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People who have decided to leave this habit forever will memorize this statement: The lows in gambling are twice as horrible as the highs are good.
Guilt says I did something bad. Shame says I am bad. The devil wants to use your shame to drive you away from God. God wants to use your guilt to draw you to grace. You can’t change your past, but God can change your future. A Christian leaves the past behind and prays harder and fights harder.
Parable – What would Jesus do if he were magically changed to being a gambler? Forced into having the same habits and mindsets that you or I may have.
The first thing He might do is to go after change with more passion than anyone in sight. Sometimes the most enthusiastic person at support groups is a bit annoying. But then we start to figure out that that is the type of person who changes more than any other type. For Christians, Jesus said that the lukewarm will be spit out of his mouth (Revelations 3:16). He is saying that Christians must be fully dedicated to following Him.
Next, he might attack the lust cycle that was placed on Him and replace it with a love cycle. Americans are the richest and most successful country in the world. But we rank about 30th in the world for happiness. Why? Because we focus on lust which kills joy instead of love which grows joy. Lust for sex, gambling, booze, money – the list is endless. This fatal quest is empty, meaningless and it kills our joy. One advantage Jesus might have over some of us in changing would be that he knows it kills our joy. Many of us are just starting to suspect it. Or may even be fighting that fact. Trying to prove it wrong.
Next, He would pray about His condition. Not an endless prayer asking Almighty God to help Him. Just a simple time of spending time with the Father. Getting direction, getting marching orders for what to do next. Getting strength from the love which flows from the Father into anyone who repents and spends time with Him. Giving the Father time to sort out the confusion addiction brings. Giving the Father time to fill the mind with new thoughts and habits.
Next, He would spend time in the Bible. Listening to chapter after chapter of the New Testament. Letting the Word wash Him clean of the bondage which was cast upon Him. Allowing the Scripture to inspire Him, teach Him, fill Him and change Him. (Obviously, this is a parable because Jesus is the Word and sin could never continue to have power over Him).
I could go on with more Biblically based idea’s but lastly – He would focus on spreading love to every person He came into contact with. He would rebuke the lifestyle of lust and embrace the lifestyle of love with a passion never seen before on planet earth.
You might say – buddy, you don’t understand. He would have a compulsion and if he thought about gambling as much as I do it would be tough. True, but unlike us He would never again look to the left or to the right. He would follow God’s plan with a 100% focus which would not allow Him time to mess up.
Why is that – it is because He would never be confused or distracted in His recovery. He would “know” how great life is when lived correctly. He would “know” how destructive it is to look back at satans traps. He just would fight until He was free again.
The more often we treat changing the way Jesus would – the quicker we will be totally free again.
Always Journal your pleasure and destruction daily. Identify your worst addiction and every day you go return to it, rate your pleasure from 1-5 with 5 being the highest score. The next day go back and add column 2 which is the destruction rating. Rate the destruction from 1-5 with 5 being the most destruction. Next, add a 3rd column which is your net pleasure gain or loss. If you rate your pleasure a 7 and your destruction rating is an 8 you have a negative one. Now you are learning something.
Most realize that their addiction is destroying them, but we exaggerate the pleasure and under-emphasize the destruction constantly. A daily scoring forces us to be honest with our pleasure increase. Honesty helps us begin to break habits.
Many problem gamblers are either broke or in debt. They cling to the hope that gambling will make them rich or get them out of debt. I talked before about the terrible odds you have of hitting it big to get rich. Today lets talk about the chance that gambling can help you get out of debt. Jake Brindell from www.wanttostopgambling.com wrote the following:
“And yet all problem gamblers (me included until recently) think that sustained problem gambling gives them a chance. A chance that they may get out of debt with that ever elusive ‘one big win’. Even if a problem gambler has that ‘big win’ – sustained problem gambling would mean, it will only be a matter of time before they are back in debt. MONEY LOST IS NOT YOURS. During my lifetime of problem gambling I always viewed that the money I had lost was rightfully mine and that it should be given back to me – it’s rightful owner. This strangely held belief has caused me untold pain throughout my life but I am happy to announce that I no longer want a penny of that money back. The gambling industry has worked hard for it and therefore they have earned it. They are the new keepers of my old money.
