- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about addictions?
Jam 1:13-14, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” The devil is always looking for our weaknesses, our lusts, to tempt us into an addiction, 1 Pet 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” Once we are lured into action by a temptation, we surrender our will to the power of the addiction, Rom 6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Paul describes the problem of addiction, Rom 7:19-20, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” The seeds of sin dwell within every one of us in the form of our weaknesses, but when we seek God He will deliver us, Ps 50:15, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” When people witness the addicted freed by their faith in Jesus, they are drawn to reason with God themselves.
The solution is to call on the Word of God when we are tempted, as Jesus demonstrated for us in the desert, Matt 4:3-4, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” When we call on the Word of God the devil will retreat, Matt 4:10-11, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” This is why most successful addiction treatment programs have the belief in a higher power as one of the first few steps, Jam 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We cannot defeat the devil on our own, we need God to provide a way of escape, 1 Cor 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
We need to decide who we are going follow, God and His hope for us of an eternity with Him, or the devil and the desires he places before our eyes, 1 Jn 2:16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” When we look to heaven and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we are able to resist all of the devil’s temptations, for our God provides all we need, Matt 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He wants us to have an abundant life and to avoid the suffering that follows for those who submit to the devil’s temptations, Jn 10:9-10, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The thief is the devil and if we exam the suffering of those who have chosen to follow the temptations of the devil unto addictions, we will learn the truth of the last verse, we will see the lives the thief has stolen. The devil is always trying to change God’s truth and those who believe the lie will suffer the consequences, Rom 1:25, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
The evidence, which allows us to understand the works of the flesh, are before us daily, Gal 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” God is warning us about the devil’s temptations, and the resulting behavior, because He loves us and wants us to avoid being burned, Prov 6:27, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” When we play with fire, there is a good chance we will get burned.
It is Jesus’ blood that saves us from sin and temptation, Rev 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” and He freely offers it to all of us.
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