Do you ever feel like you just cannot overcome a sinful bad habit? Worry, lust, drunkenness, porn, masturbation, pessimism, self-obsession, complaining, creating drama, anger, lying, paying bribes, or coveting, to name a few are sinful habits that you feel you can’t break. You desire deliverance. You probably have prayed for deliverance, were sincere in prayer, and yet find yourself back in that same sinful cycle. You become disillusioned, feel like a failure, feel like a hypocrite, and possibly feel that you cannot ever be put back together after failing yet again. Some say that God doesn’t exist because they put it all on the line with him asking for deliverance. Sinful habits can wear us down, and the devil loves to remind us of our failures, telling us that we are not truly Christians because of them.
Can God Deliver You?
Is it possible for God to deliver us from our sinful habits? Consider that God created everything in the universe with his word (Jeremiah 32:17). Nothing is impossible for him (Luke 1:37), and he is great in power and understanding (Psalm 147:5). God also never sleeps and grows tired (Isaiah 40:28). With this in mind, of course, God can deliver you from your sinful habit. If it is possible, then why doesn’t he deliver you right now?
There can be several reasons as to why God may not deliver you from your sinful habit right now, but one this is important is that you must align yourself to be delivered first, and then he can deliver you from your sinful habit. Here are three things to believe to be set free from your sinful habit. Believe that God is good, that we’re responsible for our own actions and failures, and that deliverance is possible. Believing these three things won’t automatically deliver you, but they set a foundation for deliverance.
Believe That God is Good
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent tempted Eve that God was withholding good from her if she didn’t eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:4-5). Essentially the devil said God wanted to rob Eve of the privilege of knowing good from evil. The devil also wanted her to forget the freedom that she had and hyper-focus on the one thing she couldn’t eat, the forbidden fruit. There were probably hundreds of trees that she could have eaten from freely, and yet sadly, Eve forgets the freedom and saw restraint. Eve became convinced that God wasn’t good because he withheld the forbidden fruit and that she was missing out on a great privilege and pleasure.
Many of us are like Eve and believe the lies of our flesh and the devil that God isn’t good because he’s withholding some great privilege and pleasure. We are not delivered because we ultimately don’t want to be. We believe that we will be missing out on the good that our sinful bad habit can bring. Many of us deep down believe that God can’t bring us privilege and pleasure like our sinful habit can because he’s not good. An example of this would be that we would rather withhold forgiveness from someone who has made us angry because we believe that revenge is more satisfying than obeying God’s command to forgive (Ephesians 4:32). Another example would be that we will lie, cheat, and bribe to be rich because we believe that to be wealthy is more satisfying than being content (1 Timothy 6:6-11). You must believe that God is good to be a candidate for deliverance. Sadly many are not candidates for deliverances from their sinful habits because they don’t believe God is good.
Believe that We’re Responsible for Our Own Actions and Failures
After Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God as he walked in the garden (Genesis 3:8). He called out to them, asking where they were (Genesis 3:9), and they admitted that they hid from God because they were naked and afraid (Genesis 3:10). They then proceeded to explain why they were naked and afraid (Genesis 3:12-13). Adam blamed Eve for tempting him to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12) and Eve blamed the serpent for deceiving her (Genesis 3:13). The point is that Adam and Eve were not willing to take responsibility for their own action and failures. Instead, they blamed someone else for what they did.
If you want to be delivered from your sinful habits, then you must take responsibility. We love to make excuses passing the blame onto our company, circumstances, mood, hunger, stress, fatigue, or even God himself for giving in to our sinful habits. Your desire to protect yourself and not look as evil as you really are in the sight of God blocks the sweet blessing of deliverance coming to you. Remember that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6-10). Humbly admit that you have a problem with your sinful habit. David, for example, could have said it was Bathsheba’s fault for his sin while bathing naked on the rooftop, but instead, he took responsibility for his actions and failures (2 Samuel 12:13, Psalm 51:4). Take responsibility for your own sinful choices and failures, and you make yourself a candidate for deliverance.
Believe that Deliverance is Possible
Adam and Eve sinned, and they were afraid of God (Genesis 3:10). Their fear was based on shame after realising that they were naked. Their sin was fully exposed to an all-knowing God. Have you felt like Adam and Eve? Have you been afraid of God because of your sinful habit, feeling ashamed and exposed? Do you feel that if you are honest with God about your sin and take responsibility, he will completely disown you and shame you?
Remember that God made the first blood sacrifice in the Bible by killing an animal and covering the nakedness of Adam and Eve to remove their shame (Genesis 3:21). God also mercifully did not curse Adam directly for his sins as he did the devil; instead, he cursed the ground (Genesis 3:17). Lastly, God made plans through the seed of Eve to send one who would ultimately crush the head of the serpent, the devil and destroy his evil work (Genesis 3:15). God is a merciful God that covers shame, sends the curse somewhere else, and crushes the devil. He is a God that loves to deliver us from sinful habits, and deliverance is possible through him.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t believe the truths of Genesis 3:15, 17, 21. Instead, we believe that we’re fighting a losing battle against our sinful habits and that God won’t deliver us. Remind yourself of these Genesis promises and remember that Jesus disarmed the devil through the power of the cross (Colossians 2:13-15, Hebrews 2:14). Remind yourself that no temptation can overtake you, but God always provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Lastly, ask yourself if your sinful habit is truly stronger than the Holy Spirit that lives inside you as a Christian (Romans 8:9-11)? The answer is no; deliverance is possible.
Moses overcame the sin of pride (Numbers 12:3). Elijah overcame the sin of covetousness (2 Kings 5:15-16). Daniel overcame the sin of idolatry (Daniel 1:8, 6:6-10). You to can be delivered from your sinful habit. Be willing to face up to God’s demands because he and his ways are good. Be willing to take responsibility for your sins and failures and that deliverance is possible. God can apply his word to your life and deliver you. You can experience God’s grace and power, and it will be a powerful experience, however, make sure that you’re making yourself a candidate for deliverance through these three foundations.