Romans 6:12-14 (NIV)
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
We live in a world that is polluted with addiction. It’s an ailment that is controlling and ruining the lives and relationships of people from all races, genders, and generations. When we hear the word addiction we all immediately think of someone else that is an addict and the battle that they continue to face daily. We often seem to look on these people with judgmental eyes and even utter phrases such as, “Why don’t they just stop?” “Why do they continue to do that to their self?” or even go as far as labeling them as worthless, scum, or a lost cause.
If you’ve ever fallen into this type of behavior, and I’m sure we all have at some point in time, let me ask you a question.
What Has Mastered You?
Maybe you’ve never fallen into the addiction of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or sex but what about coffee, social media, food, or shopping?
Wait, these are things that you enjoy doing but you’re not addicted…..RIGHT?!?!
Well answer these 6 questions honestly, if you respond yes to at least 3 of them, in any area of your life chances are you have been mastered.
1. Have family members or friends voiced to you that you may have a problem?
2. Do you continue to do it even though you are hurting others or even yourself?
3. Do you arrange your schedule around it?
4. Can you go a week without it?
5. Is it leading you to isolation or hurting your relationships?
6. Are you trying to keep it a secret?
Answering yes to 3 or more of these questions in any area of your life means that your neighbor or loved one isn’t the only one battling an addiction.
The bottom line is that addictions are everywhere and they are continuing to destroy families, relationships, and careers every day.
If we are ever going to knock out our own addictions, regardless of what they may be, we have to take 3 steps.
Stop The Excuses
In Luke 14 Jesus tells a story of a man who prepared a great banquet and invited many guest, however upon receiving their invitation they replied with excuses as to why they couldn’t make it. The first said, I just bought a field. I must go see it. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I just bought five yoke of oxen. I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.” Still, another said, “I just got married, so I can’t come. Please excuse me.”
Everyone had an excuse. What’s yours?
Well I’ve tried but I cant quit. I can quit anytime I want, just not right now. I’m not hurting anyone but myself. I’m not as strong as you. I’m just following in my families footsteps.
Regardless of the excuses you’ve been using you need to know that God is inviting you to freedom and deliverance from your addictions, but if you respond with excuses you’re settling for less than God’s best for you. You’re excusing yourself from freedom and locking yourself up in bondage.
2. Cut The Ties
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.
If there is something or someone that leads you to the addiction, Cut The Ties. If you have a friend who is your source, your supplier, or your tempter, that person in no longer your friend, Cut The Ties. You got a pornography stash? It’s in the garbage today! Cut The Ties. If you are a smoker and you want to be free, your cigarettes go in the garbage today. Cut The Ties. Whatever it is, Cut The Ties.
What ties do you need to cut today?
James 4:7 (NIV)
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Now keep in mind, this is a battle, a fight! The enemy will likely not flee the second you decide to cut the ties. You’re going to have to stand, swing, punch, bite, kick and everything else you can imagine. You may even get knocked down in the process, but don’t give up or give in! You have way too much to fight for and look forward to, to stop now!
Stop the excuses, Cut the ties…..
3. Fill The Void
Replace that high, that buzz, that false sense of security with the only thing that can fully satisfy.
Jesus said in John 4
John 4:14 (NIV)
14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus doesn’t just fill a small void in our lives, but He becomes everything that we need.
Even when we find ourselves in an area where we are extremely weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to admit that you are weak and addicted. Stop trying to fight the battle alone, learn to lean on God and allow Him to bring you to deliverance!
Let your biggest weakness be Christ’s greatest strength through you!