If you are still stuggling you need to know exactly what leads you back into drinking/drugs. Today write out in as much detail as you can, the thoughts, behaviors, actions, emotions, triggers, and sins that lead you back to drinking/drugs. Ideally, you are organizing these signs by when they occur, i.e., the first sign when the issue is small, all the way to when it’s at its worst.
Now you can start to see a pattern. What happens that puts you 20% down that slippery path, what emotions put you 40% into falling, what behaviors (or lack of alternate behaviors) put you falling faster and faster.
What do you need to strengthen to avoid falling in the same way next time?
To survive overall in life we need to learn to maximize the good times and minimize the bad times. Why do rock stars and movie stars commit suicide? There are several reasons and we will talk about all of them. The first reason is because they dwell on the bad instead of the good. They have millions of people worshipping them and millions of dollars but, instead of thinking about that – they always think about the bad.
We must learn to think right especially in the bad times – cause if I think right, I will do right (act right). Don’t let the bad eat up the good. The devil loves for you to highlight the thing in your life that is wrong. Don’t give in to fear, defeat, hopelessness, or temptation. Your worst day will become your best day if you focus on Jesus. Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV) says 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. The 2nd reason rock/movie stars commit suicide is because they don’t know their creator. If you have everything and you don’t have Jesus – you have nothing. If you have nothing and you have Jesus you have everything. I personally knew 2 people who had nothing (or maybe less than nothing) in life, but they had Jesus. These 2 people always were happy and always had a purpose.
One thing from your past or present can so consume you that is causes you to miss your destiny because you won’t let it go, or you won’t focus on something else. Maybe they did do you wrong, maybe they are now doing you wrong, maybe you are divorced, maybe you were abused, but don’t let the bad eat up the good! Satan will help you focus on the horrible thing that has happened in your life. Let it go and pray to Jesus “help me to let it go” as many times as it takes to break free.
You can break free from your past. The best way to end old relationships is to start new ones. A Relationship with Jesus, with healthy friends, with healthy activities etc.
We have a choice about what we put on the inside of us. We need light inside of us not darkness. We fill our lives with light by getting the Word of God inside us. We do that by reading the Bible, meditating on it, memorizing it, quoting it and hearing it.
At the point when the crisis hits something on the inside of you is going to be squeezed out of you. Self control is not just something that is going to come in like a band aid after a situation arises. Self control is something that we develop. If you are a Christian you have a huge advantage because when you work hard to develop self control, the Holy Spirit works even harder to help you develop it.
One way we work to gain self control is by practicing denying ourselves. Always practice denying yourself of small things. Even by denying yourself things like too much sugar or TV is starting to learn self control.
Delay gratification. We want it and we want it now. Practice waiting until it is the right time to buy something or do something.
Practice everything in moderation. Most addicts need to quit their addiction completely. But it will help you to quit your addiction if you practice moderation in other areas of life.
Control the anger and other emotions. Self control is about calmly and slowly identifying the cause of your distress and irritation and finding a solution. Find calm and constructive solutions to your problems.
Take up sports or activities that teach you inner focus. Consider such activities as Bible study, prayer, meditation, etc. as forms of self-centering and learning to rely on God. These are excellent means for developing self-control.
Practice fighting temptation and learn how to wait until cravings go away. Cravings seem like they will last forever but they don’t. Keep doing other things and they will always go away.
What is your level of self control? If you are a one set a goal to become a 2 or a 3. If you are a 3 set a goal to become a 5 or a 6. Practice self control every day and ask God to help you with self control every morning, noon and night.
Pray, God put a guard over my mind and my willingness to think about my addictions.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Pray “Father keep me from temptation”.
PRAYER FOR FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION
Lord Jesus, You said, “I have come to set the captives free.” We are captive and need Your healing touch. Free us, Lord, from our addictions, so that we will be:
…free from the cares and worries that stifle our happiness;
…free from sins that cling to us, and to which we cling;
…free from all compulsive behavior that prevents us from becoming what You, Lord, have planned for us.
Bring us, loving Savior, to the experience of abundant life which You promised. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Read John 14 and 1st Corinthians 14 and Proverbs 12
To quit an addiction the best method is to replace one bad activity with one good one. Many of you have tried a new hobby or activity in the past and did not love it. But you will never quit your addiction unless you have better things to do. Try that hobby again, Try that activity again, Try that church again, Try reading Christian books again. Try treating someone with love and respect. How many times will you try that activity that will help you quit. 33 is a good number. Try once a day for the next 33 days.
Hope is a critical element in overcoming addiction. Michael Cartwright in his book Believable Hope notes the following. “Believable hope is based on evidence that change has been experienced by others in conditions similar to yours and is absolutely possible for you. It helps to have some positive role models, mentors, or sponsors, or some reason to believe that you can actually change. One of the most effective means of developing believable hope is to enroll in a residential program where you can immerse yourself in a new mindset. Sometimes simply knowing that somebody believes in you provides the believable hope that you can be better.”
