Are you familiar with this quip? “Nothing beats a failure, but a try” The problem with witty sayings or one-liners is they promote self-reliance. And then, when we fail, we become downtrodden and discouraged.
In studying the Bible, we cannot find scriptures that resemble the witty, one-liners that we frequently hear and attempt to incorporate into our daily lives. One of the most significant proclamations of defeat is, “I’m trying to change.” Yes, human effort is required along with God’s Divine Intervention. Even so, it is not choosing either human effort or divine intervention. We must decide, pray, and make a covenant with God to be faithful and obey by following all of His commandments. Our relationship with God is one of total dependency on God.
So let’s say that you have a habit that you have “been trying to stop.” Let’s use anger as our example. You have attended Anger Management classes or read self-help books, and watched many videos on curtailing anger, yet, you still have a vicious anger management problem.
The root of the problem is your spiritual relationship with God, and no other book but the Bible will instruct you to live holy and righteously. So you may think, but God gave us anger as an emotion. Yes, He did! Imagine that we did not have anger, then we would have complete tolerance for human trafficking, child molestation, rape, scams, embezzlement, social injustices, and other heinous crimes. God did not give us anger to lash out at other individuals. We were given anger, so we will feel like rubbing alcohol is being poured on an open wound when evil manifests itself without boundaries.
I encourage you to think very seriously about the habits and character traits that you are “trying to get rid of.” Many modern sermons include “inclusivity,” if we just believe that God exists, we are guaranteed eternal life. But we know the scriptures do not support this false teaching. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
The Word of God is definitive in the habits and traits that will exclude us from our heavenly reward:
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is right. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 2 Timothy 3:1-5
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
God is aware of humanity’s limitation to try but fail without His help. Do your part by confessing and repenting of the sinful habits and traits that will keep you from being an “Overcomer.” It is possible to live holy:
- Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. Psalm 37:5
- And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
- I can (and will) do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Saints of the Most-High God, rely on God for the spiritual transformation required to change your undesirable habits/traits. When tempted, begin to pray out loud, remove yourself from the temptation, and continue to pray for strength. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Bible Study: Psalm 37, Revelation 21 and 22
God, thank you for creating the Sabbath to enjoy physical, mental, emotional rest and spiritual renewal. You have given us 24 hours to shut out all secular activities and time to focus on growing closer to you. We admit that we need spiritual refreshment every day in our earthly journey. Please forgive us for our sins. We ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to seek you above all else. We pray for your strength and power to rid ourselves of ungodly habits and to live holy and acceptable lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.