Forgive and Be Set Free from Addiction by Renewing Your Mind

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a

Addictive and Compulsive Behavior are the Result of Addictive Controlling Thoughts.

Past hurts and emotional wounds often are at the root of addictive behavior as the abuser uses drugs and alcohol to temporarily medicate away the pain of rejection. An important key to freedom and healing is found in forgiveness. To be set free from addiction, there needs to be a release from addictive thoughts. That release is found through forgiveness and renewed thinking.

In Romans 12:2 we are urged not to be conformed to this world. Instead we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word translated as “renewing” is, ajnakaivnwsiß (anakainosis). Anakainosis means a renewal, renovation or complete change for the better. What needs to undergo a renovation, so that it can be changed for the better, is our “mind.” Our mind is the faculty that enables us to think, understand and perceive. When a person is born-again, he/she is delivered out of the dominion of darkness and has been brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We no longer are to follow the behavior and customs of this sin-stained world. Our behavior is the reflection of our thinking. As a new creature in Christ our spirits have been regenerated and are perfect, but our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) need to be sanctified (set apart for the holy purposes of God).

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, we need to put off the old worldly ways of thinking and no longer submit to carnal desires. We need to be made new in the attitude of our minds.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

We are exhorted to renew our minds and be free of hatred and strife but how is this accomplished?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,Ephesians 5:25-26

The church or universal body of believers is cleansed (sanctified/made holy) by replacing worldly and fleshly thoughts with the Word of God. If we are to be true followers of Christ, then we must think and act like our Master. To think and act like our Lord, we must learn about His life and character. By studying the four Gospels, we will learn about the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

By regular and faithful reading of the divinely inspired Scriptures and applying the Word of God to our lives, we will transform our minds. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we will progressively be freed from worldly thinking and carnal desires.

A second essential key to renewing our minds and enabling us to put away our bitter, malicious and wicked thoughts is our willingness to forgive those who have caused us bitter suffering.

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Jesus, who was innocent of any wrongdoings, was falsely accused, illegally arrested and unfairly tried, mocked, beaten, scourged and crucified. Yet He cried out from the cross, “Father, forgive them …” According to the Lord’s Prayer we will be forgiven to the extent that we are willing to forgive others. The world teaches us to harbor unforgiveness and hatred, but a Christian who has the mind of Christ will be known by his love.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 How can you love your neighbor as yourself, if you do not love yourself?  Not only forgive those who have mistreated you, but also be sure to forgive yourself.
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

New Drug Highs for Teens: Spice, Bath Salts and Hand Sanitizers!

Teenagers looking to get high no longer need to go to the streets to buy drugs like marijuana or cocaine. They just have to sneak some pills out of their parent’s medicine cabinet where they can score prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet or anti-anxiety medications such as Valium or Xanax. Teens can raid the family medicine cabinet or simply go the local drugstore and get over-the-counter cold pills containing DXM. This active ingredient is found in cough suppressants which are labeled DM, cough suppressant, or containing “tuss” in the title.

Various pills

Various pills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They can take these pills on their own or get together with friends at a “pharm party.”All those invited each bring some pills, which will be combined in a bowl to make “trail mix.” Teenagers are either ignorant of the potential danger of taking pills to get high, are in denial, want acceptance by their friends, are rebellious, or simply don’t care about the risks they are taking.

The immediate potential side effects of using anyone else’s prescription, abusing a medication, and especially mixing medications includes: impaired judgment, nausea, loss of coordination, headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, numbness of fingers and toes, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, aches, seizures, panic attacks, psychosis, euphoria, cold flashes, dizziness, and diarrhea. Of course, there is always a possibility of over dosing which can lead to becoming comatose or a drug related death.

A young person looking to get high can avoid going out to the streets by purchasing marijuana alternatives on the Internet. The following is an ad from an online herbal smoke shop:

Description: WITHOUT A DOUBT ONE OF THE HOTTEST MOST SOUGHT AFTER EXTREME MARIJUANA ALTERNATIVE HERBAL SMOKES IN THE WORLD!                                                        Fusion Herbal Smoke is right up there with Spice Gold Herbal Smoke and is positively without a doubt among the strongest most potent USA legal herbal smoking blends currently being offered by any U.S. herbal smoke website.