If you can find a mentor that would be great. He continues “A mentor’s experience often can provide a positive frame of reference. If they can change so can I. You have to truly believe that you not only can change but that you will.
We have all lost hope in some sense at some point in our live. Maybe it was our favorite sports team that gets so far behind in points that there was not hope in them winning. Maybe it was a little more serious, maybe you there was time when you were without a job and with no money. Maybe it was a health issue where you thought there was no hope for you or loved one.
During those times perhaps you want to take the advice of Job’s wife, who told Job to “Curse God and die”.
Hope let us realize is necessary to the human spirit as oxygen is to the physical body. When we lose all hope we are overcome with feelings of senselessness, purposelessness, and despair. Lack of hope can destroy our very lives.
The word Hope occurs some 52 times in the New Testament alone. And if you take the time to look up those 52 passages you will find that it ALWAYS is connected in some way to God. God is the author of hope, Romans 15:13 tells us “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Our God is the God of hope, and here there is a prayer that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
But what exactly is hope? One of the definitions I read for hope stated, “Hope is, desire, with the expectation of getting what is desired.” One cannot hope for that which he neither desires or expects to receive.
Sometimes our hope can be misplaced. There are those who hope to receive eternal life in heaven without acknowledging Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
There are those who hope to grow in Christ without reading His word or going to God in prayer on a regular basis. There are those who hope to live happy lives even though they are in rebellion to God.
All these are misplaced hopes, false hopes, hopes that our not founded and based in God.
Life can be difficult and harsh, and there are times we may think that it will not get better. But there is hope, true hope in Christ, and there is hope no where else.
I want to give three reason for the type of hope Paul mentions in Titus 1:2.
The first is The WORD OF GOD GIVES HOPE. A verse that we referred to a lot when we did that series of sermons from the OT a while ago. Romans 15:4; “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
The scriptures give to us hope. The stories of old give us hope. This verse can be looked at in the context of both the Old and New Testaments.
You see folks are problems are not now. We may think that our problems our unique to ourselves, but there has been someone else who as gone through them before.
God ministered to them in their situation and He will do the same for us. The same God who dealt with those saints of old, deals with us today. God ministered to their needs and He will ours.
Are you lonely and depressed. Look at Elijah, he thought he did not have a friend in the world. He thought he was the only one who still loved God. He was alone and depressed. But Elijah found that God was still with him, that God was there. God sent fire from heaven to show him that He was with him.
Are you frightened? Something in your life has gotten out of control? Look at David, he fought a 9 foot 6 inch giant and beat him. God was with David, no need to be afraid when God is on our side. As the Bible states, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Are you being treated unfairly? What about Joseph? He was treated unfairly. He treated unfairly by his family, by Potiphar’s wife, by Potiphar himself, and the list goes on. Yet His hope was in God. He rose for prison to be the second most powerful man in Egypt.
Are you in some sort of crisis? Talk about a crisis how would you like to be facing a group of hungry lions with nowhere to run! That’s were Daniel found himself. What did Daniel do? He prayed, because He knew where his hope was, it was in God.
These stories and more are given to us that we might have hope. Hope in God, knowing that He is still there, that He cares for his children. None of our problems are new, God has seen them before. Maybe the outcome will be different then what we see in the Bible, but let us know where our hope is!
The promise found in the Bible give us hope. In Hebrews 13:5 “…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus will not leave us, He is always with us. Even when we go places we should not be, or say things we should not say, or do things we should not do, Jesus is with us, our hope is there.
No matter what our situation, hope is there, that Hope that is Jesus Christ.
The second reason for hope is the Cross of Jesus Christ. The cross ought to remind us that someone loves me, and that someone is master of the universe, He is Lord of all, King of kings. Listen to Jesus words in
John 15:13; “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
There is no greater love then the love Jesus Christ as for the saints of God. A love by which He came to earth and died for our sins, paid the price of our sins with His own blood. We cannot even begin to understand that love of Christ.
That love ought to give us hope, because that love demonstrates to us, how much Jesus cares for us. How much the Father cares for us and desires what is best for us.
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Our hope is in God because He has demonstrated to us through the cross of Christ that He desires for us what is best.
Read John 14 and 1st Corinthians 14 and Proverbs 12
Day one: How to overcome cravings
Day two: Would believing in a higher power be good for you?
Day three: Quitting addiction exercises
Day four: Does God answer pray?
Day five: Starting to understand that we can’t increase our pleasure for the whole month by going back to our addiction
Day six: Planning our day to keep addiction temptation to a minimum
Day seven: We find liberty (or start to find liberty) from addiction when we find Jesus
Day eight: First fruit of the Spirit
Day nine: Benefits of worshipping God
Day ten: Getting rid of negative emotions and overcoming cravings
Day 11: How to be blessed by God and self control
Day 12: Have a list of coping statements
Day 13: How to have living water so that you will never thirst again. How to become a christian.
Day 14: Adam and Eve show us what we do that causes things to go wrong
Day 15 Consequenses of doing wrong
Day 16 Self control