What trips you up? You know what did it in the past but you don’t know what will do it in the future – or do you? You do, it will often be the same exact thing that tripped you up in the past. For example, you have been off intoxicants for 26 days and you hear about Johnny’s party. While his party is nothing special you have almost never missed one.
Think for 5 minutes about what “always” trips you up when you are doing good?
Now write it down. Now think about how often you will need to pray about “it” so that from now on it will “never” trip you up again.
If you pray morning noon and night for 30 days that Jesus Christ will help you resist going to Johnny’s party it will almost be a miracle if you do go. If after all that prayer you are not empowered to resist the party you may want to check if you are slipping into others sins too often to get your prayers answered. If that is happening you may want to check if your life is a vacant empty vacuum with no heavenly purpose. If that is the case I have the answer for you – repent and do things God’s way.
Monkeys are sometimes trapped. The trapper makes a specially cut wooden trap that allows their narrow hands to go into the trap but once they grap the prize in the trap they cant pull their hand back out. Even when they know they are about to lose their freedom they still will not let go of the prize inside the trap. They can just let go and run away but they don’t. They want what is inside the trap so badly that they give up their freedom to get it.
With drugs and alcohol freedom is given up but we still don’t get what we are trying to get.
When we live for Jesus Christ we start to have freedom and we start down a road to purpose and joy.
Trusting and Training: God knows what is best for you. When he does not allow you to have a desire of your heart, do you trust Him and still love Him? Did your actions help put up a blockade to getting your desire? Are you going to get angry at God when you don’t get what you want or will you trust God?
1st Timothy 4:7 says to train yourself for Godliness. “Training” carries with it an athletic metaphor that would have been familiar to the people in Ephesus just as it is with you. Exceptional athletes are known for their exceptional training. They dedicate enormous amounts of time, energy, and effort to developing their skills. They plan their lives around their training, get up earlier than everyone else, work incredibly hard, and preserve. Their lives are marked by extreme intentionality. “No pain, no gain” is not just a motto; it is a way of life.
Paul is telling Timothy that we ought to have the same perspective of intentionality when it comes to godliness. The reality is that just like everything else in life godliness doesn’t come naturally or automatically; it requires intentional and difficult training. Godliness takes intentional effort, a decisive determination to say “no” to some things in order to say “yes” to others.
The spiritual disciplines include Bible memorization, prayer, fasting, corporate worship, journaling, giving, and acts of mercy. These are simply the means by which godliness is facilitated; they are the means by which the Spirit of God trains us to be godly. Without these disciplines and without intentional pursuit, godliness will not happen. This is stunningly simple: without intentionally putting yourself into a position to receive transforming grace, you will not become godly. The devil, your flesh, and the system of the world all work against it. Godliness is unnatural and therefore requires intentionality.
But this effort towards godliness leads to a double blessing. It affects life right now but it also has implications for the future. Sanctification is connected to glorification. 1 Corinthians 15:25 puts it this way: “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Michael Jordan shot hundreds of shots every day so he could win an NBA championship. You have something far more important to do than that. Would it be wise to get a couple of books so that we could train ourselves to worship God and spread the gospel?
Training takes discipline. The root word of discipline is disciple. How can you share what you have learned about discipline with others?
When we fall we prove that we have a worship problem. Are we busy worshipping God or are we spending too much time (which may become worship) on temporary pleasures. You are drawn to the temporary pleasure of addiction to escape, but instead it enslaves and traps you. Train yourself to choose satisfying healthy long term pleasures instead of temporary short term pleasures.
What is the # 1 reason you want to quit _________. Do you have a couple of other reasons? Pray 5-10 times per day: Father, help me focus on this fact. I want to quit _____ because of _________ and ___________.
But many people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Then they go their own way and become confused about everything. When we accept Jesus as Lord we receive goodness into our lives. Jesus went about doing good. If you are a Christian one of your goals is to live like Christ as much as is possible.
There was a little old lady who was struggling to mow her lawn every week. One day a young man came over and mowed her lawn for her. She began to cry. She had had such trouble trying to cut it. He was showing the fruit of goodness.
We were created to be good people. Adam and Eve were created to fellowship with God and live in paradise. How can you bring back a little of this paradise? Live right and do something good for someone. No matter how much you have messed up your life, God wants you to have a little bit of paradise. Even if you are broke and have nothing just turn your life over to God. I felt the presence of God in my life in the most wonderful way on one of my hardest days of my life. I had just left a stock brokerage firm that I was one of three partners of. I knew I had just left behind a million dollars. I had messed up everything.
I told God that I didn’t know what I would do but that I would try to do what He wanted me to do. At that moment I felt like Almighty God was in the car with me and I felt an incredible love. At my lowest moment I felt joy and I lived for a little while the way God intended for us to live.
Say 5 times a day:Addiction is a trap and it will take my freedom away.
Try doing some good in the world and see what happens
Read Matthew 8, Proverbs 31 and James 4
Pray: Father give me wisdom to know what to say and do so that I can help other people.
Pray: Father help people to be delivered from addiction and to be saved today.”
David Hawkins book Breaking Everyday Addictions noted the following. “Stage two denial – In this stage, people have admitted that they have a problem but deny needing any kind of support. Addicts in recovery may revel in their newfound sobriety but see no need to take precautions against relapse.
I have met and worked with many people who are proud of themselves for facing their addiction. Having seen the light, they now believe themselves strong enough, smart enough, brave enough to avoid slipping back into the same old turmoil.
Stage three denial. Here, people may be willing to participate in a recovery program for a time but are unwilling to make a full commitment to “go to any length” to deal with the addiction. They fail to realize that recovery is a never-ending process that demands physical, emotional, and spiritual regeneration.
In each stage pride can present a huge obstacle. Individuals frequently maintain a willfulness to do things their own way”.
I can tell you that after many years of doing things my way I am now convinced that my way leads to disaster. Now the new me believes that doing things God’s way leads to long term joy and the beginnings of blessing. Now I believe that going to any extremes to quit my addictions is exactly the way I want to go. Now I believe that if I “care about other people” and go out of my way to help them the way Jesus wants me to – I will and am living a happy life.
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
Day 17: What leads back to using and self control
Day 18: How to pray to fight addiction
Day 19: Can we get our prayers answered?
Day 20: Overcoming relationship problems
Day 21: Finding a church that can help you
Day 22: Overcoming addiction exercises
Day 23: Don’t worship pleasure – serve others instead to find real joy
Day 24: Always planning will help you stay clean
Day 25: Don’t condemn yourself
Day 26: Knowing why you can’t quit gives you clues to help you quit
Day 27: Knowing why you can’t quit gives you clues to help you quit
Day 28: Anger leads bad to addiction – get it out
Day 29: Set up a time and place to fight your addiction daily
Day 30: Expert planning each day can help you star clean
Day 31: Coping skills for emotions and temperance
Day 32: How to overcome cravings
Day 33: If God is real we should be doing something to help people
Day 34:Who or what do we worship
Day 35: faithfulness