Jesus isn’t intimidated by your addiction. Jesus isn’t surprised by your addiction. Jesus isn’t incapable of rescuing you from your addiction.
These statements helped me risk changing. Here are five action steps Jesus is using to save me from my addiction.
When I first made an attempt to quit drinking I found that the temptation to drink hounded me relentlessly. I had no ability to dodge its onslaught. My will-power only pulled me so far. Finally, I came to the end of myself—sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Action Step 1: Respect for God
In the beginning my number one problem was coming to grips with my lack of respect for God. Oh, I believed in God. I guess demons do too. I supposed I knew a few things about God. But my relationship with God teetered near zero. I remember someone saying, “Reverent respect for God is the beginning of wisdom.” (Bible, Proverbs 9:10). I examined my life. In shame I prayed, “Lord please don’t give up on me.” I saw that everything I did I did in front of God. Even so, God hadn’t abandoned me. God kept loving me in spite of myself. This caused me greater respect for God.
Action Step 2: Ya Gotta Wanna
Did I really want to quit my addiction? I did, but let me say something about will-power. My inadequate will-power didn’t prevent me from entirely escaping my self-abuse. Sure, I could stop for a day or two. Maybe a week. Rarely a month. But, in the end my will-power gave out—or is that gave up? Whichever, ya gotta wanna became a crucial step because it connected me to my desire for health.
Action Step 3: Accept Responsibility
Still, I made a lot of excuses. Not good excuses. In fact the excuses were just excuses to keep doing what temptation tempted me to do. Honestly, my drinking wasn’t caused by my parents poor example, or my errant genes, nor someone forcing my mouth open and making me swallow. I had to accept responsibility for me if I hoped to get well.
Action Step 4: Resist/Refuse Temptation’s Seduction
Of course, it didn’t take me long to notice that temptation is vigilant. Temptation didn’t leave me alone simply because I wanted to quit drinking or merely because I accepted responsibility for my drinking, no, temptation just waited for the next moment my vulnerability was vulnerable and then pounced on me. But, God knew my struggle. Failure and after failure, bit by bit, I resisted (with God’s help), refusing to go along with temptation’s seduction and this led my life down the path of improvement.
Action Step 5: Continually/Constantly Cooperate with God
With tears of anguish I’d prayed and prayed for the Lord God to take my addiction away. “Heal me Jesus!” I made this prayer mistake because I didn’t recognize that God wanted us to work together on my deliverance. A relationship is two-way, not one-way. God expected me to cooperate with His Holy Spirit as Jesus supplied me the ability to leave my addiction behind. Today, as I continually cooperate with the Lord, I experience the freedom I longed for.
Have I slipped-up? I have. Yet when I exercise these five action steps I make a firm choice to live past my addiction. I know now that every time addiction’s temptation tempts me it’s an opportunity for me to draw closer to Christ Jesus. Use these steps to end your addiction.