Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nothing Wasted, 11: Addiction Problems

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron” (Psalm 107:15‭-‬16, NIV).

Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, but the one common denominator is the addiction to self-desires and self-will. People have become addicted to doing what they want to do regardless of what they know is right or wrong. Yes, there are those who struggle in ways that are beyond the struggle of others, but everyone who comes to that fateful “door” of “do not enter,” has the same choice in choosing between right and wrong. Once that door is opened, all bets are off. THIS was the story of the Israelites. They knew what to do and chose not to do it. They had encountered great success with God, but they had experienced great pleasure without God. They became addicted to their own will. They became blind in the moments of their pleasure what consequences their choices would render. They walked through doors that appeared as entrances into a domain of even greater pleasure, only to discover them as the gateway into a prison of their own consequence. 

“Let them give thanks…for He breaks down gates…and cuts through bars…” There had come a time when the weight of the chains caused them to open their eyes and see the reality of their existence, and they cried out to God. God heard the cry and the life and opportunity that had seemed to be all but wasted, was now an opportunity for thanksgiving and praise. What they had been through was now the testimony of their break-through. What had been their stain had now become their story. What the enemy tried to use to keep them bound and imprisoned, was now their open door into the lives of others to tell the story of God’s grace, His love, and His power. Their repentance and recognition of their own state gave God the access He had always wanted into their prison to break the chains that bound them from living the destiny for which He had created them.

I have never struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol, or most of the other “big ones” you hear discussed. But I have struggled with an addiction to my own pride, my own secrets, and my own way of doing things. I have sat in the prison of shame and regret, feeling bound and restricted by an unseen force, not knowing how to change how I feel. But one thing I have discovered, is that when I continue to stay humble before God and cry out to Him, I am rising above everything I have allowed to weigh me down. There really IS power in the Name of Jesus…TO BREAK EVERY CHAIN. Every chain that is broken is another “Nothing Wasted” opportunity in my life to shout out what God has done in delivering me from all that was holding or has held me back. My addictions to self, sin, and shame are broken. I will not sit and meditate on past mistakes because there is nothing I can do to change them. I will call out to Him who is listening, who is able, and who is never changing! I will give thanks for how He has broken chains in the past, because I know that He is the unchanging God. If He broke them THEN, He can still break them NOW. I will live to tell others who struggle that there is a God who lives and who can break every chain that would hold them back from the life of destiny and deliverance He has designed them to live. What has been my stain will be my story. I am not ashamed and will live the testimony of Jesus’ work in me.

Father God, THANK YOU for hearing my cry. Even when I didn’t realize I was praying, You heard the cry of my life. You heard my desperate plea for something to change. You knew what I deserved, but desired to give me the grace that was needed to see the focus of my life changed. I thank You, Lord, for the change You have spoken and performed in me. I know that I am nothing without You and can DO NOTHING  apart from You. Lord Jesus, help me to recognize Your presence in the everyday of my life. Help me to NOT become distracted by the things that I cannot change. Help me not to look back and dwell upon that which is past. Open my eyes to the opportunities that you have preordained for me to share the story of the sounds of chains breaking so that others will know that there is POWER in YOUR NAME to BREAK EVERY CHAIN in their lives, too. I thank You for all of these things in the NAME that is ABOVE EVERY other name. JESUS. Amen.

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