Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Name Your Poison

Give what Thou commandest and command what Thou wilt. -Augustine

Addictions. The word conjures visions of the junkie and the agony of longing as she seeks the next fix. Or the alcoholic trapped in the endless cycle of drunken stupor and hungover bitterness of the morning after.

Would it accurate to suggest that we all have been enslaved (in some degree or other) by addiction to some thing or other?

But we are Christians, aren't we, and we know what delivers us from this body of death. This body with its weaknesses, afflictions and tendency to sin.

The world has its 12-Step programs and its positive thinking and its daily affirmation. God, in his mercy, has seen my frailty and proneness to wandering.

He has commanded me to be holy even as he is holy and then graciously provided a Helper. For I know that it is only by the sanctifying power of God the Spirit that I am anything like able to obey. Do you not find it to be so?

We have victory over sin increasingly as we understand and embrace our position in Christ. God has granted the means for obedience to His commands. Even as I struggle (and often fail) to put to death whatever sinful thoughts, words or deeds which hold me in bondage.

But as I rejoice in victory, I am reminded of my responsibility toward those still struggling (1 Corinthians 8:8-13).
My freedom (in those things that are not really sinful) becomes a snare to them. 

As we love the brethren, we minister to them in their weakness. Somehow there must be a balance between my freedom in Christ and their as yet incomplete understanding of who they are and whose they are.

It is an awesome thing to see God's deliverance of someone trapped in addiction. It is an inspiring thing to see Christians ministering to such a one, aiding them to overcome, speaking victory and peace into the embattled heart.

I thank God for the freedom He has given me through the sanctifying Spirit. May I never so rejoice that I forget the babe in Christ who so desperately struggles to overcome temptation and sin. May I always be diligent to never offer an occasion for stumbling.

But even more, may I be faithful to remind them of the blessings that are promised to us all.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Brothers, pray for us.

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