We can learn a great deal about overcoming addiction from the book of Genisis.
Genesis chapter 2 verse 7Then the Lord God formed a man[d] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[h] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[i] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In life there are always a couple of things that we can’t do if we want to find real joy. I always think when I read this story – I would never have eaten that apple. But the fact is that we do the exact same stupid thing she did. We get the same destruction she got (we will talk more about that tomorrow).
The first thing we can learn from this chapter is that satan wants us to fall. God told Adam and Eve they would die if they ate the forbidden fruit. Satan said to them “You certainly will not die.
I can tell you 50 times that gambling causes you financial destruction, it has in the past and it will in the future unless you quit. But satan will fight back and tell you that you are going to win this time. Satan will tell you that your favorite thing to do in the world is gambling. Hello, did he forget all the pain and destruction it caused you? He will tell you that you have to go. He will have your buddies call you to go gambling.
Key Point #1 When your buddies call you to go gambling tell them this: “I am making an attempt to quit gambling – it is killing my finances. I don’t know if it will stick but I am going to try”.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Form a habit to say to yourself 6 times a day that “my gambling causes me financial destruction. It has in the past and it will in the future unless I quit.”
Pray “Father keep me from temptation”.
Why is being filled with the Holy Spirit a priority? It is because we were created to what to be filled with something. We all marvel at how hooked people become with booze or drugs. They are filled with those spirits. There is a gambling spirit. Those of you with a light addiction may fight this notion. But anyone who is really hooked knows it is true. This is why being filled with the Holy Spirit is great for gamblers. Once you become really filled, gambling starts to fade because it has been replaced by something better.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit, get all sin out of your life. Keep it out. God has a mighty plan for you. He is waiting for you to be ready to fufil your destiny.
How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
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.
The Magic Lever
What if we could pull a magic lever and never be tempted by our addiction ever again? While there is no magic lever there is a lever. Some have pulled it 55% of the way down, others 65%, others 80% but only a few pull it 100% of the way down. The reason the lever is not pulled all the way down is because the farther we pull it the harder it gets to continue.
55% pull – many have developed some skill in fighting addiction. Changed thinking, awareness of triggers etc. 65%: Other have that plus have added a real relationship with Jesus including Bible study and pray –temptation gets lighter.
Some have all that plus now they are fighting to find their purpose, help others and let people know about their exciting relationship with Jesus. A new light filled way of life and an 80% pull. Temptation has decreased quite a bit – they have a lot of others important things to focus on.
Proverbs talks about a 100% pull: Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV) 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
In all your ways submit to him: this is where the pull gets really hard. But remember the reward “He will make your paths straight.” We all underestimate how great our lives will be when He makes our paths straight.
I know someone who always Trusts and always submits to God. Their life is great and they are always filled with joy. But it is really hard work to submit in all your ways. Are you up for the challenge?
Many struggle with temptation because they think there is that huge thrill or high or win that can be had if they just go back to the habit again. But remember that the only pleasure that will be huge and great is found in a burning fire for Jesus. All other pleasures are short term with no contentment or satisfaction.
Jesus has plans and something for you to do today. Stir the fire up by getting started doing what He wants you to do. This if the key to the huge pleasure you are searching for. It brings the pleasure that satisfies.
Read John 17 and 2nd Corinthians 1 and Proverbs 15
Day one: Quitting addiction exercises
Day two: It is important to admit you are powerless
Day 3: Learn the right way to live
Day 4: Getting rid of negative emotions
Day 5: Remember – money lost is not yours. Don’t try to get it back or you will lose more.
Day 6: can you increase your pleasure by gambling?
Day 7: Staying clean in all ways helps you quit the addiction
Day 8: Decide what pain and pleasure you want
Day 9: Analyze what leads you back to your addiction
Day 10: Change your emotions and your mindsets. Stop believing that your big score will come in.
Day 11: Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is liberty
Day 12: Learn how to worship God. Also try to develop positive addictions.
Day 13: Write out a letter saying why you want to quit
Day 14: Overcoming cravings and negative emotions
Day 15: You have some self control
Day 16: Have a list of coping statements. Have a list of substitute activities.
Day 17: How to find living water that will always satisfy you
Day 18: Do not have faulty beliefs abourt gambling odds
Day 19: Interview with a professional poker player