1Co 10:13-14, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (14) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
Addictions are often classified as a disorder. After working in this field for over 12 years, and spending time with experts who are actually seeing lives changed, I submit that if addiction is a disorder, the only one it could be is a worship disorder!
We were created to worship Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords! He is to be preeminent in our lives. He tells us that if we will acknowledge him in all our ways, he will direct our paths. Yet, when our focus is placed on idols, then the desires of our heart go on a rampage. I recently viewed a Youtube video on idolatry; I think it would be worthy of 105 seconds of your time. You will see that idol worship is not just golden calves anymore, just like addictions are not just drugs and alcohol! It’s far more reaching and destructive than that.
Last week we ended the blog speaking of the importance of understanding triggers. This week I want to continue with that thought, and give some practical suggestions to break the chain of events that grab your heart and carry it far away from your Heavenly Father who loved you and gave himself for you!
Action Items Regarding Triggers
1) Familiarize yourself with the self-defeating habit.
Begin to recognize the routine as it starts, or begins to take over. This might be by noticing typical thoughts or feelings, or how you start to act. Keeping a journal of your triggers can help you identify how they worm themselves into your heart.
2) Be mindful.
Monitor your behavior –thoughts, feelings, actions – from a neutral, “witness” awareness. Often this is where God uses leadership in your life to help you. If you “draw away” from those who love you and want to help you, this is usually one of the first signs of trouble.
3) Remember the alternatives.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with alternatives. Just a few weeks ago, my wife and I were counseling a girl and trying to help her avoid the triggers when they come that beckon her to smoke tobacco. My wife went and retrieved a small New Testament Bible that her father carried when he was trying to stop smoking years ago. She opened the Bible and began to thumb through the many highlights in the Bible made by her dad. Anytime he wanted to indulge, he would catch himself reaching for a cigarette in his top pocket! So he replaced it with the Bible and would find a verse to highlight and meditate on to change the decision his flesh was screaming out to follow. Remember there is a way of escape; take it!
5) Do this at every naturally occurring opportunity.