Marijuana Plants (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

An additional marijuana alternative is the use of nutmeg which has some mild hallucinogenic effects. Teenagers sprinkle nutmeg on rolling papers and then smoke it in a way similar to marijuana.

Another alarming trend is the use of the new synthetic and highly addictive drugs called “bath salts” which are intended to be snorted, smoked or injected. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the U.S. Department of Justice, bath salts” were being sold on the Internet and at gas stations, smoke shops and convenience stores under such street names as “Blizzard,” “Cloud Nine” and “Ocean Snow.” These products contain psychoactive chemicals known as mephedrone and/or MDPV. Side effects include tachycardia, hypertension, euphoria, hallucinations, psychosis, paranoid delusions, agitation and diminished requirement for food and sleep. The psychosis can cause extreme violent, combative and self-injurious behavior. The most profound side effects from large overdoses include seizure, rhabdomyolysis and renal failure.

Besides the abuse of prescription medications, smoking herbal marijuana alternatives and nutmeg, and the synthetic bath salts drugs, teenagers are getting drunk by using hand sanitizers.

Hand sanitizers use a formula up to 62 percent ethyl alcohol to kill germs, but some students desperate for kicks are using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, and making a potent 120-proof liquid equal in strength to a shot of hard liquor. Health effects from the drink reportedly include diarrhea, memory loss and even blindness and irreversible organ damage.

In America, we have taken the Bible, prayer and the Ten Commandments out of our schools and the public arena. The vast majority of our young people no longer have a moral compass. Broken homes, single parenting, the corruption of our culture and the secularization of society have led to  an entire generation of young people feeling lonely and hopeless. As teens tattoo and pierce their bodies for attention and peer acceptance, we find that sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide rates for young people are on the rise.

What can we do to turn the tide? How can any individual make a difference?

First of all, we must recognize who or what we are fighting:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold.  Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Secondly, we must know how the battle is fought:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

To break the bondage and tear down the strongholds of addiction, we need to pray for the addicted so that they will come to the end of themselves and seek God.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom,  pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words -

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

One Wrong Turn Can Put You on the Downward Road of Addiction

If you are struggling with addiction, watch the video, “One Wrong Turn” and learn how turning to Jesus will put you on the road to life and freedom!

While most major causes of preventable death are declining, DRUGS are an exception. The death toll has DOUBLED in the last decade, now claiming a life EVERY 14 minutes.

Skull and crossbones

 These statistics only encompass US deaths caused by overdose by those who abuse illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals. The numbers are greater when you include those who die because of adverse drug reactions to prescribed drugs, traffic deaths caused by driving while intoxicated or stoned, and murders committed by alcoholics and drug addicts.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

Too many people have turned to a  self-destructive lifestyle that puts you on the road to pain, misery and eventually death. If you are ready to choose life and blessings, watch the video, “One Wrong Turn,” and then take to heart the  message below.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8-10

If you have made a “wrong turn” and are on a path of destruction, you need to repent (turn away from your sins and turn to God).

If you have never made a confession of faith then say the following prayer aloud:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.

You have been born again. As a new-born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer.  (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

Please contact us. We want to rejoice with you!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?
Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry can participate in our international prayer event:

PRAY NO to Drugs, Pornography, Gambling, Obesity and Smoking

The weekend of April 6 – April 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual “Just Pray NO!” to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. We are not only praying for the release of those bound by substance abuse but also for people to be delivered from pornography, gambling, obesity and smoking.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” has united millions of Christians from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Make a formal commitment to join with believers in Christ from around the globe this coming April. Put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth. We are seeking to enlist millions of prayer warriors from around the world to join us in battle!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?

 Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry can participate in our international prayer event:

Cigarettes are Extremely Addictive Due to the Drug Nicotine!

Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break. Tobacco addiction is the second-leading cause of death in the world!

According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break, while the pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those determining addiction to heroin and cocaine.

Tobacco addiction, the second-leading cause of death in the world, is a culprit for approximately 5 million deaths each year or 1 in 10 adult deaths. Currently, about 1.3 billion smokers live in the world; most (84%) live in developing countries. With the present smoking trends, tobacco will kill 10 million people each year by 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure). More Americans are killed by cigarettes than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs.

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction) and contributes to the severity of colds and pneumonia. Tobacco has a damaging effect on women’s health and is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.

