God’s word is also like spiritual food. We want to be strong spiritually so that wecan win the spiritual battle against sinful habits. Therefore, we need to read the Bible andlisten to the sermon CDs frequently.
3. Depend on strength from God, not ourselves
Overcoming sinful habits in our lives is difficult, and so we need to pray and ask God for help. This principle of depending on God’s strength is the key to a successfulChristian life. In fact, even Paul the apostle depended entirely on God’s strength toovercome problems and personal struggles. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul wrote about a“thorn in his flesh” that made him depend on God. Even through all of his hardships, Paulwas not defeated by difficulties, but prevailed over them because he depended on God.Practically, we can learn dependence on God by fasting and praying. When wefast and pray, we learn to say “no” to our flesh, or sinful desires, and say “yes” to theHoly Spirit. Of course, fasting and praying is difficult, but it trains us to not easily give into temptation, which often comes through physical senses: we want to touch, taste, or seesomething. Fasting and praying trains our body to obey our spirit.When we pray to overcome sinful habits, we should not give up, but rather keepasking God for help. The person who wrote Psalm 121 understood what it was like tocompletely depend on God for help:
I life up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
4. Live Spirit-filled lives
The Holy Spirit is like a fire inside us that cleanses us from unholy things,including sinful habits. In Matthew 3, John the Baptist says that Jesus will baptize withthe Holy Spirit. When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is like a fire that burns up sinful things in our lives.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the HolySpirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
We should be filled increasingly with the Spirit so that God can change usquickly. Our sinful desires conflict with the Spirit of God; either you crave sinful thingsor you will hunger for more of the Holy Spirit. When one hunger becomes stronger,eventually the other will grow weaker. Paul wrote to the Ephesians not to crave alcohol, but to hunger for the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.