Greetings all! Since inclement weather hindered our meeting last week please review the ‘gentleness’ theme from Jan. 16th. Next week we will round out with self-control. For now, we will look at an area in some of our lives in desperate need of self-control ~ addiction. If you or anyone else you know has successfully combated the yoke of addiction you know full well it requires the Spirit’s fruit of self-control to be triumphant.
Let’s dive right into the deep water of the addiction topic and recognize that people are enslaved to whatever defeats them (2 Peter 2:19). Whatever habit we refuse to take to the cross of Christ we will end up bending our knees to. Our addictions whether to sin in general or food, fear, self-debasing, drugs, alcohol, pleasure, hate, approval, drama, electronics, etc., which we have become dependent upon we have raised to a place of superiority and in doing so, caused ourselves to be brought low. Addiction does not bring choices and freedom it brings servitude. Christ died to set you free so that nothing defeats you! Escape the addicted life by yielding your will to the Spirit of God and utilizing His resource of self-control, which you have IN Christ. Christ made a way of escape for you sweet thing because He loves you immensely. You really do have a choice.
Below are some Scriptures that will guide you regarding the truth of addiction.
Addiction to food, alcohol or drugs is to become dependent upon them.
“For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things.” Philippians 3:18-19
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning in pursuit of beer, who linger into the evening, inflamed by wine.” Isaiah 5:11
“These also stagger because of wine and stumble under the influence of beer: priest and prophet stagger because of beer, they are confused by wine. They stumble because of beer, they are muddled in their visions, they stumble in their judgments. Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit; there is no place without a stench.” Isaiah 28:7-8
“Come, let me get some wine, let’s guzzle some beer; and tomorrow will be like today, only far better!” Isaiah 56:12
“In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine.” Titus 2:3
Addiction to wealth is to be controlled by it.
“Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But he was stunned at this demand, and he went away grieving because he had many possessions.” Mark 10:21-22
“When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.” Acts 16:19
“At the same time, he was also hoping that money would be given to him by Paul.” Acts 24:26
“They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15
Addiction never satisfies
Addiction to sinful habits does not satisfy. “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness., So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.” Romans 6:20-21
Addiction to food, alcohol, or drugs does not satisfy. “All man’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.” Ecc 6:7
Addiction to wealth does not satisfy. “The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.” Ecc 5:10 “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
The answer to addiction is self-control through the new life in Christ
“For we know that our old self, was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.” Romans 6:6-7
“So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14
“Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey-either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy, because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.” Romans 8:12-15
“Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Lord, I need your help. Help me put desires of my ‘self’ under the ‘control’ of Your Spirit. I desire to yield my will to Your will. Heal my mind, soul, body, and spirit Lord of all addictions. I acknowledge that although I may be able to hide my addictions from others they are never hidden from you. I desire to receive YOUR freedom. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray and believe.
In His grace,