Our ordinary method of dealing with ingrained sin is to launch a frontal attack. We rely on will power and determination. Whatever the issue may be for us – anger, bitterness, pride, lust, fear – we determine never to do it again, we pray against it, fight against it and set our will against it….The moment we feel we can succeed and attain victory over our sin by the strength of our will alone, we are worshipping the will….When we despair of gaining inner transformation through human powers of will and determination, we are open to a wonderful new realization: inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received. The needed change is God’s work, not ours. The demand is for an inside job, and only God can work from the inside.
Fighting an addiction with your own strength is like picking the rotten fruit off a bad tree. Picking the bad fruit may get rid of the odor, but it will not kill the tree itself. You must uproot the tree to kill the bad fruit. To truly break an addiction, you must uproot both the belief systems that are planted in your heart and the resulting sinful habits that first seeded the addiction.
It’s not food’s job, alcohol’s job, Amazon Prime’s job, Instagram’s job, or coffee’s job to deliver you—not from your weariness or your loneliness, your physical ailments or emotional pain. Jesus alone is Savior—let Him save!
It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are “defeated” by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient. It might be well if we stopped using the terms “victory” and “defeat” to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms “obedience” and “disobedience.
Just as iron, even without willing it, is drawn by a magnet, so is a slave to bad habits dragged about by them.
We were ‘still sinners’ when Jesus looked at us and loved us and deemed us worth trading his life for our own. He arrived at the door, long before we’d fixed our hair or fixed our teeth, before we could put on a suit or put out our cigar, before we’d cleared our search history, kicked the drugs or dried the tears. Jesus showed up before we had done anything at all to heal ourselves or save ourselves or make ourselves more deserving, when we were still just an unholy seething mess
If you wish to find out whether you are addicted to the passion of gluttony (or any other, for that matter), you can find it out in the following manner. If food (or anything else) captures your thought so that you cannot resist it, you are a glutton. If you are not possessed by it and partake freely of all kinds of food to the extent your body requires it, you are not a glutton…passionate attachment to anything should always be avoided, for it does harm to the soul.
Perhaps you have been ensnared by a sinful habit that you will not abandon, and your guilt is so overwhelming you are ashamed to approach Christ. Whatever the reason for your broken intimacy with God, there is good news. Jesus waits to embrace you now in the arms of unconditional, divine love.
Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus Name, Amen.