Church is often an important factor in overcoming addiction. The right Pastor or Priest is even more important. We need to attend a Church that will consistently help us to fight addiction. A Church that will help us to never look back at the addiction that has caused us much pain and destruction. A Church that has a leader who will help us to increase our learning about how to conquer addiction until we are expert at it. A Church that has wise counsel so that we can learn rapidly. Many of you have attended Church for years but you will be shocked to hear me say that the Bible says over 100 times that we are to fear the Lord. A great Church teaches what the Bible teaches. They will teach you to obey the commandments because of a fear of the Lord.
Study the Bible books of Matthew and 1 Corinthians. Then make it a priority to find a great Church. A Church that teaches obedience. Make a list of Churches you want to try. After you visit each one make an appointment with the Pastor or Priest to meet with them to see how much help they can give you with your addiction.
Some of you are currently attending a Church that says; our Church is the only way to Heaven. If they are not helping you with your addiction switch Churches right away. If what they are teaching is not helping you, that is 100% proof that they are not the only way.
So what Churches are good? Sometimes the Assembly of God or the Nazarine Churches are good, sometimes they are not. Ask people that you know; what Churches around here really help people change for the better? Then try them and see if they are good for you. The only Christ following Churches that I would avoid are the Jehovah’s Witness (who subtract multiple verses from the Bible saying they are not true) and the Mormons (Who add multiple verses to the Bible from the writings of a very mixed up man).
If you do not believe That Christianity is the one way to God you have two choices. First you can try it and see that Gods power and love will come into your life. Secound you can read the Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. This book outlines the physical and Scientific evidence that shows that Jesus did die on the cross and that He is the way the truth and the life.
Believing the Bible allows you to live in the light. It allows you to fight your way to joy through a relationship with Jesus. Find a Church that believes every verse in the Bible because it will be led by a Pastor who has real answers for you.
This week make it your written goal to find a great Church that can help you. Lastly keep working on your own to seek out help about addiction from experts, groups, books, web sites and everything else we can get help from.
What if we were given a brand new start to life? Put into paradise in the Garden of Eden. Everything brand new except that we still have our same old thoughts and ways of thinking. What advice would we tell our-self?
I would say: “Dear Self, you are getting some of the destruction out of your life by reading several chapters of the Bible which has increased your faith. You are spending time in prayer every day which has helped you learn why and how to overcome sin and addiction. You are focusing on treating others with love and praying about being filled with love. This has caused you to realize that people are more important than any addiction. You are focused on finding and fulfilling your purpose which is filling you with joy.
But remember, satan will come into the garden. He will bring new updated tricks and temptations. But they will be the same old tricks and temptations disguised as something new and great. So today and every day focus on the fact that _____ steals your joy. Focus on the fact that sin steals your joy. Focus on the fact that being a slug and not fighting to fulfill your purpose steals your joy. Instead choose Christ who fills you with joy.”
Some of you have not experienced this great joy. But you have experienced great darkness and depression. You only continue to read because you know what you don’t want. But please understand – you can’t be doing everything we talk about without finding joy. Some of you are doing 25%, others 50%, others 75%. Sell out and give 100%. Sell out and do everything. You will never regret it if you do.
If you know that addiction steals your joy than you can use that information as a weapon. You can say during your high temptation times: _____ steals my joy.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
If you are on track great; if not review the red letters from day 5.
If you would like to start living in God’s blessing pray: “Father – I plan to start doing things your way, obeying your commands, studying the Word. Please bless me when you are ready to do so. I am planning to do my part and I will patiently wait for you to bless me when the time is right.”
Jonny Forgot His Trigger
Jonny quit smoking. He figured out that his worst temptation point was at breakfast with his coffee. So once he quit drinking coffee he was on the downhill and he quit!
But Jonny was falling apart again. Life was running him over and he was losing his desire to live life the right way. Last month he needed to work a lot of overtime. His hot water heater died and he needed a new one. This month he was asking for as much overtime as possible. He had no reason for doing that – and now he is remembering why that was a bad idea. This was how he used to live back when he smoked 2 packs a day. Push himself relentlessly until he was exhausted and then use that as an excuse to smoke all he wants.
Jonny felt a little stupid at that point. You see, he was in the middle of the 2nd time through a 40 day program. He had identified “working himself relentlessly as a trigger to relapse”. He knew what he had to do. He went into his bosses’ office and explained to him that he had taken on way too much. His boss quickly let him know that he would do everything he could to make an adjustment as soon as possible. The minute he left his bosses office he felt closeness with God again. On his first day off he had time to pray, read the Bible and he even remembered that his buddy (who was worse off than him and was open to hearing about how great Christianity was) wanted to spend some time with him and talk about how to get his messed up life together.
He called up his friend, set up a meeting and felt joy in his life for the first time in weeks. Abruptly the temptation which had been haunting him 24 hours a day began to fade. Then he remembered that when he was busy trying to follow his purpose temptation sometimes even disappeared. Maybe that was what the Bible was talking about when it said that when you become a Christian you become a new creature.
Read 1st Corinthians 1 and John 1