Posted by Ems Hancock on 28 April 2017

None of us want to live a life weighed down by bad habits. No-one LOVES the fact that they smoke or bite their nails. But these kinds of things just absorb into our patterns of living and become part of us, don’t they? Eventually we may no longer question their existence in our lives at all. We simply become used to them.

The truth is, we all have a few habits and dependencies. Some of them might be hidden away in the darker, more inaccessible recesses of our lives while others might be blatantly obvious to everyone.

I wrote ‘The Habit Breaker’ book out of the opportunity God gave me to leave some of my own habits behind. I didn’t want to be someone who just lived with secret eating problems any longer. I wanted to take Jesus at His word and be free of them. Forever.

In John 10:10, Jesus said that He came to give us ‘life in abundance’, life in all its richness and fullness. I wondered what would happen if I took that literally and applied it to my habits, dependencies and addictions.

Guess what? Jesus did what He promised He would do. He set me free! I am no longer addicted to the foods I battled with. I no longer binge. I no longer over-eat until I feel ill and look unhealthy.

You may not know the temptations and struggles of an eating disorder. Your issue could be alcohol or approval, or pornography or racing pigeons. We each have a ‘thing.’ But each of us needs to know that our personal holiness (or lack of it) is the very first thing that the enemy wants to attack. It is the stick he continually beats us with.

So what if you were offered full, permanent and total freedom from the thing you least want others to know about you? What if they never found your secret out because it was brought into the light and dealt with and healed?

What if I said that it is possible for you to be set free from what you struggle with and leave it behind? For good. What would you make of that?

God is the ultimate Habit Breaker. Whatever you are fighting, He gets it. He can handle it. He can take it away. Know that He understands you and has given you all you need to find your freedom.

Think for a minute:

• In what ways do your habits rob you of peace?
• Which habit you would like to be free from today?
• What three benefits would you experience if you were set free from that habit?

We are encouraged in Ephesians 4:22 to ‘throw off’ our old sinful natures. The Message version of this verse says that ‘everything connected with that old way of life has to go.’

I recognise that this is going to be hard. We get attached to our habits, don’t we? But it is so worth letting the Holy Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes and allow Him to help us, as we put on a ‘new nature.’

Please feel free to get in touch with me at emshancock.com and let me know how I can pray for you on your journey towards your freedom. I pray for you now that God will teach you practical and positive things you need to do, to break free of your personal dependencies.

Ems Hancock is an author and speaker based in South Manchester. She leads a Listening Centre for young people in a local school and is on a team running a new church plant as part of the Ivy Network. Her new book "The Habit Breaker - how to change for good" is available on Amazon and in all good book shops.

More like this

What C.S. Lewis can teach us about failure

We are, as the wonderful Mike Yaconelli observed, all accustomed to messing things up. We are all fail-ers. It is the choices we make when we’re knocked down that so often dictate what follows. Despite his success, work-rate and seemingly endless...

Being the Postman - part 1

As character traits go, humility is not one of the ones at the top of most people's wish lists. And yet it matters more than many would imagine. Especially for worship leaders...

The Teacher

The things I have learned about worship, especially over the last ten years or so, I have learned from the Holy Spirit. I’d like to share some specific examples of how the Teacher, the Holy Spirit, has taught me about worship...