Don’t give in to rationalizations. The physical and mental pain of addiction withdrawal is real, and you’ll likely start telling yourself it’s ok to take up the habit again. Don’t listen to the voice telling you to start back up. Don’t give up on yourself when it starts to feel hard. Every bit of pain will be worth it in the end.
Thomas Horvath in his book Sex, Drugs, Gambling and Chocolate said the following: “Addiction can be thought of as a bad habit. If you eliminate this bad habit, you will be creating a vacuum, an empty spot in your life. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you do not fill this vacuum with something new (like a good habit, a positive addiction), there is a significant risk that the addiction will return.
Imagine that your ultimate goal, as you understand yourself, is to serve others. You believe that serving others will give you the best happiness you can imagine. This goal is related to your value that human life is more important than anything else you can think of. In order to serve others, you will need to have something of value to them. Based on your natural talents, suppose that you decide to become a teacher. In order to become a good teacher, one who truly can serve others, you will need a variety of good habits. These good habits will assure that your preparation to become a teacher and your efforts as a teacher will be effective.”
What goals and habits can you develop to help to use up the time vacuum created by quitting smoking?
What person can you watch who lives in a way that you would like to live?
How can you arrange to spend more time talking to that person?
What routine can you start that will help you fight addiction. Such as reading a page or two each day of a quitting addiction book. Or getting involved in your church or helping with your favorite charity.
Youth is a time when our passions are strongest. Death seems far away, and to enjoy ourselves in this life sometimes seems to be everything. Many people over time place pleasure on a pedestal. Time would not permit me to tell you all the fruits this love of pleasure produces, and all the ways in which it may harm you. All things that give a feeling of excitement for the time, all things that drown thought and keep the mind in a constant whirl, and all things that please the senses and delight the flesh, these are the sort of things that have mighty power over your life. They owe their power to the love of pleasure. There is no surer way to get a seared conscience and a hard heart toward the things of God than to give way to the desires of the flesh and mind.
Every day we need to pray that we will increase our love of people and caring about how we can learn to be a soul winner instead of a lover of pleasure. Pleasure is great when it is not sinful, when it is done in the right way, at the right time. The ultimate pleasure for me is to see a sinner set free from their bondage and to see then now helping other people. Seek this first, then seek clean pleasure and you will be amazed at how the simple things in life will give you pleasure and how you will start to find fullness of joy in your life.
Prayer is either overrated or underrated. Prayer is overrated when we continue in sin, when we have no plan to help others (as soon as possible), when we won’t forgive others, when we have idols in our lives and when we are not fully dedicated to living for Christ.
Prayer is underrated when we fight to live in obedience, when we develop skill in how to help others, when we love to worship God, when we trust that Christs way is always best, when we are filled with a Christian love for others, when we are putting in the work needed to change and when we are fully dedicated to Jesus will.
One of the many reasons we study the Bible is so that we can learn what we do that is keeping our prayers from being answered. The Bible says that God hears the prayer of a righteous person. We need to fight to live right and we need to believe with great faith that Jesus will answer any prayer that is in his will that we ask.
Matthew 12:43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Some hard core addicts read this and say – Now that I am clean I got to make sure I don’t screw this up. I probably had a demon and I don’t want it back and I really don’t want his friends to come along for the ride. But we all need to pay attention to this verse. Spirits harass everybody. They come screaming in and if we you not living right they stay for a while. If we are not doing something to fulfil our purpose or preparing to fulfil it they stick around.
We get free from sin and the Holy Spirit gives us strength to fight back. But if we start to fiddle around in sin they are back. If we sit around doing nothing they are back. We are in God’s army and we are fighting a war. Those who choose to sit out the war will be at war with spirits and they will lose. Those who fiddle around with sin will also be at war with spirits and they will often lose. Those who go to war for Almighty God will also have to battle spirits – but it is not a fair fight. The Holy Spirit is waiting to win the war for those people. Waiting to empower those Christians who plan to do what God wants them to do.
Some of you want to be neutral and not pick a side. But if you don’t pick a side you will end up on the wrong side. But bad spirits hate the Bible, so to get them to leave – read it a lot. They hate it when you pray, when you read a great Christian book, when you listen to Christian music or a great pastor or priest. They hate being around people who are always praising and thanking God for everything. They especially hate it when you remind them that Jesus shed his blood so that you can be free from sin and addiction. And yes they harass me too, but when I am on point they don’t stay for long at all.
Read John 20, 2nd Corinthians 4 and Proverbs 13
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life
Say this morning noon and night: “This temptation will go away if I don’t act on it. If I give in it will return and it may be even stronger next time. If I don’t give in it will go away and someday it will go away for good. I have the self control to change”.
Pray: Father give me wisdom to know what to say and do so that I can help other people. Pray: Father help people to be delivered from addiction and to be saved today.”