- 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 and our lives are devoured by it, 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 we witness people freed from addictions, by their faith in Jesus, God is glorified; and all who have witnessed it are drawn to reason with God for themselves. This is but one form of God’s evangelism in this broken world.
The solution to all forms of addiction is our reasoning with God, which allows us to use 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, 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’s Word to provide a way of escape, 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, 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 to follow, God and the hope He brings us of an eternity with Him, or the devil and the temporary pleasures 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 we then understand 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.” Those once so important temptations the devil uses will no longer require our devotion. God 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; as we mourn the lives the thief has stolen. The devil is always trying to change God’s truth and those who believe those lies 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, which leads us away from God. He reminds us 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.
He has not left us alone and helpless, He has given us His Word, the breathe of life, to guide us to Him and His peace, 2 Tim 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” and Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Why do so many ignore His Word?
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,”, which He willingly allowed to drip from His body, as He hung on the cross, for all of us. His sacrifice has made it possible for any of us to call on Jesus and escape the addictions of the devil. All we need to do is, Rom 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This is how we accept His sacrifice on the cross. We can’t just say the words we must truly believe and experience the transformation process, which will surely follow. Thus, we can be saved from all of the addictions the devil uses. It is a personal decision, and no one can make it for us.
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