A young 27 year old Chinese man, was chained to a cow shed in Hunan, southern China, and tormented for over 7 years – since 2005, nearly lost his hands because his chains actually grew in to his flesh. He had tried to remove his chains, but they were on too tight. He tried to escape, but was unable to free himself from his chains.
It makes me think of just how many of us have tried to overcome some habit, problem, or sin, but to no avail. After a while you just learn to live with your chains — they just become a part of you.
In the Bible it says, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” Galatians 5:7
“Who” can also be interpreted: “What”. Sometimes we get hindered by a “who”, and sometimes by a “what.” So what can we do? I want to share 4 ways to break these types of habits.
1. KNOW THAT… “A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENS THE WHOLE LUMP.” Galatians 5:9
Or you could say it this way, “All it takes is a little sin – then it begins to take over your entire life!” If you give your flesh an inch, he’s going to take a mile. It’s like, if you give the devil your password to one of your social networks, he’s not just going to look through all your photos and click “like”. He’s going to upload some detestable pictures, sick videos, and he’s going to post all kinds of crazy updates. And do you know who’s going to get blamed for it? YOU!!
2. DON’T LET MR. TEMPTATION INTO YOUR HOUSE.
When he comes knocking on your door, wanting to sell you some juicing morsels, you simply can’t invite him into your house! You have to learn to be firm, and say, “No thank you. I’m fine. I don’t want any, goodbye.” But some of us not only allow Mr. Temptation to knock on our door, but we say in effect, “Sure, come on in, and would you like a cup of coffee too?” We deceive ourselves, and welcome the chains to become a part of our lives, by thinking, “Well… I’m not really going to buy anything. I’ll just take a little look and see what he’s got. I’m strong, and after all I need to be informed about these things, so that others won’t fall into these types of problems.” Look out — the chains are beginning to squeeze tighter.
3. DON’T LET THE DEVIL TALK YOU INTO SINNING.
“Come on Jesus, why don’t you turn these stones into bread?” The devil’s words are smoother than butter, and inadvertently we let whisper his ‘sweet nothings’ into our ready ear. “You’ve been such a good boy. You’ve been working so hard lately. You deserve a break. Why don’t you go ahead and take a little bite of some of my scrumptious delicacies? After all… I think we all know that Jesus understands.“
And like our Chinese friend, who’s chains were so tight they grew into his flesh — we to are sucked-in to our new tormenting habit, and just can’t seem to escape. Most Christians I know hear the voice of the devil speaking to them more than God’s. That ought not to be. You need to tell yourself right now, “I’m closing my ears to that nonsense from now on!”
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
And that last way you can break Temptation-Chain is…
4. KNOW IN ADVANCE THAT IT’S GONNA COST YOU.
Call me “Old Fashioned” if you want to, but the Word of God can save you a whole lot of heartache. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Just think of it. If you “bit into” the proverbial “apple” — it’s gonna COST You. Someone might say: “Ah come on, cost me what?”
….It’s going to cost you your Robe of Righteousness. In exchange? ☞ “a Spirit of Heaviness”
….It’s going to cost you your Your Clean heart. In exchange? ☞ “a Heart of Pain & Depression”
….It’s going to cost you Your Character & Integrity. In exchange? ☞ Perhaps a destroyed Marriage & Family.
HERE’S THE BOTTOM-LINE
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” Galatians 5:16. May you embrace your walk with Christ once again, and with His power — BREAK that TEMPTATION-CHAIN off from you, once and for all, today!