How would you like to experience a change in your life that produces victory, peace
and fulfillment? If you have a destructive habit, would you like to have victory
in that area? How would you like the mental stresses, anxieties, and phobias to end?
Let’s go one step further. How would you like to have such a complete change that
you are able to help others so they can experience the same victory? If these are
your desires, then you will be excited to know the victory that is available.
Instead of meeting in support groups for the rest of your life to help you “cope,”
the best way is for you to experience victory. The things which are impossible with
man are possible with God.1 The Lord Himself says, sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law but under grace.2 He also says He has not given us the
spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.3 God truly has a
way for people to apply principles and gain victory over guilt, addictions, weaknesses,
mental hurts, and every difficulty which robs people of peace and calm in their minds.
While on earth we will never reach perfection, but victories are still available.
If you have a headache from banging your head on a concrete wall, you could take
medication to eliminate the headache. To avoid taking medication in the future, a
wise decision would be to stop banging your head on a wall. Most harmful addictions
and most mental disorders exist as a form of medication to eliminate pain. The best
course of action would be to eliminate the source of the pain. Then afterwards, you
will have no pain to medicate.
The Starting Point for the Journey
The path for victory in this course begins with a commitment to do what is right.
This commitment needs to be a once-and-for-all, final decision to get on the right
path. This decision also includes a daily commitment to live one day at a time. If
you have already made resolutions never to do the bad things again and you have failed,
then get back up on your feet and use all three aspects of a lifeline to pull yourself
The Lifeline in the Journey
After your commitment you should use three strands of rope to serve as a lifeline
to draw you away from destruction and pull you to safety and victory. A cord of three
strands is not quickly torn apart.4 These three strands include (1) replacing your
wrong beliefs with actual truths, (2) accepting responsibility, and (3) being held
accountable. All three of these strands are needed to hold you firmly to the right
1. Replace Your Beliefs
Your behavior is determined by your beliefs. Period. End of subject. If you want
your behavior to change, you absolutely must change what you believe is true.
If you think there is no reason to live. If you think you can handle temptations
all by yourself. If you think nobody loves you. If you believe any lie to be true,
... then you will act according to what you believe is true.
Strand number one in your lifeline is to replace your stinkin’ thinkin’ with truths.
The best way to do this is to read the Bible on a regular basis. This is an absolute
must for every person on earth. Without the truths from the Bible we will not detect
a lie when it comes and we will likely believe that lie as if it were true.
2. Accept Responsibility
The second strand in your lifeline is accepting responsibility for your choices:
your thoughts, your actions, your words, your attitudes, and your motives. The world
would have you believe “You are a victim of society,” “You were brought up in a dysfunctional
home,” “You have a disease [which makes you do bad things],” “You were born that
way,” and among others, “You can’t help it; others made you that way.” In other words,
the world would have you believe you are not responsible for your choices. The truth
is you are.
The first strand in your lifeline is replacing your beliefs – because your beliefs
determine your behavior. When you come to know truth you will more naturally make
better choices. Perhaps you have already heard: first you have a thought, thoughts
lead to an action, actions lead to a habit, and habits lead to a lifestyle.
As will be seen later in this course many leaders in psychology and counseling have
discovered the number one problem with mental disorders is irresponsibility. This
is more than just avoiding wrong choices or even making good choices. Being responsible
means doing what is best, doing what God designed you to do.
This strand in the lifeline begins with basic disciplines that turn into habits.
Within time good habits will replace bad habits. Learned behaviors should then result
in teaching others what you have learned. A Hebrew definition of “to teach” is “to
really learn.” It is true. The best learning takes place when a person needs to know
how to help others understand and apply principles for life. In other words, you
have not fully learned until you have taught others how they can teach others.
You have probably heard it takes about three weeks to start a new habit and an additional
three weeks to make the habit stick. Whether or not the length is exactly 21 days
is beside the point here. The real point is that what you do on a regular basis will
become a habit – for good or for bad. So use that principle to replace bad habits
with good ones over the next month or two.
The absolute most important habit or behavior to build into your life is a daily
devotion with God. Perhaps the second most important habit or behavior to build into
your life is an instantaneous desire to seek the Lord when the stresses of life come.
The moment you experience anxiety, pressure, or stress of any kind go to the Lord.
If you do not, you will fall back into old habits to relieve yourself of pain. You
will go to some form of medication. You might eat more, sleep more, watch TV, play
computer games, consume alcohol, engage in immorality, etc.
3. Have Constant Accountability
The third strand in your lifeline is to “have constant accountability.” God says,
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either
of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when
there is not another to lift him up.5 Isn’t it odd how people claim they cannot break
their illegal addiction, but when the police are present they find it easy to avoid
the habit. Office workers may claim they have an addiction to playing computer games
while on the clock, but isn’t it odd how they can shut down the machine quickly when
the boss walks into the room. Accountability works. When you really mean business
to do what is right you will ask many people to hold the rope.
Professional athletes and entertainers spend big bucks to hire coaches, trainers,
nutritionists, wardrobe designers, etc. to help them succeed. When people desire
to succeed in the spiritual life they spend big bucks on the right accountability
partners to get the help they need. Some unwise people think that with God’s help
they can do anything – and they don’t need any other person to help them. If you
think you do not need anyone to help you, because you have a new life in Christ and
you are strong enough to do what is right, then the opposite is also true; other
people do not need you either. The truth is, you are in need of the help from others.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly
of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as
God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in
one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many,
are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6
We need each other.
For the best accountability have someone call you every day – literally every day.
God says, encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today,"
so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.7
Here is the real deal. You need to plug into a small support group at the church.
Some churches call it Sunday School, some call them Life Groups, some call them Cell
Groups. Whatever its name, you and the people in your new group need each other to
grow spiritually. You need the benefits of large group time when your church worships,
but more important than that is a small group fellowship to grow together. Commit
now to join one of our Sunday School classes at 10 am on Sundays. and watch your
life change for the better.
1 Luke 18:27, NASB
2 Romans 6:14
3 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV
4 Ecclesiastes 4:12, NASB
5 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
6 Romans 12:3-5
7 Hebrews 3:13
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.