Thursday, September 16, 2010

You CAN live without it...

Sometimes, when we’re feeling down we sometimes go shopping or grab a chocolate bar or write in our diary. It could be period pains or the loss of a loved one. As girls, we have different ways of dealing with hurt or anger.
Some people become withdrawn and stop speaking, whilst others turn to physical substances to relieve them of their feelings. This begins to form a pattern in our lives and anytime we experience this painful feeling, we reach for the credit card, bottle or the drug.

Addictions can form quickly and sometimes, we won’t even know that we have become addicted to something. A dictionary definition of the word addiction is ‘an abornomally strong craving that makes a person dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.’

This does not just mean a drug addiction or an alcohol addiction as many of us seem to think. You can be addicted to ANYTHING! Sex, money, shopping, food, raving, pornography, drugs or alcohol are all materialistic things that we may be suffering an addiction from. These material earthly addictions are damaging both spiritually and physically.

Addiction must be dealt with today, each today of your life. You have to wake up today and say that today I choose not to participate in this activity. One excellent way to do that is to start off each day with prayer. Tell God you know you have a problem, and you want him to deal with it. In this regard, read James 5:13-18.
As girls we need to shift our mind sets into thinking, instead of having sex or eating when I’m feeling low, let me open my bible or kneel down to pray or even just talk to someone about it. The only thing in this world we should be dependent on is Christ. Because after you finish eating or after you’ve finished smoking, your problem still exists and it hasn’t been addressed. The high feeling you momentarily get is NOTHING compared to the promise of eternal life Jesus gave us.
It’s not easy at all getting over an addiction because many times, we feel ashamed, guilty or scared to admit to our friends and family.
However, Jesus is a friend and a comforter; so we are not to worry about being judged. God is our only judge, but when you come to him and strip yourselves of everything and confess unto him your sins, He will have mercy and you and you will become sanctified in Jesus’ name. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death- Romans 8:1-2.

Paul speaks about this is in the bible (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor the drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you were. BUT YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD.”
So whatever it is that you are addicted to, it can be replaced with God; you can be cleansed. It’s not the end for you; Jesus still wants your heart to use for his works.
Remember a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up.

You are not the only person that has experienced this, 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Do not feel ashamed or humiliated, seek God because He knows how to heal you.

Some addictions may not stem from anything at all. They could just be bad sinful habits that have become a pattern for us and defined our character. I knew of a girl once who said she can’t stop shoplifting, she doesn’t know why she just does it, and she’s addicted. But in Romans 6, Paul once again tells us that we made the choice to die to sin and live to Christ, so we can make the choice not to let sin rule us. Of course the choice is not easy but that is why prayer and supplication unto Christ is important. Roman 6 shows us that when you become a Christian, your old life is dead and a new one is born. That new life is not one of sin but one of devotion to God.

Moreover, these addictions are destructive to us. The more impurities we put into ourselves, the more we kill ourselves. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.”
Therefore by putting harmful substances into your body, you devalue the blessing that God has put on your life. God likens your body to a temple! Maybe you are unaware of how elegant, beautiful and artistic the design of a temple is. The bible tells us in 1 Chronicles 29 that the temple walls were made of silver and gold. The people were to know that God dwelt there. That is why it was furnished with such greatness: because it was to be the house of God. So remember that the Holy Spirit lives within you- do not block it out with worldly things or do not devour your flesh by engaging in immoral acts. Surrender your body to the Lord.

Similarly, addictions like money are forbidden in the bible too as stated in Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs”.
Align yourself with the word of God, that way wherever you go you will have a blanket of righteousness covering you.

I also feel like the devil uses our addictions as a weakness point and takes advantage of this. This is why sisters, we need to be on the ball at every given opportunity. 1 Peter 5:8 says that we should “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” How are you supposed to resist the devil’s temptation when you’re drunk?

So when you pray the Lord’s Prayer and you say ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’, mean it with every single bone in your body. If you confess that you want to be far from temptation, you will be!
Also, programmes and classes are very useful ways of dealing with addictions. They provide you with people who can relate to you and with an expert or counsellor who is trained to help and coach people with this kind of problem.

I have put a link at the bottom that gives a list of programmes, classes and numbers that you can use if you need them.
There is also a 7-step guide of how to pray over an addicition or just sin in general. It’s great stuff and can be used all the time.
Remember talking to someone is so important because a friend can offer you support that you never thought you had. My email address and facebook are at the bottom of the page if you feel that you want to ask me any questions. I am more than willing to help!

May God bless you in your efforts to walk with him and remember that God loves you, no matter what kind of sin and selfishness you have immersed yourself in, no matter what your destruction your sin has produced. You are His and he will never forsake you.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever.

7-Step Prayer Guide:
1. Confess all known sin
Read: Psalm 51 | Mark 7:20-23 | 1 John 1:7-10
2. Renounce conformity to the world
Read: Romans 12:2, 6:13-14
3. Ardently seek an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. He will give you a richer, more meaningful life.
Read: John 10:10, 15:5-12 | Ephesians 3:14-19 | Philippians 3:10-14
4. Offer your body as a “living sacrifice” to God
See: Romans 12:1-2 | 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
5. Worship God
Read: John 4:23-24 | Philippians 3:3
6. Thank and praise God. Thank Him for his grace and mercy, praise Him, and keep seeking His mercy. Thank God for answered prayer.
Read: Philippians 4:6-7 | Colossians 4:2
7. Ask God for help in living a pure and loving life
Read: Philippians 4:6-7 | Hebrews 4:16

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