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Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION -

ODAY, WE con­tinue our series on temp­ta­tion. So far, we have said that be­ing tempted is some­thing to which we can all re­late, and many peo­ple feel they can’t over­come temp­ta­tion, or that there’s no way out. But God wants you to be an over­comer and we want to help you dis­cover the ways that God pro­vides to over­come temp­ta­tion.

We de­fined ‘temp­ta­tion’ as ‘any­thing that en­tices one to step out­side of God’s will by the prom­ise of plea­sure or gain’. Ad­dic­tion is one of the most preva­lent temp­ta­tions that we face. The Apos­tle Peter said that peo­ple who are ad­dicted are “... slaves of de­struc­tive habits”. 2 Peter 2:9 (GNT).

Ad­dic­tions are life-con­trol­ling habits that slowly bind you. They are like com­fort­able beds – easy to get into, but hard to get out of. They also break your will. You don’t re­sist them be­cause you of­ten feel it is fu­tile to do so, but ul­ti­mately, they de­stroy your life.

The good news is that we can break free through Christ Je­sus. Paul ex­presses it this way in Scrip­ture: “It is for free­dom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let your­selves be bur­dened again by the yoke of slav­ery.” Gala­tians 5:1 (NIV).

God also lets us know that in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion with ev­ery temp­ta­tion He pro­vides vic­tory. “The temp­ta­tions in your life are no dif­fer­ent from what oth­ers ex­pe­ri­ence. And God is faith­ful. He will not al­low the temp­ta­tion to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can en­dure.” 1 Corinthi­ans 10:13 (NLT).

So let us ex­plore some steps to vic­tory:

1. BE­GIN TO­DAY

There is no time like the present, and this is par­tic­u­larly true when it comes to break­ing free from de­struc­tive habits. The very na­ture of a de­struc­tive habit is that it gets stronger the longer it goes on. Ec­cle­si­astes 11:4 (TLB) says: “If you wait for per­fect con­di­tions, you will never get any­thing done.”

2. AD­MIT THAT YOU HAVE A PROB­LEM

Ev­ery­thing starts with con­fes­sion – ac­cept­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity that you have a prob­lem.

God says, “If we con­fess our sin, he is faith­ful and just and will for­give us our sins and pu­rify us from all un­righ­teous­ness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

The key to get­ting free from your ad­dic­tion is choos­ing to sur­ren­der your life to the right source; that is God. If you want God to work on your ad­dic­tion, you have to give him your en­tire life. Ro­mans 6:12-13 says, “Do not let sin con­trol the way you live; do not give in to sin­ful de­sires... In­stead, give your­selves com­pletely to God.” (NLT)

4. FO­CUS ON SOMETHIMG BET­TER

“As a man thin­keth in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (KJV). In or­der to change your be­hav­iour, you first have to change what you fo­cus on. Philip­pi­ans 4:8 (NLT) tells us, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and hon­ourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and ad­mirable. Think about things that are ex­cel­lent and wor­thy of praise.”

5. FIND SUP­PORT FROM OTH­ERS

God says re­veal­ing your feeling is the be­gin­ning of heal­ing. The amaz­ing thing is, when you risk hon­esty with a trust­wor­thy per­son, all of a sud­den, this feeling of free­dom comes into your life. “There­fore, con­fess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 NIV.

6. TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME

Why? Be­cause God wants to give you enough strength to change for one day – not for the week, the month, or the rest of your life. He wants you to take it one day at a time so you trust in Him al­ways. Matthew 6:11 (KJV) says: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

7. EX­PECT GOD TO BRING THE VIC­TORY

Je­sus can give you power over the ad­dic­tions that con­trol your life. These ad­dic­tions hurt you, but there is power in the name of Je­sus. The Apos­tle Paul says, “Who will free me from this life that is dom­i­nated by sin and death? Thank God! The an­swer is in Je­sus Christ our Lord.” Ro­mans 7:24-25 (NLT)

You see, none of us is strong enough to kick life-con­trol­ling habits on our own. You prob­a­bly al­ready know this be­cause you’ve tried many times be­fore and failed. But God is strong enough!

When you sur­ren­der your life to Je­sus and you be­gin to walk these steps with God, His peace, pres­ence, and power will come into your life, and He will strengthen you. He will help you get above these ad­dic­tions. You will break free from your habits. Trust Him.

3. ASK JE­SUS TO TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE

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