here are the slides from today … Goliath 14 – addiction (2)
We’ve been repeating this same question, “Lord, where am I weak?” Today, we tweaked it to, “Lord, show me where I am giving the enemy an opening”.
And that’s the thing, these addictions we dance with are openings. They are an invitation, an open door that your enemy will exploit. Not “might” … but “will”. He is crafty, he is cunning, he studies you, knows your weaknesses and he will exploit the openings you give him. Make no mistake about this. You’re playing with fire. Literally.
If you have a family history of alcoholism, you’re playing with fire drinking on a regular basis. If you know you have an issue with lust/temptation/other women, you are foolish to play around with pornography. And let me say this for all of us, whether lust is an issue or not, pornography must be a “no go” area for all of us. A man that says, “I don’t struggle with lust so I can take a peak at porn” is being foolish. Maybe you didn’t have an issue but when you opened that door to take a peak, you invited the destroyer into your soul.
My actions, my steps, my decisions in these areas … they are giving Satan dominion over my life. Rather than giving God dominion over all my life, I am, instead, giving these areas over to my enemy. I’m inviting him in and just asking for trouble. He will gladly oblige my foolishness.
We’ve all done it. Adam & Eve did it. They gave the enemy dominion. But that isn’t final. As we’ve learned this entire series on Goliath Must Fall, Christ defeated Goliath. The Cross marked the turning point in the story, it marked the death of Satan. His end is assured yet even though he is on his way to ultimate destruction, he is “dead but still quite deadly”. He knows the end game. He knows what Jesus did that resurrection day and so he is raging against humanity to strike as many blows at his ultimate enemy, God.
Scripture warns, “Don’t give the enemy a foothold”. You have a territory God has entrusted to you. Don’t invite the enemy in. Don’t give him a seat at your table. He’s a destroyer. These addictions are very serious things – we don’t mean to make light of any of this. If you struggle with pornography or lust or alcohol, that is real and powerful and it will be a battle to beat it. But, it can be defeated. Satan doesn’t have dominion over everything. Jesus does. Death holds no sting. You can claim victory over the power of these addictions in Jesus name. You can take back your territory, your Promised Land. You can show the enemy the door and lock it behind him. In Jesus’ name.
We talked this morning about controlled burns and how critical they are to maintain the health of a forest. If left unchecked, small weeds in a forest become 30 foot tall briers. Sweet gum trees pop up and multiply like rabbits. A dense undergrowth grows. If left unchecked, a non-managed forest becomes a disaster just waiting to happen. The undergrowth grows, dead trees fall, the pines start to struggle and the forest is one lightning strike away from a devastating forest fire. So, you manage the forest via regular “controlled burns”. You burn out the undergrowth. Get it out before it becomes a real problem. Deal with it. It’s messy. It’s dirty. It isn’t pleasant but there is reward on the other side = you get a healthier forest and bigger pines. Growth comes after the burn. (COME NEXT WEEK – we’re going to talk about that exact point)
You see the charred ground left behind from the fire. But that’s healthy. It promotes healthy growth and it is fuel for the future growth of the pines.
And so, the analogy for us is this … we’ve all got areas in our lives that are small problems today. They are private things. Things I believe I have under control. Little things that “everyone does”. “Healthy desires that all red-blooded men have”. These are things we justify. Things we rationalize. And at their base stage, they are relatively harmless – or so they appear. These things that we cordon off from God and don’t give him access to, they are areas of the forest untended and that’s where a real problem with devastating implications lurk.
Bill Gaddy gave a beautiful testimony to this exact thing this morning. He had a private area of his life that started small and grew into a situation that erupted into a forest fire with collateral damage way beyond himself. He begged us to not repeat his mistake – that if you have an area you struggle with, confess it, bring it out into the light, share it with other men you can trust. Admit you have a problem. Face it. Deal with it now before it grows into a disaster.
These giants in our lives, they can go down. They must fall. They taunt us and tell us, “you’re never going to beat this, you’ll never be anything more than this addiction.” That isn’t the case. Goliath can go down. You can’t take him down alone. Only Jesus can but you’ve got to take the first step to surrender your life, give up these “private” areas, and give Jesus dominion over all your life – over your sex life, over your desires, over what you eat and drink and what you watch in entertainment.
Jesus wants to know how much of your life you’re willing to give Him. He gave it ALL for you. How much will you give Him?