Romans 7: 15, 18, 19 New International Version (NIV) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. You know what it is and so does God. It’s that thing you like, love, and even what gets you high. It gives you that climax. It’s the thing that gets you excited. God knows that He used to be that high. He used to be that thing for you that got you through. He used to be what helped you cope. But not anymore. You have other things and someone else to do that for you now. You know what it is. It may not be the “typical sin” – but you know you have “this thing.” You may even have several things. “The thing”, as Paul the Apostle said – you do but don’t want to do. It’s the thing you would love saying no to – but don’t. Deep down, you like it and the feeling you get when you do it. Whether or not you should be doing it and whether or not you know it’s wrong isn’t the issue because you know you shouldn’t and you know it’s wrong. Beloved, what is YOUR THING? Is it that friendship or some type of relationship that you know you should cut ties with, but yet you really don’t want to? You get something from that relationship you believe you need, yet it isn’t bearing the Godly fruit that it should. It gives you something to do because you are bored. Perhaps you like being distracted and not facing the real issue. This thing- or habit – gives you an escape. Is it rebelling against God and his instruction? Deep down, you’d rather just do things “your way” because you like the feelings you get from doing your own thing. You know you should listen to the Holy Spirit, but… Or is it some other type of addiction that feeds your spirit and physical needs and you like the high it gives you, but now you really don’t want to do it anymore. You want to be better and do better because you and God both know it’s not giving Him glory. You and Him both know it’s doing more harm than good.
Could you be so bold and brave to admit to God and honestly say – “I don’t say no to _______ because I like saying yes.”
I’ve heard several times that the first step towards recovery is to admit you have a problem. As Paul said, “I hate what I do…I have the desire to do what is good – but I can’t carry it out.” SELAH. After admission that you do it, what do you do? Well, you can start by honestly admitting to God what you get from it. Therefore, you are likely to uncover the reason you still do it or entertain it. I’ve learned from dealing with addictions of all kinds that I focused so much on the problem that I didn’t deal with the root. I didn’t understand it at times, and then other times I tried too hard to understand it.
I did know this much – this door didn’t open by itself. It was either opened by me or opened for me– and I walked through it.
I also tried to ignore the fact that my enjoying whatever I was doing was the reason I kept on doing it and always gave in. I felt trapped by my flesh or what I felt my flesh needed. I never stopped and attempted to close the doors. I didn’t want to admit that I liked the attention, avoiding things, or getting my identity from something or someone. I didn’t want to admit that somewhere, my “it’ had become my high – my drug of choice. It became my craving when I used to crave God. When I was lonely, I used to go to God and then I stopped. When I was weak, my thing became stronger and more attractive to me. I didn’t ask God to help me. My thing became what helped me make it through the days or weeks…and Lord – even years. When I dropped one, I picked up another. It was my coping mechanism. I didn’t say no because I liked what I got from my thing when I said yes…when I gave into it. My things had become an addiction to me and I was trapped.
What about you, beloved? Feeling trapped and unable?
Here’s something else you can do. You can take a long look in the mirror and let reality hit you. Let it sink in. What do you see? Do you see an addict or do you see a conqueror? How long can you keep going like this? How long can you keep doing what you do? Do you want to see someone different and wake up someone different or be the same person you were yesterday?
Decide to Make Some Changes. Pray Some Changes. Be A Change.
Ask God for the grace to carry out the good, as Paul says. Pray that God will give you a new heart that desires that He be your high and what gets you excited. Everything that those things gave you – ask God that He give them to you.
Then next time you are faced with your thing, I pray you will be able to say: “I said no to ______________ because I don’t like saying yes.”
Let us pray. Father – I need your help desperately! I don’t like being in this rut of addiction, laziness, procrastination, loneliness, and feeling trapped by my habits. Lord, I ask for your great grace to help me transition into a new mindset. Get me through my spiritual rehab. Wake me up, shake me up! Hold me and mold me. Tell me what I need to do and help me to do it. Send accountability partners into my life. Send prayer partners into my life. Protect me in my sleep from thoughts and attacks of the enemy. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy and will try to do so when I am most defenseless. Be that thing that gets me excited. Fill me fresh with your spirit! Guard my mind, body, soul, and spirit daily. Keep me in perfect peace and restore what has been stolen. I am trusting you in this area. I need to say NO to these habits. (name them) I need to say YES to you and your plan for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!