What is bondage, really? You've probably heard me say it—something along the lines of, "God delivered me from bondage," or, "I was in bondage in this area." Well, bondage sounds really intimidating. But when you think about it, most of the time, it's just a bad habit—something you've done for so long it seems to have a hold on you.
The truth is, you can choose to make new habits.
You can break up with your bad habits just like you can break up with a bad boyfriend or girlfriend. Bad relationships are one of the hardest habits to break, but if we choose to end them, we can spare ourselves a lot of trouble and pain.
The Do-It-Yourself Trap
“With the help of God and a decision on your part, you can break every bad habit and replace it with a good habit."
Breaking a bad habit requires making a series of good choices, one after the other. Most of us will try to do that on our own without the help of the Holy Spirit. But eventually we figure out that we can't please God without putting our faith in Him to help us.
The Amplified Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as our "Standby." He's always standing by in case you get into trouble and need a little help. But He won't just show up uninvited. You have to ask Him for help.
Romans 12:21 says we overcome (master) evil with good. That's one of the biggest secrets in the Word of God. It's a lot easier to make the right choice when you're focusing on God and your victory instead of the fear of failure.
In Good Company
We've got to walk in the Spirit to overcome the lusts of our flesh.
One of the best ways to learn to walk in the Spirit is to hang around with people who are following God. We don't have to spend every minute of our lives in church. But we do need to get connected with people who are making good choices.
If you have a weakness in a certain area, don't hang around people who have that same weakness. Hang around people who can help you.
The Crisis PointI used to smoke. I started smoking when I was nine years old. I liked it because it relaxed me, and for a long time, I didn't want to quit. By the time I knew I should quit, I didn't want to because I thought I'd put on weight.
So that was my excuse for years. Then I got into this cycle where I would quit and start again, quit and start again. And I thought I'd never be able to quit smoking.
It wasn't until I became a serious Christian and was sneaking out after church, lying down in the seat of my car and smoking that I knew I had to make a change. I came to my crisis point.
Usually a crisis point comes before a lot of us are willing to change. Sometimes it takes a heart attack for a person to start eating right. But you don't have to wait for your crisis point. Just bite the bullet and say, "That's it. I'm done with this."
Repetition Becomes HabitSome people say you can break a habit by consistently following through for 21 days. Others say it takes 30 days. Well, I just say anything you do repetitively for a period of time becomes a habit.
And if you choose not to do something repetitively, for a period of time, that becomes a habit too.
Don't be afraid to be a little uncomfortable for a while. If you don't think you're ready, just ask God for help. With His help and a decision on your part, you can break every bad habit that you've got and replace it with a good habit.
Visualize Your Victory
I encourage you to think of one bad habit that you'd like to start working on. Maybe if you ask God, He'll give you a miracle, or maybe He'll ask you to work on it for a while. But He will help you through it.
Then start visualizing your victory. Think about who you want to be and what your life will be like when you're free. I use Deuteronomy 28 as an incentive. What it basically says is, if you obey God, He will bless you, and if you disobey God, He'll curse you. Now that's an incentive, wouldn't you agree?
I like working with God, trying to conquer things and not let the enemy rule me. In fact, I think the most exciting journey in life is simply saying, "God, I want to change. I want to please You."
When you think this way, you can get free from one thing and go on to another thing. Pretty soon, you'll start to realize that you have some real authority in Christ.
Decide to live your life with the thrill of growing and changing, so you won't miss out on the good things God can do through you.