask for this woman. You gave her to me. If she wasn't in my life, of course I would have been perfect."

Who do you blame for your unhappiness? Your kids? Your spouse? A former spouse? An employer or employee? A fellow church member? A parent? Or are you blaming God for your problems? The devil? -- "the devil made me do it!" -- society, government, the environment?

If you want to break free of bad habits, if you want to be the kind of person God wants you to be, if you really want to change your life -- lasting change -- you must begin today and you must accept responsibility. Refuse to blame other people. "Blame" is spelled B - LAME.

Why don't you right now, wherever you are, just stop for a moment and ask God to do a couple of things: #1 To forgive you for the times that you have procrastinated or blamed others for your habits and problems. #2 Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind habits that God wants to break in your life THIS WEEK.

I believe that this is the week of VICTORY for some that are reading this blog. I am praying with you right now, for Jesus to be allowed to SET YOU FREE! Blessings!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day!

Pastor Rusty