Wouldn’t you feel great if you could let all that money go and say to yourself ‘I’ve lost all that money and I’m never going to spend another penny trying to win it back’.”
Lewis B. Smedes wrote in his book, Forgive and Forget, “When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.” We will know the work of forgiveness is complete when we experience the freedom that comes as a result. We are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive. We must pray to forgive so that the Lord sets our hearts free from the anger, bitterness, resentment and hurt that previously imprisoned us. Most times, however, forgiveness is a slow process.
Pray 3-13 times per day: Father, thank you for forgiving me. Give me the strength to forgive ______ who hurt me.
One trait that all people with addictions have is that we have the habit of giving up. Work is harsh, relationships stink, money is elsewhere and a list of a million other problems get us down. So we tell ourselves that we have the right to go back to our addiction. We can’t fight back anymore. One of the reasons I recommend daily Bible reading is because of people from the Bible like Paul. His reaction to problems was the opposite of ours – he never gave up. He always fought to the end. When he was whipped and put in chains he praised God and sang so heartily that God just couldn’t resist breaking him out of jail. He was stoned (at that time in history sometimes groups of people would throw large stones continuously at someone in an effort to kill them. 2 Corinthians 11:27 talks about Paul’s tribulations: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Instead of giving up, Paul always had the habit of fighting through problems. Develop the habit of never giving up and of fighting through problems. Fight to learn to Stop Gambling.
Read John 2 and 1st Corinthians 2 from the Bible.
Continue to read “The Purpose Driven Life”.
Pray: Father keep me from temptation.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
www.lifespy.com said the following “Your children are looking up to you. And your gambling is threatening your family’s stability. Think of your children, and how your vice is affecting their childhood and their values.”
Let’s continue to watch people who are trying to quit to see what they are doing. Lisa is forming a habit to say to herself 6 times a day that “gambling causes me destruction. It has in the past and it will in the future unless I quit.”
To change his thinking Tom decided to read Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. It might change your life to try something like that.
God has unfailing love for us. Every day I will add another verse that talks about His unfailing love. Psalm 13:5
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Mike decided to memorize this verse: Proverbs 28:22 “He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come on him.”
Believe this verse, it was written by the wisest man to ever live (Soloman). Study this verse. Repent if you feel like you have an evil eye. Always work hard to live life the way God wants you live.
When you are a Christian guilt is left behind. Your past is buried in the deepest sea. Jesus Christ is all about the future, not the past. He is all about what are you going to do now. If your past haunts you ask Jesus to start to blot that memory out of your mind. Ask him to make you stronger and tougher if there are always things that bring the past back. Remember that Jesus can answer anyone’s prayer that He wants to, but that He tends to answer the prayers of people who are fighting to get the addiction and sin out and who are working to fulfill their God given purpose.
When we have truly repented of our sins before God we will be free from our past and can live in his love and joy.
I need your help. My new book “What The Bible Says About Addiction” is available for sale on Amazon. If you want a copy please purchase one and leave a good review. This book along with this course will help you change twice as fast. Writing a good review is your way of helping the next person. When you are busy helping the next person, you are starting to think the right way. Click here to access it.
Memorize this statement: The lows in gambling are twice as horrible as the highs are good.
The great prayer continues: “For thine is the kingdom.”
Satan wants our complete focus on our kingdom. Our money, our stuff, our success, our types of pleasures. But God wants a complete focus on His kingdom. In fact, Jesus told his disciples to go spread the gospel. What did they need for their journey? “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.”
God always provides for the people who will do something for Him.
Today, focus on His kingdom. Pray: “Father, help me to focus on treasures in heaven.”
What is keeping you from that focus? Write out your own prayer of the top two things that are keeping your eyes on “your” kingdom. For example: If you spend excessively, and love to buy things. Just write out a simple prayer: “Father, take away my focus on things, and show me how to have treasures in heaven.”
Always pray about whether your issue is a short-term problem, or whether it is turning into a longer-term sin habit. If it has become a big problem, go to war with the issue that is keeping you trapped. Continuing our example: Pray 7 times per day. “Father take away my spirit of covetousness, and fill me with Your Spirit.”
Then, look up Bible verses on covetousness. Study, meditate, and then pray over those verses. Read a few of them every day all year.
