I am ecstatic that God has chosen me to be a part of something that is larger than myself. Something bigger than my little world. Something that has the possibility of impacting others in a positive way. Occasionally I get wrapped up in me. My daily routine of sleeping, eating, work, football practice with my son, church and so on. Please don’t take me the wrong way. These things are necessary to existence. And routine is a good thing for a former addict. But as I grow closer to God and increase in my faith, I realize that I have to decrease so that God can increase. The things I want are not always what God would have from me. And so I return again to one of my favorite scriptures.
Then Jesus said to them all, ‘If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23
Deny myself? Does this mean no more Brian? Of course not. God created each of us in His own image. (Genesis 2) We all have individual characteristics and personality traits that make each of us the person we are. I think what Jesus was trying to say here was denial of sin. We are born into sin. Throughout our natural life here on earth we tend to attach ourself to things that we desire. Not necessarily the things that God would have for us. So we make a decision that we can choose what we want. The things we want that will fulfill our own cravings and yearnings. We come to the earthly conclusion that we can decide what is best for us without first seeking knowledge and wisdom from our Heavenly Father.
“For everything that is in the world: the desire of the body and the lust of the eyes and the pride of temporal life, these are not from The Father but these are from the world.” 1 John 2:16
I believe we all know that illegal drugs are bad for us and just plain wrong. The same can be said for sex, alcohol, eating too much food and so on. God is not asking us to give up who we are. He is simply requesting that we yield ourself to Him. Reject those things in life that we know are wrong. Resist the enticement that daily haunts you. Deny yourself that immoral action or thought. And give thanks to God that He has given you the ability to overcome and persevere through the temptation. Of course it is a hard task. Especially when we have spent so many years programming our mind and body to give in at every whim.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
God is faithful. As a Christian, he is more that with us. The Bible says He is IN us. (2 Timothy 1:14) And in John chapter 14 Jesus promises us the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in all who believe. He is alive right here inside all of us who follow Christ!
So my proclamation of thanksgiving this November 2011 is completely and entirely to God. For His perfect plan to bring me, a sinner, back to Him through His love, grace and forgiveness through the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. For His Holy Spirit who lives within me. For the strength, comfort and joy He gives me from the time I wake daily until the time I go to sleep. And for the promise of my salvation, my guaranteed spot in heaven and my name being written in the Lambs Book of Life!
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior and you have the sincere desire to change your lifestyle, to have the inner power to beat addiction and to live a life free of addiction, start by saying an uncomplicated and effortless prayer such as this:
Heavenly Father, I know that I have done wrong toward you, toward myself and toward others. I believe that Jesus came to earth and gave his sinless life on the cross for me so that I can be forgiven. I sincerely ask for your forgiveness. Please make me clean and help me start a new life with you. I receive you into my life and my heart right now as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to love you with all that I am and to follow you with all of my heart. In Christ Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Now that you have taken this first step toward your new life with Christ, you may need some sense of direction. My suggestions are to give thanks to God every day, pray daily and talk to God about everything in your life and ask Him for strength to carry on with your Christian life, read a portion of God’s word, the Bible daily and find a Bible believing nd teaching church that you can become part of. Talk to the pastor and tell him of your newfound faith. And think about getting baptised.
If you just don’t know where to turn, please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to give you some Christian guidance and direction. My hearts sincere desire is for the chains of addiction to be broken and for all to find freedom and empowerment through Christ Jesus our Lord!