Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Have you ever tried to break a bad habit in your life?
I have discovered when it comes to habits, there were some that I was good at and others that I was weak at. It’s incredible how you can be so strong and disciplined in one area and so weak in another.
This is generally how it is for most people when it comes to doing things in your own strength. You have to deal with natural predispositions or neuro-pathways of the mind.
But when it comes to breaking those bad habits that can get you into trouble later on (whether it's health, financial or moral issues), this scripture in Philippians 2:13 is powerful.
It says that “God works in you…” It’s by His Holy Spirit. Every time you pray in the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit is working in you.
This is such good news because what you have previously tried to do through willpower, you can now hand over to God and He can deal with things permanently.
Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
God’s grace is the key.
When you hand that bad habit or temptation over to God and believe that He is the One who works within you, you don’t need willpower to overcome it, the grace of God through praying in the Spirit will dissolve that thing from your life!
When you receive grace to help you in your time of need, you are not trying to overcome things in your own strength, but in the strength and power of God that comes through praying in the Spirit. Maybe you have tried fighting an uncontrollable urge or temptation and all this does is cause you to think more about the habit or the temptation and intensify it. But look to God and hand that issue over to Him in prayer every time and you will find that it will position you to receive His grace in your time of need.
I know people who have overcome all sorts of habits from smoking and excessive drinking through to serious drug addictions. This is where the power of the gospel is so attractive to the world. It’s not hard to find people who have become addicted to substances and behaviors that will only destroy them and their loved ones. When you choose to receive God’s grace to help you in your times of need, rather than wrestling things in your own strength (and all the condemnation that comes with it), this is what will empower you to overcome.
Philippians 2:13 says that God works in you to give you “the will” and “the ability” to perform what He desires.
It is not about you trying to muster up your inner strength or desire, it’s resting in the knowledge that God is the One who is at work within you. Meditate upon that and pray in the Spirit.