There is no Scripture in the entire Bible that commands the believer to crucify the flesh. There’s nothing that tells him to die to self. There isn’t even one verse telling the Christian to fight or wrestle against his flesh. In fact, the New Testament says the exact opposite. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12).
What I’m about to tell you I have used in multiple areas of my life to curb both unhealthy, and even sinful habits.
If you’ll follow the simple principles you read here—-even halfway—many of you will see notable change. If you follow them completely and consistently, you will experience supernatural freedom.
How can I be so sure? Because it’s God’s Word and God’s Word will work for anyone.
For the greater part of my adult life I was addicted to soda. I don’t mean I really liked it. Or even loved it. I mean I was literally addicted to it.
At some point I began to recognize how big of a problem this had actually become. So I decided it was time to stop. First, I tried limiting soda to only the weekends. But that didn’t work because now, instead of drinking fifteen or twenty a week, I’d drink fifteen or twenty in two days. On top of that, I started adding Friday evenings as part of the weekend. Then I figured if I was adding Friday, may as well throw in Monday. And as you might guess, I was soon back to all week long.
I finally came to my senses and realized I was struggling needlessly. I remembered that the flesh isn’t something we wrestle with or try to put to death, but actually, according to the Word, the flesh has already been crucified, and the body of sin already put to death.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Notice the tense in these passages. It isn’t something that is going to happen at some point in the future—it’s something that has happened. And it happened without any struggle or effort on our part. It’s something that happened as a result of our being in Christ.
I knew the Word of God wouldn’t profit me unless I mixed it with faith (Heb 4:2). So I wrote down these verses and would meditate and confess them out loud multiple times a week to help insure I was exercising my faith in them.
I’d say out loud, “Father I thank you that not only the flesh has been crucified but also the affections and lusts (that’s the part I was having issues with). Therefore I know I don’t have to desire soda anymore.”
This went on for about six weeks with no improvement. I just kept desiring soda and kept drinking it. I’d try not to. I’d set limits just like before but I just couldn’t keep it under control.
As a side note, this is the point where most Christians would just shrug and say, “Well, I tried that and it didn’t work.”—- I don’t believe God put a bunch of useless information in His Word. If something isn’t working, we need to figure out why instead of just rolling over for the world, the devil, or anyone else.
So I went to God and just spoke very frankly about it. “What’s going on, here? I’ve done this in the past with other things and it’s worked. Why isn’t this working?” And He answered very plainly back, “The reason it isn’t working is because you’re not taking my Word seriously. Hebrews 2:1 says to pay the more serious attention otherwise what you’ve heard will slip away.” I looked back over recent weeks and realized He was right. I really hadn’t given it much thought. I sort of just parroted that I believed what the Word said, but really wasn’t being serious.
Then He said something else, “You’ve also allowed yourself to begin believing that this is a mental issue. Like it’s merely the power of positive thought and that you could just will yourself out of the addiction. My Word is not the same as will power.” He was right about that too! I realized I had convinced myself on an unconscious level that I could break bad habits simply by thinking positively. Positive thinking is a good thing, but it certainly has no comparison to the power of God’s Word.
Once I saw where I was going wrong I changed directions. I began to daily meditate in the Scriptures and take them seriously. I never tried to stop drinking soda. In fact, I drank all the soda I wanted. But one thing I was sure to do was each time I took a drink I’d confess what God’s Word said and I would meditate on the truth of it.
“This is Your Deliverance”
Three or four days later I was driving down the street minding my own business and suddenly I heard an audible voice speaking in another language. For a second I didn’t know where it was coming from. Then I realized it was me! The tongues were coming fast and furious with no effort of my own. It felt like a geyser had gone off on the inside of me. In my mind I said, “Lord, what is this?” And He answered, “This is your deliverance from soda.” (First World problems, I know.) Anyway after He said this I don’t really know how to describe what happened next except that I felt a physical power, or energy descend over me. Then He said, “All you have to do is say, ‘I’ll never drink soda again’ and you’ll be free.” I answered back in my mind, “Well, now wait a second. I didn’t say I never wanted to drink it again, just tone it down a little . . .” He didn’t respond. Silence. Then that power that had come over me, I felt it beginning to lift. I realized how foolish I was being. So I quickly repented and shouted, “Okay, okay! I’ll never drink soda again!”
And that was it. Quit cold turkey.
To show you this was not the power of mind over matter, after going about 5 years without soda I became distracted, lost sight of my priorities, and stopped praying and reading the Word. Around this time I developed a desire for drinking soda again. And, like before, I tried to control it on my own, with no luck. I was back to being addicted.
However, eventually I got back into prayer, back into the Word, and one day I realized that over the span of about a week, my soda intake began to dramatically decrease. This happened on a totally unconscious level. I wasn’t trying to stop. I wasn’t even thinking about it. It was simply a byproduct of the Word.
It Will Work For You
Stop struggling in your own power. Find some passages in God’s Word that deal with your situation. Write them down. Then, be purposeful and serious every day to meditate, believe, and confess them.
You may not have the same exact experience of speaking in tongues and all that jazz that I had. And that’s okay. That only happened just that one time for me. In most of the cases that I’ve used these principles, the desire or frequency of the habit would simply just begin to wane over a short period of time until I was able to easily subdue it.