Here are the slides from today > Goliath 15 – Addiction (3)
Do I truly love the Lord? I mean … truly … love Him? And how, exactly can one demonstrate his love for Jesus and the Father?
In this on-going discussion on our addictions, I think the above question is the one we need to be focusing on. And, my friends, that question drives right at this one > “where am I giving the enemy an opening?”
Romans 8:5 gives us a glimpse of this battle – “Those who live according to their flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…” and as we’ve discussed with all these addictions, they begin to take on a life of their own. I shift from being a partial consumer of these things to waking each day just looking for my next fix of self-satisfaction. “What is going to entertain me today?” Maybe it is pornography or taking a drink. But maybe it’s setting out each day to find affirmation, attention, a place where I can be “right”, a place where I can be in control. Maybe it is a new car or TV or a great hunting trip or the next luxury vacation. Maybe it is moving towards my wife just to get my physical needs met. Or maybe it’s just a really great meal. Whatever the case, we can become very self-focused in our approach to life and the danger is, these addictions start small and quickly grow into all-consuming animals that destroy life.
From the devotional New Morning Glories – “If you love the gifts and not the Giver, your heart will never be satisfied, but if you love the Giver, your heart will be content and you will be able to enjoy His gifts while keeping them in their proper place. Every human’s life is a quest to find something to love and a quest to be loved. That means you’re always surrendering the affections of your heart to something. Whatever commands the love of your heart also shapes the direction of your life.”
Love the Lord first and above all else … the direction of your life goes one way…
Or – Love self and always be on the lookout for the next thing that entertains or satiates your desires (life pretty much is about me and what I need) … and the direction of your life will go in a vastly different direction.
He continues… “The desire for good possessions is not wrong, but it must not rule your heart. The hunger for comfort and ease is not ungodly in itself, but it must not rule your heart. (remember the rich young ruler when he was asked to give up his money. what ruled his heart? God or his money?) The desire for the love of another person is not wrong, but it must not rule your heart. A desire for a good thing becomes a bad thing when that desire becomes a ruling thing.”
And this is the point … what is the Lord of your life? Is it The Lord? Or is it self? How much of your life have you given to the Lord? Maybe you accepted Jesus as your Savior but have you given Him your life? All of it? Does He have access to any part of your life? The money, the reputation, the perfectionism, the indulgence in things, your sex life?
Man, I know this is tough and I may be sounding preachy but brothers, I am shouting this to myself as I write it. Believe me! I’ve been knocked off my high horse yet again.
But here’s the thing I want you to hear. Unlike the preachers of old who shouted down sinners, I want you to focus on the “more”. Man, I have stumbled in these areas big time. I’ve seen new things revealed to me and yes, if I focus on my failure, it can be a shaming thing but what I continuing to hear Father say to me is, “Son, these things are limiting you. I can only take you as far as you will let Me. If you’re going to wall off parts of your life as being none of My business, then there are limits in what you will accomplish in the Kingdom. There is so much more I have for you.”
Men, everything needs to be on the table. Like that song we play by Hillsong in manschool, “I surrender” … “here I am, down on my knees again, surrendering all.”
I think the Father is saying this to us…
And I’ll leave this post today with this last picture. Fire purifies. It restores and makes the ground fertile for new growth but it isn’t a pleasant process. We have some things growing in our forest that have gone crazy and taken control of parts of our lives if not all of it. It’s time for a purifying fire. We’ve got to be willing to be vulnerable and open the parts of our lives to God that are limiting us…
More to come…