Have you ever been caught up in thoughts, behavior, habits, relationships, etc, that you wanted to STOP, but found STOPPING to be an enormous struggle?
Are struggling to STOP doing something right now? Are you fighting that battle between the flesh and the spirit?
The Apostle Paul even admitted to and described this struggle…
Romans 7:18-20 (NKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Galatians 5:16-17 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Many times, in the heat of this struggle, one might ask God, “Lord, please MAKE me STOP!
Remember this, YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE WAY THAT GOD MAKES YOU STOP!
When you read God’s word, He doesn’t want us to ask Him to make us stop. When we choose sin, we are choosing sin over him. It’s a relationship decision, much like a spouse choosing a rival over his or her spouse. No one wants to make a husband or wife stop choosing someone else over them. A spouse would want their loved one to CHOOSE TO STOP seeing someone else.
God gives us the power, strength and responsibility to STOP ourselves.
Notice where God places the responsibility in these verses…
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking BE PUT AWAY from you, with all malice.
Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)
8 But now YOU YOURSELVES ARE TO PUT OFF ALL OF THESE: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV)
7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
It is clear that God does not want us asking Him to make us STOP doing anything that is displeasing to Him.
STOP on your own!