When you think of someone having an addiction, what comes to mind?
Drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling… I’m sure these are the most popular forms that come to mind. Often times we can be intolerant and judgmental of those who continue to indulge in these addictions because we see the self destruction of their ways. The truth is that many of us who can’t relate to those addictions suffer from our own… like shopping (raising hand!), lying, sweets, gossiping, etc. Some great; others small, but all of them take our focus off of who we are destined to become.
Before I dig into this, it’s best if I lay out the basic definition of an addiction. Addiction is defined as “being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs); an abnormally strong craving.”
Now stop and just think for a few seconds of any bad habits you may have. Are there any things that are holding you back from your purpose? Anything or anyone that God has spoken to you about that you just can’t seem to let go of? If you answer “Yes” to any of those questions then this blog is for you too!
The whole idea for this piece came from one simple phone call from a loved one last night that irritated me to the core. I’ve been fighting him for years over his cigarette addiction. I used every reason in the book! The steady increase in price, the deterioration of his teeth, the destruction to his lungs, and most importantly he could DIE! So when I get this urgent call from him about his doctor telling him if he continues, he will have to be on oxygen, I’m slightly irritated. No one should have that reaction when someone you love is in a panic, but I couldn’t help the frustration. Why was it that after years of me hiding cigarettes and pleading with him to value his life as much as I did would a complete stranger’s warning hold more weight? Was it the M.D behind his name? The doctor who knows only as much about him as what’s been placed in his chart?!
I was so stunned at the urgency behind his voice that I didn’t have many words of comfort. When I hung up, I asked God to make sense of this. Why is it that I love him more than he loves himself? Why didn’t he listen to my pleas years ago so we could have avoided this? Why did something so extreme have to take place for him to see the big picture? Nothing could have prepared me for the answer I received. I couldn’t believe in my time of despair, He was calling out my own addictions. All the nights I knew I was suppose to be in the Word or working toward the vision he placed in my heart and I’d rather lounge, watch TV, or waste hours on Facebook. All the times I listened to my family over His voice. All the times I went against His voice to accomplish my own will. It was becoming clear that my addiction was being in control and doing things my way.
It was clear that He was comparing His love for me to my love for my relative. I’ve ignored His warnings and His pleas for years. I’m often quicker to take the advice from family and friends, before seeking His will. Though I’m improving in this walk, I still have plenty of room to grow and I’m not ashamed to admit that I fall short sometimes. I sat there in complete awe of how God can make everything so crystal clear. I immediately felt a renewed support for my loved one. I was no longer frustrated by this call and began to intercede on his behalf for deliverance.
Let me encourage you to be sensitive to God’s voice. He talks to us constantly; we just aren’t always available to hear from Him. Be sure to guard your ear from anything that goes against what you know is not of God. What you lend your ear to can open the door to thoughts of limitations and negativity. Some of those thoughts can be our biggest dream killers! Be sensitive to the voice of God, the One who loves you beyond measure. If there is anything that He is calling you to start, quit, or put on hold move on it! None of what He promises will return void. Also, as he operates in patience with out addictions, we must do the same for those that we love who are suffering from those common forms. Don’t give up them as God will never give up on you.
Deuteronomy 28:1-14 “If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God…”
2 Peter 1:3-4 For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[a]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).
By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.