Last Friday, we addressed the need to lay down the things we hold against others. Today, let’s start dealing with the logs in our own eyes—beginning with the things we know we struggle with. We like to compartmentalize the word “addiction,” but the fact is, the mindset that comes with it is actually pretty pervasive in our lives.
There’s another old-fashioned word for what we’re talking about: lust. And it doesn’t have to be the sexual kind (although it might well be). We want what we want and we want it now. And we keep on wanting it—because it wants us, too. That’s the power of lust, or addiction. We believe it will satisfy a need God can’t, or won’t. But if God won’t satisfy it, it’s not a need. We’re the ones who have elevated our desires to that status. When we cease to trust God, we begin to welcome the lusts of our own hearts.
Jesus didn’t fall for that trick. And therefore, Jesus knows the way out. Because He’s been there. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death… Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:14-15, 18, NIV).
Because Jesus went through temptation for us, came out the other side, and then paid the price for our own failure anyway, He is able to deliver us. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13-14, NIV).
Lay It Down Today
In our first installment on addiction, we talked about the usefulness of spiritual discipline. We’re going to practice one of those disciplines right now: Silence. Pulling ourselves away from the world helps us to hear God more clearly. It’s a way to remove ourselves from the constant compulsive flow of the world that pulls us so easily into temptation and addiction. And, it’s a way of telling God (silently, of course), that He takes priority.
Psalm 46:10a is a pretty popular phrase we throw around for this: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (I’ve always like rephrasing that “Shut up—I’m God.”) But I want you to start your time of silence by reading all of Psalm 46. Because it’s all about trust, and the fact that God is worthy of our trust. Then, take at least 10 minutes to close your eyes and be totally silent before God. Your mind will probably keep buzzing for at least the first few minutes. That’s OK. Give the buzzing time to die down. Let God speak, and quiet yourself down enough so that you can hear Him.