SEVEN // Part 2 of 7
Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. /// Matthew 18:3 (NASB)
We are in the second week of a series called, “Seven” cleverly entitled as such because it is a seven week study intended to lead us to freedom in Christ. At the beginning of the study last week, we implored you to approach this series as a child who is looking for someone to teach them something new. Jesus stated in Matthew that unless you are converted and become like children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. So, to receive the benefits of the kingdom of Jesus we must become a people who embrace change. If you want to experience new life, you must be willing to look at a new truths that upset the current “apple cart” of your life!
The first step to freedom in Christ is to accept Jesus as absolute Lord. The second step is to open the door to things of the Holy Spirit and shut the door to things of the flesh and the devil. Last Sunday, we spoke of renouncing demonic activities and fleshly influences. Today, we will discuss accountability and addictions. To better describe addiction, let’s look at some synonyms: dependence, craving, habit, weakness, compulsion, fixation, enslavement. Addictions are usually created by the flesh to deal with some type of pain/anxiety/uncertainty we experience. Addictions are not problem solvers. They mask the real problem and often create problems of their own. By their very nature, addictions are created to keep us from feeling the pain of our problem but also keep us from dealing with the source of the problem. You will never be delivered as long as the addiction operates. Therefore, if you seek true deliverance you are going to have to do two things:
1. Stop participating in the addiction.
Some addictions are easily recognizable because society focuses on them while others are not as easily discerned. Here’s a few things that can become addictions: alcohol abuse, drug abuse, pornography, sexual fixation, adultery, computer games, television, isolation, lesbianism, homosexuality, self-mutilation, food, shopping, work, hobbies, recognition, approval, poverty, phobias, compulsive behaviors, beautification, etc. Anything that becomes a coping mechanism instead of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit is in process of becoming an addiction or already is one.
Internal pain is not fun. But, if you continue to use addictive agents, you will never be healed. To be delivered, one must feel the pain and move to apply God’s Word and Spirit to the wounds.
2. Stop being alone.
Some of you have isolation as part of your addiction. Let me show you something from the Word:
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. /// Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)
If you want Jesus to be Lord of all then you must deal with things His way. Isolation is used by the enemy to reinforce lies you believe and to keep you away from what will deliver you! If these things were going to help you, you would already be delivered: isolation, your opinions, your actions. You are a new creation – time for something new. This month, take baby steps, maybe join a HomeGroup. The groups are about to begin to discuss some things that will help you be free. But, it’s not just the discussion that will deliver you but the prayer, the love, the fellowship, the new input into your life! Some need dramatic attention. If you’re a man, get into the men’s bible study. If you are a woman, get into the women’s bible study. If you need counseling, get into counseling. Most of you need love and a biblical perspective on yourself. Get with people who can offer that to you.
For those who are online today. You are welcome to heal here! If all you connect to is a machine, then all you have the capacity to become is a machine. You become like what you connect to! Media is great when you can’t be present, but when you can, you should be! Nothing will replace personal connection to the body of Christ!
- Matthew 18:3 (NASB)
- Psalm 30:1-3
- Zechariah 9:12
- Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)
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