By Brother Michel Lankford
As It Is Written:
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.(Colossians 3:5 NKJV)
I think that it is a great question which you ask. That’s awesome. There is no practice better than to learn and put God’s instructions in the practice, so I am delighted to help you where I can. Thank you for the opportunity.
I may not cover every single detail of how to obey this verse, but I will definitely give you the biblical starting points:
First, make certain that you are truly Born-Again. You get that by asking for it. The reason I make a point of putting this first is because, you cannot really change the condition of your internal being; you cannot successfully obey any biblical instruction long-term unless the born-again transformation has taken place. You get that by simply asking for it.
Prayer to be Born Again
“Blessed are You יהוה Almighty One; Creator and King of the universe; Who Sanctifies us with Your Commandments; Who establishes the days of our life; and Who Provides for us everything we need for life and godliness. Please make me truly Born Again by Your Holy Spirit. Save me from my sinful nature and make me entirely new through Messiah. Please grant me the gift of Your Salvation, by Your Unfailing Love, and through the Life, sacrificial death, burial, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Help me to truly walk as Your child. Help me to learn and to choose, and to DO what is most pleasing to You, day by day. Thank you for granting me these requests, as You promise to do that for EVERYONE who asks You, so I know that You will do that for me as well. Omein..”
(2 Peter 1:3; Matthew 7:7-8; John 3:3,7; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Matthew 18:1-3; John 6:37; Romans 10:13; Romans 8:5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 8:11-13; 1 John 3:7-10).
Now, the reason that this is so critical is because you CANNOT change any internal habit for the long-term unless you are born again. You will need to be born again if you are to succeed at obeying Colossians 3:5 for the long-term.
Second, you need to ask God to help you to become more intentional about how you live and less passive. You can’t change anything until you start paying attention to what you are actually doing. When you want to change your eating habits you first have to take note of everything that you put in your mouth to eat. You have to be intentional about paying attention when you eat something. When you want to change bad spending habits, the first thing you have to do is to start taking notes on everything you spend so that you notice and pay attention to where your money actually goes.
The SAME concept is true here. If you want to be a successful DOER of Colossians 3:5, you’re going to need the Holy Spirit to help you recognize your thoughts attitudes and behaviors, so that you will notice both when you do and when you do not match the instructions of Colossians 3:5).
Third, begin to challenge things at the thought level. In other words, when you recognize that you are having immoral, impure or coveting thoughts, learn to practice challenging those thoughts before they become behaviors, and redirect those thoughts into a more godly direction. What you think and meditate on will influence your behavior eventually. So learn to correct ideas while they are still thoughts, and your attitudes and behaviors will be better.
Fourth, remember that perseverance is a skill. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not 100% successful every time. Keep practicing challenging those thoughts. You will get progressively better, (see Galatians 6:7-9). Don’t give up.
If you consider yourself dead to something, it literally means that you are intentional about making sure that you GIVE IT NO PLACE in your life. That means that when you notice thoughts, desires or emotions that are immoral, or impure, or evil, or greedy, you make the WILLFUL CHOICE to oppose, to challenge and to attack those thoughts and replace them with more Holy and biblical ideas.