We probably all have weaknesses or sins that we fall into frequently. Imagine knowing the simple steps to overcome them. In this post I’m going to show you how, and I have included a free worksheet to help.
Although I’m not perfect in the process, I have tested the Word and have seen the real power of God bring change in my life. The problem is often me; I have to crack open my Bible and see what God has to say—and then apply it!
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17 ESV
The struggle is there—it’s real and common to all. I told you about my struggle to obey God not too long ago. Since then? My spirit has been playing tug of war with my flesh big time. But I know this works. I became free from so many sins in the past that I don’t want to become fruitless in any area.
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:8 NASB
Why Does It Matter?
God is glorified when we are producing the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are sandwiched between a list of fleshly deeds (v. 19-21), and this:
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 NASB
One day I discovered some little winged creatures in parts of the front room. I thought they were coming from my plants. I killed them for two days before I realized they were quickly multiplying. My husband took one look and said, “Termites.”
Unfortunately, it was the weekend and the exterminator couldn’t come until Monday. Have I mentioned before that I hate bugs? Friends, I had nightmares that night. When we came home from church on Sunday afternoon, they had covered the floor almost to the back of the house! I thought I was going to go crazy. God bless all exterminators. The man came and eradicated the little wood eaters.
Letting fleshly deeds live on is like inviting a bug infestation to take up residence in your life. So you go through the process of crucifying your flesh in an area, after that it becomes more like killing an occasional bug that invades.
Can We Change Ourselves?
Does this process only modify behavior? I’ve tried “being good” and it doesn’t work. God does the changing as we apply the Word. What do I mean by “apply the Word”? That’s when we build new habit patterns by thinking differently according to God’s Word, which is actually repentance. Ephesians 5:26 tells us that we are sanctified and washed with the Word.
How to Crucify Fleshly Desires
One ~ Identify Area
The Holy Spirit convicts (not condemns) us, and that’s when we know to deal with a weakness or sin.
Two ~ Cast Down Lies
Our flesh stinks. It kind of reminds me of rotting fruit. Gross, right? Well, fruit flies are attracted to rotting fruit. Think of the fruit flies as lies that hinder us from producing fruit for the kingdom. I ask myself questions like: What excuses am I giving into? Are they excuses that are causing me to disobey God? Am I believing lies from the enemy? Flies can be eliminated with fly traps. That’s when casting down lies and taking excuses captive is necessary. We can transform weaknesses into victory by doing 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
Three ~ Stand on Scriptures
Find scriptures to overcome the specific area. I will often plug a keyword into the search box of an online Bible and go with the ones that God illuminates. Using the opposite of a keyword is often helpful as well.
Four ~ Pray Opposites
The battle is there. We’re torn between not wanting to sin and lusting after sin. These feelings are opposite of each other. Here’s how you deal with that: you use God’s pattern of opposites—put off, put on.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:9-10 ESV
After looking up the greater power of God to apply, say it and pray it. (e.g. “I put off lying and put on speaking the truth.”) Doing so will help new habit patterns to be established. Wrap up the prayer with thanking God for change by the power of His Word.
Five ~ Natural Action
Finally, take action in the natural where the Spirit leads. For example, choosing to forgive and hang out again with a friend that cut deeply. Or taking a walk to let out steam when angry. Or posting index cards with the chosen verses all over the house to help with memorizing them.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14 ESV
The ones who are diligent to follow this pattern are the ones who become more spiritually mature.
God does the changing as we apply the Word. [Tweet this]
What are some new habit patterns you would like to implement?
I have created a worksheet for overcoming weaknesses and some sample charts to print or download from the Insider Resources page.
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