Addictions have many causes, mental, physical, and spiritual as well as many others. But for hardcore long term addiction the spiritual aspect is often the dominant factor. Having said that, keep in mind that if you have a long term problem you need to consistently try everything that you can in every way to try to quit.
In this session we will start with the spiritual then see how it relates to everything else. So we will start out with a prayer. The prayer is “Father, help me to care only about quitting my addiction”. Obviously when we pray help me to care only we are not excluding caring about things like family or responsibilities, we are merely trying to exclude things that may lead back to addiction.
Example #1 We have our friend Mike the gambler, now clean for 9 days is called by a buddy who invites him to a sports event. The second he is invited he knows all his gambling buddies will be there. But what is the harm they won’t be gambling at the event. He goes and the very next day he is in full swing on a gambling binge, the type that has almost always ended with him being broke in the past.
In this example he fully cared about quitting his addiction but he also badly wanted to go have fun. And let’s be honest when we are disciplined and schedule an alternative event it will not always be quite as much fun. But if he had cared only about quitting his addiction he would have turned down the first offer where he knew he would fall into severe temptation and he would have found something else to do. He might be doing something only 80% as fun that Friday night, but he could keep his joy for the whole week and yes keep his money as well.
Test out for yourself to see that sin leads to your main addiction. Getting drunk or watching sinful TV or movies leads you back to addictions. For movie watching, wait for the movies to be on TV instead of paying for them. It is much easier to change the channel on a freebie. You have instant clean options with regular TV.
Make it a goal to be clean in all ways. Even when you stay clean from your addiction, if your mind is filled with dark evil things you will never find real joy. When we pray Father, help me to care only about quitting my addiction, we are directly asking God to show us if our movie channels or our this, or our that, are leading us directly back to our addiction. This is exactly the type of prayer that God answers. He wants you to be clean, filled with light and be fighting to get the darkness (sin) out.
When will our prayers be answered? Sometimes right away but often they are answered long after we want them to be answered but much quicker than we deserve to have them answered.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Why does the Bible say that the greedy will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Why does 1st Corinthians 6 say the harsh things it says? It may be because when we accept Christ we join God’s army. There is a massive war going on. God has huge things for every person to do. At first He may only give us small things to do until we straighten up enough to do the huge things. But we need to train always to do the huge things while we do the small things.
When we commit the sins which waste our time and money the disobedience is a problem. But the real problem is God’s army went off to war and ____ stayed behind because of _____ . What should God do with the deserters? In 2017 in America virtually no one is taught about the urgency and importance of serving in God’s army. No one is taught to have a passion for winning the war. A passion for souls. A love for the people all around us dying and going to hell.
I focus on this passage regularly because I want to be fully aware of the war which is going on. I must quit any addictions so that I am able to do the task that God has for me to do. Quitting gambling shows the world you are fully aware of the war going on. It tells everybody that you will be as strong as you can be so that you can do what God has for you to do.
Let’s continue to watch people who are trying to quit to see what they are doing. Bill determined to pray every day: Father keep me from temptation.
Lisa decided to make it a habit to pray at least 3 times per day “Lord, help me to always be moderate in all things.” Mike made it a habit to have a time and place to pray every day.
Bill is making it a habit to tell himself to care first about quitting gambling 5 times every day. For busy people we should say it 5 times per day, for others we need to say it every hour. To care first means to turn away instantly from any emotions, situations, temptations, wrong people or anything else that may trip us up.
Every day Mike worked at analyzing what he was doing that leads him back to gambling. Since his fall his is focusing on finding new friends and never going to the Casino again as long as he lives. Two weeks later he started to really understand how his mind and emotions played tricks on him. This knowledge gave him more skills on how to fight his addiction.
Read John 4, 1st Corinthians 4 and Proverbs 2 from the Bible.
Continue to read “The Purpose Driven Life”.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
For me stress can lead back to addiction. When I put a specific time limit on activities which raise my stress level, plus praying about being moderate in all things – I probably triple or quadruple my odds of success. What do you need to plan more often which will help you avoid your addiction?
Never give up. God loves you.
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?