Contending for Jesus

This entry is part 94 of 139 in the series Holiness Matters
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Every human being can become addicted to something. Addictions can range from drugs to coffee. Anyone who knows me would tell you I am addicted to books. It’s not among the worst, but an addiction is still addiction.

As I continue to talk about Holiness Matters in our lives, I’ve come to the sections on addictions of all kinds. I will be discussing addictions in each of my blog posts for a while. But I want to cover them from the biblical point of view.

I want to start with a contention for the power of Jesus in our lives. I have heard many Christians tell me that addictions cannot be cured. Like our flesh we must continually be on guard against, addictions may not be cured, but they are overcome by the power of Jesus.

Strong Addictions

There’s a line in a worship song I really like. It says, “My sin was great, you love is greater.” The same thing applies to addictions. Addictions are great in our lives. They have control over us, our masters if we’re not careful.

Perhaps before you came to Jesus you were involved in some pretty nasty addictions. They had a hold of your life and you lived to serve them. Drugs ingrained themselves in your biology, so you had to have a fix. Pornography called to you even at work.

Addictions are a tough thing. We have a proclivity toward addictions. Once we get involved with them, it’s hard to get away. Habits also affect our lives and strong ways. We are creatures of habit. We like to do the same things over and over.

Habits and addictions are practically impossible for us to change. Every New Year’s Eve we all talk about our resolutions for next year. And we might last a month with these new behaviors if were lucky.

Addictions have a grip on us that Jesus wants to release. He wants to bring freedom to those who are captive, especially to addictions. But many people don’t believe they can be free from their addictions. Whether it’s that they have become so used to them they want to keep them or they just don’t think they can be free, I hear this a lot.

Why do we let addictions rule our lives? Why don’t we kicked them to the curb? Jesus is our only Master. We cannot allow something else to master us (1 Corinthians 6:12). Notice I said, “allow.” In a real sense no matter how much addictions have been ingrained in our biology, we continue to make the choice to serve them instead of Jesus.

If you think it’s too harsh to say it’s one or the other as a master, the Bible says we can only serve one master (Matthew 6:24). You know you’re addicted when you can’t say no to it. If it controls your life, your choices, your relationships, your finances, then it is your master.

Stronger Jesus

So the song i mentioned, the second part of that lyric, says, “Your love is greater.” Our addictions may be strong, but Jesus is stronger. Paul says Jesus came to set us free and we need to live in that freedom, to walk in it (Galatians 5:1).

But you may not be able to give up addictions on your own. In that case, we need help. Sometimes the help of another saint will help us get free. Other times we need professional help to kick our addictions.

Jesus offers his freedom to us. But we must want it, embrace it. As much as the decision is ours, we must seize the time of freedom. When Jesus sets us free from everything, it includes our addictions. Everything that has a name bows to Jesus because his name is greater.

Just like sin, he frees us to choose to serve him. But we can return to the flesh. We can let our flesh when if were not careful. And the same is true for addictions. Jesus gives us freedom from everything that binds us. Everything that controls us and Masters us, it bows to Jesus.

If we don’t believe Jesus has conquered everything in our lives, and we don’t believe Jesus is strong enough. We don’t trust that his sacrifice was more than enough. We put Jesus in a box and say he can only do “this much.”

Jesus is stronger than anything in our lives. He rules our hearts. He rules our decisions. And he rules our actions. He is King and Lord over everything in us. He has given us the power through his Holy Spirit. But we must wield it.

Declaring Freedom

I firmly believe that no matter what we are dealing with Jesus can conquer all things. There is nothing beyond his reach. He sees everything we do and he knows the things we hold on to. We must give them over to him.

In Romans 6, Paul describes us as slaves no matter what. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Because Jesus has freed us and given us the choice to serve him, we must choose to be slaves of righteousness.

At the moment of your salvation, you declared Jesus Lord of your life. But you also declared yourself dead to sin. You declared the freedom and victory of Christ over everything in your life. If you need to, declare that freedom and victory again.

You don’t have to be a slave to your addictions. You can control them as you control the flesh. With the power of the Holy Spirit and his help, you can live in the freedom Christ has declared over you.

Jesus through his Spirit is making you holy and pure. He is looking for people of faith, a blameless and spotless Church. You are his temple, his Church, his body. And he wants his body clean for his return.

Declare open season on your addictions. Take every habit captive to Christ. Because we know Jesus and his freedom, any sin and addiction in our lives, anything that controls us, is there by our choice. We are like a free man who binds himself again.

So let Jesus’ sacrifice and declaration stand for you. Call out your addictions and put them in their place. Rely on your relationship with Jesus and the power of the Spirit. You can’t do this on your own. You need the Holy Spirit’s help. You need the help of other saints to keep you accountable and help you walk in the freedom Jesus one for you.

Conclusion

We all can rely on Jesus’ sacrifice and victory. His freedom is ours. I get excited about this point because so many people have been saved by Jesus but still walk in addictions and the things he set us free from.

I’m not perfect by any means. I haven’t arrived. I’m not looking down on anyone else. I’m in the midst of the crowd of those who walk with Jesus and rely on his victory. I’m no longer a sinner in Jesus’ eyes. God sees me as one of his children.

But I deal with the flesh every day. I must crucify it when it rears its ugly head. This is part of walking with Jesus until he finishes his work of holiness in each of us. But you don’t have to struggle alone. There is a great cloud of witnesses who are for you. The Holy Spirit is for you. Leave a comment and declare the freedom and victory of Christ.

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