Habits are those things that mean that whenever we are presented with the same circumstances, we will act in a certain way. They are powerful influences that will determine behaviour unless they can be retrained and reprogrammed.
Habits have a strong gravitational pull that ensures that we will respond in a given situation as we have in the past. Habits do not go away of their own volition; they must be broken and new habits developed and this requires a great deal of energy on our part.
Consider, for example, a rocket being fired off into space; the overwhelming bulk of the rocket is taken up in fuel to force the vehicle through the gravitational pull of the earth. So it is with habits; once changed and brought into line with the will of God our habits can offer clear travel; but to break through in the first instance can only take place after much effort and energy is invested.
In the scriptures, the gravitational pull of the heart in one direction or another is called “the mind”; it is the sum of our dominant desires. Where we allow our minds to dwell is a crucial matter in terms of what the scriptures have to say. “For the mind of the flesh is death, the mind of the spirit life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
It is not sufficient to spend a half hour or so in reading the Word and meditating on the things of God, then to revert to a mindset of worldliness for the rest of the day. On the contrary, Paul writes that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is something more than a “quiet time”; this is total surrender of self to the rule of Christ.
The only way that can happen is for us to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23). This means breaking habits of thought.