Is asking God for things selfish? For example: to stop a bad habit?
No! In fact the Lord Jesus wants you to have victory over your bad habits. When you say “bad habit,” we have assumed that you mean a sinful habit.
God wants us to live a holy life. He has not left us alone in our struggle against sin. The message of the following passages is that God’s will for us is to be holy. In the verses below God uses the word “sanctification.” It means that God wants us to increasingly become more holy.
. . . now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. (NASB) Romans 6:19
For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God . . . For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. (NASB) 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (NASB) 2 Timothy 2:22
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (NASB) Hebrews 12:14
These passages tell us that God wants us to flee all kinds of sin such as disobedience, lying, stealing, and sexual sins. God wants us to be holy in everything that we do. Now a sinful habit is the opposite of living a holy life. Sinning is the opposite of God’s will. God wants each of us to pursue holiness. Our next passage is an important one. It is an important verse to memorize.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (NASB) 1 John 5:14-15
Will God answer your request for help in stopping your sinful habit? The answer is “yes.”
How To Stop
One of the marks of a real Christian is a desire to stop sinning. It is a good sign that you want to stop. If a person has no desire to stop sinning, there is reason to wonder if he or she is a Christian.
Now what does a Christian man or woman do if he or she wants to stop a sinful habit? It starts by admitting to God that you have sinned. We call it confession (1 John 1:9). But confession does not involve begging God for forgiveness. Confession is admitting to God that you sinned without making any excuses! You must honestly believe that you sinned, and you must want to stop.
I would also encourage you to be reading your Bible every day and each day ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). In Galatians 5:16-21 we discover that “being filled with the Spirit” is also called “Filled With The Spirit.” In this passage we are told that if we walk in the Spirit, we will stop committing bad habits. That is God’s promise but you must be faithful too!
No, it is not selfish. God wants us to be as holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16) and He wants to hear from you. It is His will that you have increasing victory over your bad habit.
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