Everything we do starts with a thought. Our thoughts become words and actions. Our language and the things we do label who we are. If you work on cars you are defined as a mechanic. If you use offensive vocabulary people tag you as foul-mouthed. People who drink too much get marked as drunks or alcoholics. Porn addicts get branded as perverts. But the bottom line is, no matter what marker you are marked with, it started with a thought. And thoughts begin in the brain, in your mind.
“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. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:21-25 NLT
This scripture was penned by Paul who wrote 13 books of the New Testament of the Bible. Obviously he had struggles with sin and was writing this truth from the heart. Two points I would like to key in on. He stated that the war starts in his mind. He had realized that when we entertain the wrong ideas in our mind we eventually sin. In my life I have found that my sins are generally dwelled on for some time before they get full-blown into sin.
“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14,15
See what I mean. It takes some thinking to sin. So now what do we do about it? How do we regain control over this problem of sin?
I believe the answer lies no further than God’s written word, The Holy Bible. Looking back to what Paul wrote, “I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.” Think about that. (no pun intended there) He also wrote this, from Romans 12:2,
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
My addictions did not start overnight. I made daily, conscious decisions to delve deeper into dependency. I’m not saying that there were not outside factors that fueled my decisions. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I wanted to be a junkie (which is another label). It was my day in and day out pursuit of peace and pleasure that eventually led me into complete compulsion and obsession with drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, masturbation, lying, cheating, stealing, greed, co-dependancy and self degradation (that scratches the surface of my addictions. There were many, many more). But just as I choose for 30+years to be an addict, I now choose NOT to be an addict. It started with a pronouncement that I wanted to change. Next came my declaration, as Paul said, “The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord”.
A very simple prayer, I told God I couldn’t handle my life or my addiction anymore. I knew what I had been doing was wrong. I asked Him to forgive me. I asked Him to help me to leve my habits and cravings behind. And I asked if He would help me live for Him.And I asked in Jesus Holy Name!
And the process of renewal. I have to daily reprogram myself so that the old is gone and the new takes over. Some days it’s harder than others. If I don’t read the Bible every day, I find myself dwelling on things that I should not be thinking.
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
and one more,
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
I don’t know about you, but in my days of running from Jesus Christ, my thoughts were exactly opposite of these things. But that’s how the Devil works. Taking the good things of God and twisting them, contorting them until they are no longer good and pure.
If you are not a Christian or if you are not sure you are a Christian, consider the “simple prayer” I said to God. It’s really that easy. The Bible says “all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13. After you have confessed to God and accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, dig into the Word of God. Read your Bible. Start the renewing of your mind process with a little self discipline and make every effort to read and absorb some scripture. Pray before you open His Book. Ask God to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to accept what He has to say to you and open your mind for restoring. I promise you that God will make good on His promise and that you will start to see positive changes in your life. Is it hard to do? YES! But it is worth every effort you put forth!
My sincere prayer foy you and for myself is that God restore all that Satan has stolen from us through the demon of addiction. I pray that He will reinstate structure to our lives and sanity to our minds. I pray for people to come into our lives that are positive in attitude, constructive to our healing, helpful and affirming of our faith and encouraging in our walk of being free of our life controlling problems. I pray for a godly hunger for the Word of God! And I pray that as we eat from the table of the Lord, that through Your Word we are fed and we grow spiritually into more than we ever imagined. In Christ Holy name I pray, AMEN!
I know that this is a new voyage for most of us and that we need all the direction we can get. If you have questions, the Bible has answers. We may not always like what it has to say. But it is truth and sometimes the truth hurts.
If I can be of any assistance, please leave me a comment and I will try my best to give you Christian Biblical guidance. Thanks for taking time to read these words. I don’t think you are here by accident. I believe God has a plan for each of us. God bless you!!!
Brian, great job on the blog. I would like to post this on ETDC Blog page as well. Let me know if that is OK with you. Keep writing sir, it is making a difference!
Thanks Pastor! I would be honored.
Good word, Brian. Thanks for sharing!
very well written brother!!!..