A prominent senator finished his day then proceeded to go to happy hour. When he finished there he came out and a car came speeding through. It hit the senator, he died and found himself at the pearly gates. Upon arrival Saint Peter said to him “we don’t know what to do with you. I have an idea, why don’t you spend 24 hours in hell, then 24 hours in heaven and then you choose where you will stay for eternity. The senator said that sounds good.
So they arrived in hell. Wow, his favorite singer was singing. All his old friends were there. He saw the most magnificent golf course he had ever seen in his life. They danced, went boating, and had a feast. He had a day of great pleasure.
Next they arrived in Heaven. Double wow, God was there, the apostles and discipled welcomed him. He felt like he had 12 senses instead of 6. What beauty, what glory, what peace, it was perfect. Peter said to him; which one do you pick? The senator said you know I never thought of this before, but I think I will choose hell. My friends are all there and I really felt more comfortable there.
So they arrived again in hell.When they opened the door the senator noticed a stench and a heat. It was barren and the people had sores on them. They were weeping and in torment. The devil came over and hugged the senator and said this is where you will be for all of eternity. The senator said what happened; just yesterday this was a glorious place. The devil said yesterday we were campaigning, today you voted.
The devil is always campaigning for you. He temps you at your point of purpose. If he can get you to gamble instead of fulfilling your purpose he wins. If he can get you to sin instead of fulfilling your purpose he wins.
While you are praying to find your purpose find something to do to help broken people. Love God, love people, hate sin. Hebrews 10 says that people who keep sinning deliberately will end up in hell.
Hebrews 10:26 King James Version (KJV)
26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Keep in mind that God has great mercy for sinners who are trying to do right but failing. But, most of us need to try a lot harder.
Read Matthew 12
Pray: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
The Classic Christian Writings book “Show me Your Love” noted the following:
“Christ is our advocate. He appears in the presence of God to prevent any new alienation and to continue the state of friendship and peace between God and us. He makes our cause His own and acts for us in heaven. He is touched with a most tender understanding of our troubles and dangers. He is not only one with us by way of representation but also one with us in respect of sympathy and affection.
Christ our advocate tracks our cause and business in heaven as His great and primary design and business. It is as if our concerns were so attended to by Him there that all the glory and honor which is paid Him in heaven would not divert Him one moment from our business. He pleads the cause of believers by His blood. Unlike other advocates, it is not enough for Him to lay out only words, which is a cheaper way of pleading, but he pleads for us by the voice of His own blood. Every wound He received for us on earth is a mouth opened to plead with God on our behalf in heaven. No friend in the world is so generous and bountiful to this as Jesus Christ is to believers.
No friend in the world loves His friend with as impassioned and strong affection as Jesus Christ loves believers. There is no end of the account of Christ’s love.”
Often quitting addiction becomes a series of I wont’s. I will not be around certain people. I will not watch certain TV shows or movies. I will not do this or that in excess. The million dollar question is – is this really Jesus dynamic plan?
We need to understand that all of the I wont’s are only there so that we will be free to do the I will’s.
When we read about Jesus disciples we rarely read about how they struggled all the time with sin or addiction. Why? There were 3 huge reasons. The first was because they were in the presence of Jesus. The second was because they were busy doing something.
Many of us think – wow that would be spectacular to have lived when Jesus was on earth. It would have been spectacular.
But, if we learn the habit of getting the sin out and of worshipping and praising God all of the time. We then do have the Holy Spirit in all His glory with us all the time.
2nd, we know Jesus disciples were always busy doing something for Jesus. If we on the other hand are only busy doing something for Jesus 3% or 5% or 7% of the time. Then we are leaving plenty of time for us to get back into trouble.
3rdly the disciples would have taken a day of rest and focused on worshipping God. Balance keeps us healthy.
I have a daughter who doesn’t have the highest level of discipline in the world. But she is always busy doing something for Jesus. She always says I will to Jesus and she always means it. And you guessed it – she doesn’t have any addictions.
Pastor Charles Box wrote the following:
LEARNING TO SAY “I WILL” AND MEAN IT
“I will” use my talents for God. If every member of every Church would use their talents for God many lives could be touched. It is easy to be critical of others when we are guilty of not using our talents. Those who do what they can will be blessed and they will be a blessing to others. But what a terrible fate awaits those who do not use their talents for God! “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:14-30)
“I will” be an active participant in the work of the Lord. I want to think of God as “My God” and His work in the church as “My work.” “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) I will make every possible effort to attend every assembly of the church. I will be certain to attend Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. I will determine that the Lord and His work are going to be first in your life. What needs to be done? Everything! The possibilities for involvement in the work of the Lord are endless. What skills has God blessed you with? Do what you can for Jesus. If we are willing participants in the Lord’s work, we will soon understand that serving the Lord is one of the most enjoyable experiences of a Christian’s life. We learn to become a part of something larger than ourselves. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8)
“I will” invite and bring friends to the church assembly. All of us have someone in our acquaintance that we can influence to come with us to the services of the church. If every member of every Church would be serious about this one thing our growth would be phenomenal. Go by and pick up people for the services. Sit with them when they attend. Make them feel at home. Let them feel our love. Introduce your visitor to others. Put forth a special effort to have your visitors in your home. Go to work for God! “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
“I will” pray earnestly each day. I will pray for our elders and their work. I will pray for unity. I will pray for lost souls who need Christ. I will pray for those friends and relatives who need the blessings of God. I will also pray that I can grow spiritually. I will pray daily and when payers are offered in the assembly I will pray fervently. I will pray daily for the church, for its members and for its work. We need to pray for one another because we all stand in need of prayer. “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Jesus will make you a soul winner. Nothing is more powerful than accepting Jesus’ “I will” of service and soul winning. (5) Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Jesus said “I will” give rest to those who come to Him; the rest comes to those who labour and are heavy laden for Jesus. When Jesus said “I will” He meant it. There are some things we should say “I will” about and we should truly mean it!
Read Matthew 18, and Acts 11-12
Keep coming back to this site every day – the last ten days each have one of the top ten tips for avoiding relapse and one of the top ten prayers for quitting addiction.
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
Day 26: Which prayers are answered quickly – which prayers time more time and persistence
Day 27: How to fill the vacuum that addiction caused
28: Finding a good church
29: Knowing why you can’t quit can help you plan how to quit
30: How to eliminate the vacuum created by quitting
31: Tripping your addiction trap. Overcoming sloth
32: You need clean people around you if you are going to stay clean
33: Use real math not gambling math
Day 34: Don’t condemn yourself
Day 35: Don’t test yourself to see if it is safe to gamble a little bit
Day 36: Knowing why you can’t quit can help you quit
Day 37: Do not chase pipe dreams
Day 38: Getting the anger out
Day 39: The vice of greed
Day 40: Specific planning helps break addiction
Day 41: Embrace the truth about gambling. Know your odds of hitting the big score.
Day 42: Quitting permanently
Day 43: Financial problems
44: Overcoming cravings
Day 45: The importance of helping others right now