“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Roman 7:15)
Are you finding that your addiction keeps getting the best of you?
Time and time again the temptation to take that drink or use that drug is just too tempting.
You know it’s wrong.
You don’t want to do it.
But something just keeps pulling you back in.
At the same time the guilt eats away at you and the desire to run away from the pain gets more intense with each time you fail.
You begin to doubt yourself and even worse you begin to doubt your faith.
Wasn’t Jesus supposed to save you from all of this?
Wasn’t He supposed to take the urges, cravings and desires away?
If the Apostle Paul Struggled So Will You
Have you ever realized that guilt is not your friend? While there may be temptations and failures in this life that does not mean that God has forgotten or abandoned you.
It doesn’t mean you’re expected to be perfect. You’re an imperfect human being and perfection for you is impossible just as it is for me.
The truth is the more you try to control your urges on your own the greater the temptations will become and the harder it will be to overcome them; and the greater you will likely feel guilt for your bad choices.
The Apostle Paul struggled.
As he said, he didn’t understand himself or why he made some of the decisions he did. He knew there was something wrong and he was aware that he was making some wrong decisions.
The reasons he was making bad decisions are the same reasons that you are.
Just a few versus down in Romans 7 Paul will go on to say:
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:19-20
You may have spent a lot of time studying the Bible, but that isn’t the same thing as living the Bible.
Part of that means accepting the reality that you are not perfect.
It means accepting the reality that you will fall and you will sin.
It means accepting the reality that God still loves you from before the beginning of time and He always will.
In fact, He loves you so much that He “sent His only Begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will never perish but will have eternal life.”
Faith is a journey and God has us all on one big adventure.
How we choose to experience is up to us.
Believing in Jesus is freeing.
Not because there aren’t consequences for our choices, failures and sin in this life… but because there are none in eternity where it really matters.
There is No Condemnation
In Romans 8:1 Paul writes; “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
If God will no longer condemn you why should you condemn yourself?
Why should you see yourself as any less valuable than you are? You are a child of God and your value is immense! There is nothing more valuable and precious to God than you!
You are not struggling because of a lack of faith.
You are struggling because of an abundance of sin; and that sin has been paid for in full.
That’s life changing!
Here is the catch. It’s not about what you know. It’s about who you believe.
Do you believe you’ve been set free?
Do you believe you are the most valuable thing in the world to God?
Do you believe that you can break free of your addiction?
The truth is that you can. But it may not happen instantly. It may not happen overnight… or next week… or even next year.
The key to breaking free from your guilt and building your faith is first and foremost to realize that you are not alone.
You are not the only one.
While my sin may look very different from yours in God’s eyes it is the same and it carries the same weight and penalty.
But we are no longer slaves to sin. We are free from the penalty of sin and death.
My encouragement to you is this; if you’re struggling with your faith because of relapses and failures, don’t just keep putting your head in your Bible.
Find a safe place where you can confide your struggles and your sins. Find a place where others are serious about being on the journey of faith together and who get that you are not perfect. Find a place where love, freedom and forgiveness is on display as you draw closer to God and He helps you overcome your addiction.
Your addiction is not the end of your journey. Instead it’s a part of the journey where you get to see God show up and do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
If this is what you’re after I want to encourage you to check out CrossRoads Freedom Center. It’s a place where men just like you are on a journey of recovery, hope and healing together.
Don’t wait, call us today!
We want to share with you how God is restoring hope, love, opportunities and faith.
We look forward to hearing from you!!!!