Open Bible has Bible verses for almost any issue you have. Go to war with any issue that keeps you from focusing on the fact that it is His kingdom.
Lastly, keeping our eyes on our kingdom leads to frustration and often leads back to addiction. Praying and meditating on this great prayer often will show you the keys to a better life.
Monitor whether you are living in the light. If you see that darkness is descending on you – panic. Spend extra time studying overcoming addiction, extra time reading Scripture, and spend some intense time in prayer. Insist on living in the light.
I have made a permanent decision that I want the great light of Jesus shining through me. I will pray to turn aggressively from sin so that it keeps shining.
If you are struggling with gambling, the verses for quitting are the best way to turn on the light. If your war with sin is going well, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you today. Ask Him to show you what living in the light is really like.
Jesus’ Example In Prayer. Firstly, Jesus prayed without ceasing: He prayed “in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight” (Mk. 1:35). He prayed during the day (Matt. 15:36; Jn. 11:41-42); and He prayed during the night (Matt. 14:23).
Having a prayer time first thing in the morning helps fight addiction. Then, when we are at work or at school, we pray aggressively when our old thoughts keep popping up.
Pray, “Father, take away these unhealthy fantasies, and thoughts, and teach me how to pray.” This prayer goes to war with addiction, and it invites the Holy Spirit to give you other specific things to pray about.
Then, pray during your evening activities. To prepare, scour this site to find prayers that will help you stay free during the evening. These should be short prayers that you can pray when temptations arise when you are on the go. Then pray when you go to bed at night.
In Matthew 4 Jesus prayed to prepare for satan’s temptations. When we pray to prepare for temptation, we take a block of time for prayer. First, a thorough time of repentance. Then, focused prayer. If you don’t know what to say, you can find 100 prayers on this site. But, with every prayer, we must be 100% sincere, with a deep desire to change. It’s not the repetition that helps, it’s your changing heart that gives the prayer’s power.
Lastly, Jesus knew exactly which scriptures to quote to satan when he was tempted. So, study, memorize, and be like Jesus in knowing which scriptures you need in your fight to win the war.
WikiHow noted the following: “Blessed are the ‘poor in spirit’: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”(Matthew 5:3)
I made the comment “Not finding special pleasure in yourself/your life” bold because with addiction we are always searching for special pleasures. Adam and Eve needed “special pleasures,” because they decided that their perfect life was not good enough. Their great relationship with God was not special enough.
Pray: “Father, You are a great and special God. You are all I need.”
The song about God called “You Are All I Need,” is more than a song. It is a decision. Every day we can follow our habits and search for special pleasures, or we can decide that God is all we need.
Secondly, meekness does not mean weakness. David became smaller in his eyes and he made God bigger, and he was the one to slay Goliath. When David’s sole focus was on God’s will, he was ravished with blessing.
Pray: “Thy will be done,” constantly.
When David insisted on special pleasures (A beautiful woman who was not his wife,) his blessing was terminated for a full year, and when it was reinstated, it was much less than before.
Wisdom is believing that we will likely have bad results with gambling just like David got with his special pleasures. Meekness is finding special pleasure from our great relationship with God. Meekness is a daily reminder to ourselves that God is all we need. Meekness is a consistent and complete dedication to living in the will of God.
If you are only partially alive, it is hard to fight addiction. If we choose to make a commitment to good works, we are choosing to live. Paul believed this verse from A to Z. Then he constantly choose activities which allowed him to live at all times.
Level one activities take us from death to life. They allow the Holy Spirit to fill us to prepare us for good works.
Paul was not born a superman. But he disciplined himself to be aware at all times that he wanted to be alive. He prayed about purpose, as if God had something great for him to do. He studied the Bible, as if it might be a key for someone to be saved. He praised God and gave thanks at all times, because he served a great and mighty God.
There is a great book called The Prayer of Jabez. The key prayer in the book is: “I pray that You would expand my borders and bless me indeed.”
Most of us are caught up in distractions and habits. But, as we are fighting with all our might, we can pray this prayer a few times each day.
Lastly, if we pick our activities the way Paul picked his… we will have a spectacular decade.
Thank you for reading day 5: Ways to stop gambling.
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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