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by Kim Bond
5/06/2015 / Christian Living
If you struggle with addiction, you have probably prayed several times for God to help you resist the urges and deliver you from your addiction. Yet you still find yourself addicted or have fallen back into addiction. You may be thinkingWhy won't God help me?.I have failed so many times. Should I give up trying?..Has God given up on me?
If you are Christian, then you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. God's Spirit continually helps you to live a life that is increasingly marked by holiness and blamelessness. Even when you backslide into sin, God does not give up on you or abandon you.
In Mark 9:43, Jesus says, "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out." If you are a Christian, there is no need for you to fear hell or cut off your sinning hands. (If you are not a Christian, still don't cut off your hand! Just accept Jesus as Your Savior.) However when we read this verse, we realize how serious Christ was in His attitude against sin. Keep trying to fight against the addiction over and over again and try different ways to stop it. Don't give up!
There is no formula for how God delivers, but sometimes you just need to keep trying to stop your addiction until your heart and soul are broken. In your tears and brokenness, He may deliver you then. God may be allowing your addiction to continue until you finally acknowledge deep hidden emotions that need healing. Together, we'll investigate ways you can draw nearer to God's deliverance from this addictive behavior.
An addiction could be your heart screaming, "Pay attention to me! I am hurt and wounded." Yet you refuse to deal with the memories and emotions from the past because they seem too painful to handle. Good news! You don't have to handle your emotions.just hand them over to our loving Father.
What memories have you buried? Take a second to ask God to remind you of pain you have hidden away from God and yourself. As He brings them to your mind, ask Him to take them for you. Ask Him to heal you of that pain. If necessary, ask God to forgive you or someone else.
This is a process. It may take several times, or the help of a family member, or even the services of a Christian counselor. The important thing is that you trust God with your pain and stop trying to bear the burden of it in your heart. Your heart cannot handle it and was never meant to carry that weight. That could be the reason your physical body constantly desires the soothing of something other than Godsomething that has now become an addiction.
When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:28 Peter said, "...tell me to come to you on the water." Jesus said, "Come." And Peter went. Now it's your turn. Make things right with your heart and the rest of your physical body will eventually realize it has been SET FREE.
Even if you no longer feel convicted about your addiction, in your heart you know it is hindering your relationship with God. You know it is ruining your joy. God wants to help you make changes so you will not be stuck in your addiction foreveror start other addictions. So let's try something new!
When you think of resisting your addiction, do negative thoughts keep you from even trying? Your thought life could be a reason your addiction still has the power to overcome your desire to be free of it. Consciously stop the thought instead of letting it boss you around.
Here's one example of defeatist thinking: My parents were alcoholics so I am an alcoholic. It's in my DNA. I was genetically prone to drinking. No one can change fate.
Once you have stopped the negative thought, think a positive thought. Focus on the deliverance God has already given you. Recite something like this: 1) We are children of God (Galatians 3:26), 2) We are being transformed into the Lord's likeness (2 Cor. 3:18), 3) God's Spirit gives me freedom (2 Cor. 3:17).
Many scientists think our DNA can change. This aligns with what many pastors are preachingthat as adopted children we gain access to Jesus' DNA and certainly His power over sin and the devil. We have been delivered, and we are tapping into that power right now.
Be sure to meditate on God's Word so you know the truth. If you have turned your pain over to God and forgiven yourself and others with us, then you have no more excuse to feel sorry for yourself. Take up your sword and fight!
We fool ourselves into thinking we only harm ourselves when we give into addiction. I am not sure what your habit is, but evil tends to radiate and multiply. Crooked people are in the business of perpetuating addictions. By consuming porn, we drive the sex trafficking industry. When we pay for cigarettes, tobacco farmers use our dollars to hire pre-teen prostitutes on the other side of the world. Even the most innocent-sounding addictions ruin relationships with the people we love the most.
So now we have given the pain in our hearts to God for healing. We have chosen to chase negative thoughts away with the truth of God's Word. Additionally, we chose healthier ways for us to fulfill our need for comfort, rest, adventure and escape as we draw nearer to God in our daily life. Now it's time to wrestle against the addiction itself.
Every time we don't give into an addiction, we are stronger for the next time we are tempted. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert. Satan tried over and over again until Jesus had resisted every temptation. Then the devil left Jesus alone. When the devil realizes we are not giving in, he too will leave us.
We are prideful creatures. Some part of us is still sure we can give up on our own even though we have failed so many times. Somehow our soul must try until it is broken. Then it will cry out for God in some mysterious uttering, and God will rescue all those who need and want His rescuing. He is our Deliverer! So try your very hardest over and over again until God shows up. This may include signing up for porn blockers, joining support groups like Celebrate Recovery, or something else. Just don't give up until you are delivered from your addiction. Earn your victor's crown. God is right beside you.
Prayer: Lord, I pray we would know You as a God with the power to deliver. We trust in Your Word that You came to proclaim freedom for prisoners in Luke 4:18. We trust that You will do this for us even though we do not deserve Your mercy. Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy and power. In Christ's Name, Amen.
Copyright 2015 Kim Bond (This article may be reprinted as long as it includes the following bio. Email questions to [email protected])
Kim Bond writes and edits literature for Draw Near Christian ministry. Visit her website to read more free literature at www.drawneartochrist.com
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