Pastor Ron slipped up again. He was having a bad day and was looking forward to spending some time with his wife (if you know what I mean). But she was like – I really had a long day and I really was planning to go to sleep early. She did indeed go to bed early and Ron hit the liquor store 5 minutes after she went to sleep. He bought way too much and drank every drop and passed out in his basement.
5 hours later he woke up feeling rotten. He paused to pray for forgiveness and did not feel a thing. He then realized he had been slipping up on a pretty regular basis. He knew he needed to try something new to get his act together. He grabbed a pen and paper and decided to write out the consequences of his actions.
He wrote – the minute I go over the line and get drunk I feel the light in my life disappear and other forces seem to move in. #2: Over the last few weeks my goal of growing my church 10% this year has been totally forgotten – been busy drinking or thinking about drinking. #3: I made a couple of bad financial decisions in the last few weeks. Could they be related to my present actions? #4: Last month I was encouraging my church members to invite others to church and they did it. I was finding great joy in seeing these people saved. This month the party is on, I have forgotten about church growth and my joy level has gone from a 10 to a 3. #5: I always preach that relationships suffer when you get into sin. Yep, all of my relationships could use a band aid right now. #6: Another night with very little sleep. #7: I have been sick on and off all month – noticed that God doesn’t really answer my prayers when I put alcohol before Him.
Pastor Ron bowed his head and prayed: Father, I know your rules are for my own good and joy. Please forgive me for my ignorance and sin. Next time I am going to review these consequences before I mess up. This time he felt a warmth like Jesus was with him again. Yep, he always taught his church people that real repentance was putting together a plan of how you are going to change. Now he has a plan which gives a little bit of power about how to fight future temptation.
Life is filled with constant problems and often times these issues lead to negative emotions which are triggers to doing drugs or drinking. It is wise to retrain your mind to react moderately to life’s constant problems. Anger, self pity, resentment, frustration, boredom or anything else that triggers your habits needs to be changed. Make a note of what emotions cause your problems. Then pray, plan, and prepare yourself to react differently. Your mind will learn new habits. If you get angry every day you have that habit. Now if you make efforts every day to keep your anger under control you are beginning to form a new habit which will assist you in learning self control.
What happens is that your emotions get out of control and you do what do you always do when you get upset. You likely use drugs or drink. So you need to spend a lot of time praying about the emotions that lead to your habit.
“It’s not the situation…… it’s your reaction to the situation.” Bob Conklin Overcoming Addiction Quote
Write down what emotion tends to lead you back to drugs or drinking?
Let’s look in on people who are trying to quit to see what they are doing: Ty Prayed five times per day that God would help him to control his negative emotions. Remember to pray all the time for things that are in God’s will. This prayer is exactly what God wants you to change and He will answer it over time.
Now you may say I have asked God a 1000 times to keep me from drinking or drugs and I went back 998 times. Did I get no answer to prayer? You got an answer which was silence. When you love something as much as you love or used to love drugs or drinking God ignores those prayers. In order for you to pray “God keep me from using” and get an answer, you have to hate drugs or drinking with a passion so that you will have the faith to believe that you really can stop.
God will answer the prayer of a sincere person immediately and permanently. I will also tell you that God rarely answers my prayers immediately. And I know why. On some level I still want my addiction. So if you want to pray directly about your addiction pray “Father help me to not want this addiction”.
Many of you have accepted Christ as your Savior. For a while you felt His tremendous love in your life and then it has faded a bit. The way to get it back (or to start now) is to repent of your sins and to dedicate your life to Him. Pray “Father forgive me of my sins. I accept you as my Savior.” If you lack the faith to believe in Christianity and to commit at this time to read “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel.
I believe that Jesus is real and this great book documents a man who made it his goal to prove Jesus was a fake. After years of research He become a Christian and wrote this book because of the overwhelming evidence (much of it physical) that Jesus is real and that He rose from death and is God.
Sue is determined to form a habit to say to herself 3 times a day that “my goal is to quit drinking and doing drugs. I will not put a priority on fun or excitement – my goal is to quit. Today I will do things that satisfy.
One of the reasons some people struggle to quit is because they have no idea what the purpose for their life is. There is an excellent book by Rick Warren called “The Purpose Driven Life”. I highly recommend that you read this book.
1 Corinthians 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.”
God has unfailing love for us. Every day I will add another verse that talks about His unfailing love.
Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
Today Tom decided to add idea’s to his quitting drugs and drinking journal.
Read First Corinthians 1 and John 2 from the Bible.
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