“Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.”
Habits are hard to break, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t break your bad habits. Many people give up on trying to break their bad habits because they feel like every time they have overcome their sinful habit that they end up sliding back into it. What is even worse is that when you feel like you have broken your habit and then you succumb to its temptation again; however, it comes back like a tidal wave, and you find yourself doing worse than you did before.
The “perpetual backsliding” of Israel was their inability to break their sinful habits. Israel is known for doing right, going away from the LORD, and then coming back to God while they faced His judgment. The reason Israel didn’t break their sinful habits is the same reason you can’t break yours. Let me share five reasons you fail to break your sinful habits.
First, you won’t break sinful habits when you continue living in deceit. The verse above says, “…they hold fast deceit…” You can’t break sinful habits when you continue to deceitfully hide your sinful actions so nobody can see what you are doing. Just because you tell people you are getting right with God doesn’t mean that you are getting right. Getting right with God is not about saving face with people; getting right with God is removing the sinful and deceitful habits that cause you to stray from God.
Second, you won’t break sinful habits when you don’t change your actions. Israel perpetually backslid because they refused to change. You cannot break a sinful habit while you refuse to do what it takes to come back to God. Walking an aisle to make a show of repentance is a mere facade if you refuse to get help and change the actions that cause sin.
Third, you won’t break sinful habits when you are not honest with yourself and others. In verse 6 it says, “…they spake not aright…” You can lie to yourself and others about your actions, but that won’t change that you are hurting yourself and others by continuing to do those sinful habits. Honesty is at the core of repentance, and you will never change if you won’t be honest with yourself that you have a sinful habit.
Fourth, you won’t break sinful habits when you’re not willing to repent of your wickedness. Verse 6 continues to say, “…no man repented him of his wickedness…” Let me ask you; do you see your sinful habit as wickedness? You will never break a sinful habit as long as you are okay with its presence in your life. You will never start the road of overcoming a sinful habit until you feel disgusted and filthy with its presence in your life.
Fifth, you won’t break sinful habits when you are not willing to change your course to follow God’s will. The reason Israel perpetually backslid is because “every one turned to his course.” Your sinful habit will continue to destroy you as long as you continue to walk down your chosen courses. Somebody has to be able to tell you what to do, and until you are willing for somebody to tell you what to do, you will continue to be controlled by your sin. You can let your sinful habit continue to control and destroy you, or you can change your course by repenting and becoming accountable to those God gives to help you.