Learning to Let the Holy Spirit Guide You
The following article was originally published in the Winter 2020 Women's edition of Inside Journal®, a quarterly newspaper printed and distributed by Prison Fellowship® to correctional facilities across the country.
After my release from prison, I realized that I still had some of my "before Christ" vices—bad habits from before I accepted Jesus. I needed a holy makeover! On the top of my list was my addiction to cigarettes. Not only were they killing me, but the secondhand smoke was bad for my little girls. So, I made it my New Year's resolution to quit. But how I was going to accomplish this, I had no idea. I had tried before and failed.
LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD
Little did I know this time would be different, with the Holy Spirit now guiding me and giving me the strength to overcome. In my new life as a Christian, I spent a lot of time at church attending women’s Bible studies, children’s programs, and Sunday services. There, we sometimes talked about surrendering control—"letting go and letting God."
I couldn't stand the thought of my children inhaling the smoke or smelling it on me. I was also hiding my smoking habit from church friends. Not because they would judge me—in fact, I'm betting they would have accepted me and even helped me quit if I asked. But I was ashamed, because I hadn't really tried to give this over to God. I felt a bit like a hypocrite to talk the talk of "letting go and letting God" but not walk the walk.
LET THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDE YOU
Funny enough, in keeping my habit hidden from others, I stopped doing it as often. I started hanging around people who inspired me to be a nonsmoker, and I stayed distracted in positive activities that took my mind off it.
One day, I suddenly realized it had been two months since I had the opportunity to sneak a cigarette. "I guess I quit," I told myself. Because I had focused on Jesus, I no longer felt the desire to smoke!
I had finally understood the truth: The way to keep from carrying out the desires of the flesh is to walk in the Spirit. The Bible tells us, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves" (Galatians 5:16).
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