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Why Can’t People Change? | How To Break a Stubborn Habit #2

We all want to see character growth and personal change. But when sin enters the picture, we resent God’s ways and plan, rebelling against him. Pastor Lutzer observes that many issues we face today go back to the Garden of Eden, when the goodness of God was questioned. What does it take for our behavior to change? 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us because we are in a brief series, entitled, “How to Break a Stubborn Habit.” Last time I encouraged you to believe that victory was possible, that you should identify what it is that you want to see God to change in your life and then together we’re going to be learning some very important principles that will help us along the way. And, of course, as I frequently mentioned to you. Be sure to subscribe, follow us, and of course pass us along. Tell others about this ministry. But back to stubborn habits.

There’s so many things that go back to the Garden of Eden. How is it that Satan came to Adam and Eve and how did he deceive them? He deceived them by getting them to believe that God was not good. Remember he said to Eve, “Has God said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” How subtle was that? Satan did not point out the thousands of trees that they could eat from but he isolates one negative, puts all of the concentration there, and then leads them to believe that if God were good, of course, he would allow them to eat of the forbidden tree. Because after all, if he were good he would allow them to achieve their wonderful potential. But God wanted to hold them down. Restrict them. He wanted to interfere with their happiness and their fulfillment. And of course because of that you know the rest of the story. Adam and Eve sinned. And then what happened? Well, man began to blame the woman. The woman began to blame the serpent and as the saying is the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Now I mentioned that only to show what happens when sin enters into the human race. God’s goodness is questioned. And I have to emphasize that Satan does the same thing in your life and mine. If you begin to uncover why it is that people don’t change their behaviour and why it is that they oftentimes rebel against God, it’s because they don’t believe that he is good. I have to tell you, my friend, that if you want to change your behaviour you have to come to the conclusion that God is good. Remember Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes not but for to steal, to kill and to destroy but I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”

My point is this. If you have resentment and anger toward God you’ll never change your behaviour. Because what you’re going to do is you’re going to say, “Now if God changed my circumstances…if he gave me a different marriage partner…If he gave me a different job…If he did this-this-that then I would change. But as it is now I will not change.” In each of these brief episodes what I’m trying to do is to lay down some bricks. Last time we emphasized that you must believe that victory is possible. Because if you don’t you won’t even take the first step. But today I’m stressing that you must believe that God’s way is best. It’s so easy for us to think that God wants to restrict us from pleasure, that God does not have our best interests in mind. And so we go our own way and are very content with all of those stubborn habits and even those addictions. Remember God’s way is best.

Here’s what I suggest you do. If you have some resentment toward God, get on your knees and stay there until that has been confessed. Tell God honestly what you think about him. He can handle it because he already knows what you’re thinking anyway. And make sure that all of that which is within you is loaded, so to speak, onto his shoulders. Receive his forgiveness and at last you are ready to see some changes in your life.

Remember last time we emphasized forgiveness and grace and change is possible. This time we emphasize: God is good. He can be trusted to do right by you. And if you want to know what step number three is. Well, I hope that you join us next time but as for today, well, you just go with God. 

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