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Monday, September 24, 2012

Freedom From Mastery

2 Peter 2:19

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (NIV).

Addiction is a genuine and deadly problem facing our society. The phenomena cuts across cultural and socio-economic strata and strikes at the heart of our experience as human beings. The face of addiction is as varied as the addicts themselves. The reasons individuals become addicted are also as multifarious as the number of those who suffer from this disease. Addiction can manifest itself in many forms; such as, drug, gambling, sexual, shopping, workaholic behaviors. The word “addict” evokes mental images of marginalized people using illicit drugs and living on the fringes of society in a criminal culture, this is not always the case, as this disease can affect individuals of differing ages and economic situations. The definition of the word addiction is, “The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” Statistics show that, “Illicit drug use in America has been increasing. In 2010, an estimated 22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 8.9 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month. This is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in the use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug”( ). Drug addiction is a disease of the soul, sadly those who succumb are often involved in criminal activity and are dealt with as criminals rather than as those in need of a physician; although conversely, society must be protected from the criminal activity that may accompany addiction. It is a sad statement on the human condition that generations are being lost to addiction. A further repercussion of drug addiction is the contraction of HIV, AIDS and other contagious diseases that result from the sharing of dirty needles and sexual activity. Addiction is scourging our society and killing our children. True compassion and Godly wisdom, as well as medical and counseling knowledge is needed to treat the addict and help free him/her from their addiction. It is true that since The Fall man has been seeking to regain the wholeness that was lost in the Garden. Said St. Augustine of Hippo of this human state, "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” The Christian band, Plumb's 1994 song, “God Shaped Hole,” speaks of this truth,
And the restless soul is searching
There's a god-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only He can fill.”
This world is a harsh place and the only true and eternal respite for our souls is in Christ Jesus. Only He can make us whole in Himself and heal our brokenness. Scripture is definite regarding the subject of addiction. I Corinthians 6:12 the Apostle Paul instructs, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (KJV). It is true that anything that we place before God has become an idol in our lives. Leviticus 19:4 admonishes, “Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God”(NIV). 2 Peter 2:19 states, “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them”(NIV). Paul speaks succinctly of our situation, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18). We can rest in the knowledge that God is working on our behalf as believers, “For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose” (Phillipians 2:13).   

Father thank You for Your Word and Your promise of freedom to us.  Please show us the areas of our lives that are not submitted to You.  Please cover us with Your healing wings and free us and our loved ones from serious addictions that are destroying lives.  Thank You for Your love, thank You for Your Son, through Whom freedom from addiction is possible.  In Jesus name we ask these things.  Amen.

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