As we begin our sixth (and concluding) week, we'll take a look at a giant that may be perceived as the greatest one of all. It is important to remember as we talk about such a looming giant as addiction, that you remember that YOU are not David in this story...Jesus is your David. This is crucial to seeing this giant fall, for while your strength may well not be strong enough, his strength is!
The giant we identify as addiction may seem to be the biggest and most overwhelming of all. While this may not necessarily be true, it looms large in the lives and relationships of far too many people. And this giant not only steals the hope and purpose from the person it is taunting, but often those closest to them as well. But understand this; if this giant is standing over you, ridiculing you and dimming the fame of God in your life, this giant too...must fall!
This week's teaching segment with Louie is entitled Addiction Must Fall, and it is waiting for your viewing now!
If we're honest, we're all addicted to something. We are an addicted generation; perhaps the most overstimulated generation in history. Your addiction may be something obvious like drugs or pornography or drink, or it could be something far more subtle or even "respectable" by some standards. Addictions such as popularity, success, and achievement may seem positive on the surface, but the bottom line is, an addiction is anything that you cannot live without...whether that is a thing, a person or a driving force.
The most widespread addiction, and the most common of all, is our addiction to the approval of others. Many have wrecked their lives (and often lives of others around them) in pursuit of this addiction.
Regardless of what your specific addiction may be, there IS a solution, and the solution is Jesus Christ! The ultimate answer is, instead of running to the addiction, to run to Jesus.
Goliath's very name in the original languages meant "to strip you, shame you and enslave you". This is basically what addictions do as well. If you are stuck in cycles, substances, people or practices that don't work and you want to stop...you can see this giant fall, through the power of the giant-slayer who has come into your valley on your behalf.
Paul struggled with the all-too-familiar cycle of doing the very thing that we know is not right, and detrimental to our lives. He wrote about it in Romans 7...
I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. (Romans 7:15)
I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (Romans 7:19)
Paul offers further insight just a few verses later in that same chapter...
I have discovered this principle of life–that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (Romans 7:21-23)
As you read these words, written by one of the most godly servants of New Testament times, you may find yourself identifying with Paul's honesty. Many of us have found ourselves vulnerable to certain destructive behaviors. Sometimes these vulnerabilities are inherited, in other instances they are learned.
Regardless of which might be true of you, realize this...addictions are the result of repetitive behavior. Anything you say "yes" to over and over, gains power over you. Likewise, anything you begin to say "no" to over and over, reverses that cycle. This is how Paul described it in Romans 6...
Don't you realize that you become a slave to whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves to sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. (Romans 6:16-18)
As you begin to allow God's Holy Spirit to re-wire your brain to submit yourself as a slave to righteousness, you will see this giant of addiction begin to fall. The answer is to defeat this giant not in your own strength, but through the strength and power that flows from the Spirit of God now living in you through his Son the Lord Jesus.
Lastly for this week, we encourage you to spend time in prayer as part of your study session. Ask the Lord to remind you of his victory on your behalf, and to give you strength to walk in that victory; both for your freedom, and His fame.
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