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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor


Febuary 05, 2006



How can bad habits be avoided or eliminated?

BIBLE READINGNumbers 33:50-56

KEY BIBLE VERSE: But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them. (Numbers 33:55-56niv)

Bad habits must be replaced by good ones. God told Moses that before the Israelites settled in the promised land, they should drive out the wicked inhabitants and destroy their idols. In Colossians 3, Paul encourages us to live as Christians in the same manner: throwing away our old way of living and moving ahead into our new life of obedience to God and faith in Jesus Christ. Like the Israelites moving into the promised land, we can destroy the wickedness in our life, or we can settle down and live with it. To move in and possess the new life, we must drive out the sinful thoughts and practices to make room for the new.


KEY BIBLE VERSE: (Deu 12:2 NIV)  Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.

(Deu 12:3 NIV)   Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. 

Bad habits deserve no mercy. When taking over a nation, the Israelites were supposed to destroy every pagan altar and idol in the land. God knew it would be easy for them to change their beliefs if they started using those altars, so nothing was to remain that might tempt them to worship idols. We too should ruthlessly find and remove any centers of false worship in our life. These may be activities, attitudes, possessions, relationships, places, or habits—anything that tempts us to turn our hearts from God and do wrong. We should never flatter ourselves by thinking we’re too strong to be tempted. Israel learned that lesson.


           KEY BIBLE VERSE:         (1 John 3:9 NIV)  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 


Depend on God’s power to combat bad habits. We all have areas where temptation is strong and habits are hard to conquer. These weaknesses give the devil a foothold, so we must deal with our areas of vulnerability. If we are struggling with a particular sin, however, these verses are not directed at us, even if for the time we seem to keep on sinning. John is not talking about people whose victories are still incomplete; he is talking about people who make a practice of sinning and look for ways to justify it.


Bad habits must be changed with determination and God’s help. Three steps are necessary to find victory over prevailing sin: (1) seek the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word; (2) stay away from tempting situations; and (3) seek the help of the body of Christ—be open to their willingness to hold you accountable and to pray for you.


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