My paternal grandfather was so addicted to cigarettes that even after he had a tracheostomy (a surgeon cut a hole through his neck directly into his trachea to improve his breathing), he would sneak cigarettes and inhale them through the surgical opening. My grandfather was over 6 feet tall and normally weighed about 185 pounds. The radiation treatments were so debilitating that by the time he died from lung cancer, he was emaciated down to 90 pounds. I do not want to see anyone have to suffer unnecessarily because of nicotine addiction as he did.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Mark 8:46

Despite the health problems, lawsuits, and rising prices associated with cigarettes, there’s still something seductive about the tobacco industry – the profits! The tobacco industry sells about six trillion cigarettes each year. The industry is highly concentrated with a handful of firms controlling the majority of the global tobacco market. The tobacco market was worth about $614 billion in 2009.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

There is a smoking ban for inmates who are incarcerated in Florida prisons but this restriction has been lifted for visitors and workers. The following is an excerpt from a letter that I received from an inmate at Apalachee Correctional Institution in Sneads Florida:

About all they did by stopping the selling of cigarettes was create a big black market for them. The staff is still allowed to bring in cigarettes but must go to designated areas to smoke. But because they can bring cigarettes into the prison that leaves an avenue open. Lots of guys have and are selling cigarettes for $2.50 each. Guys are buying them up and smoking them like Crackheads! Then they rob and steal from others to get more.

I noticed that there was a lot less violence before they “outlawed” cigarettes. I’d rather that there were no cigarettes but that is not going to happen since staff can bring them in. I’m sure $50 a pack of cigarettes is appealing to some of the staff. Usually there are 20 cigarettes in a pack. From the tobacco in a pack, 40 or 50 hand-rolled cigarettes can be made. You do the math! Anywhere from $100 to $125 can be generated from a single pack of cigarettes and it costs $10 for a lighter. But you really don’t need one because you can use batteries and a small piece of wire instead.

The back pages from all the Bibles in the Chapel are gone. They used those pages for rolling paper. When that supply ran out, they started using the wrapping paper from the toilet paper rolls! Pages from the dictionaries in the library are now gone too! I never thought that nicotine would have such control over the guys, but it does. What’s going to happen to these guys when they get out? If they can’t control their urge to smoke, what happens when they are exposed to addictive drugs and alcohol? Scary!

If I offered a group of 100 people each a cigarette laced with arsenic and told them that before they finished smoking their cigarette that they would die a horribly painful death, do you think that even one person would try it? Why then are people so willing to smoke cigarettes knowing full well that eventually they will develop a painful and potentially fatal smoking related ailment such as lung cancer or emphysema?

Are smokers simply self-destructive, in denial or incapable of making rational decisions? Perhaps they were tempted by advertising or gave in to peer-pressure when they were susceptible youths or took up their parent’s bad habit and now are addicted. Many smokers do not want to stop smoking regardless of the consequences. Those who want to quit, find it nearly impossible to do so on their own because nicotine addiction is not just a chemical problem it is a spiritual stronghold!

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Exodus 9:1

When the Hebrew slaves were in bondage in Egypt they cried out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for a deliverer. Passover recalls the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Passover is both a historical account and a prophetic picture. Moses “The Deliverer” is a type of the Messiah (Christ). The bondage of slavery in Egypt is a type of the bondage of sin in the world. Pharaoh typifies Satan. The Passover, when the firstborn male child passed from death to life by the blood of the lamb, is a picture of our passing from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son by the shed blood of the Lamb of God.

Persons who are addicted need to break the demonic strongholds in their lives by repenting of their sins and placing their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. They need to be born again and receive the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Many people wonder why God does not help them when they cry out to Him to be set free from their addictions. The reason that they remain in bondage is that they want to be set free – but are unwilling to surrender their lives to Jesus. The “KEY” that will set a person free is to understand that the Almighty’s purpose in setting a person free is to “SERVE HIM.”  Jesus must not only be your Savior but your Lord!  When you cry out, “Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins and deliver me from my addiction and I will serve you the rest of my life!”– Not only will you be set free, and have a healthier lifestyle, you will inherit eternal life, know true joy and receive God’s blessings!

You can be set free from smoker’s cough. You can be free from the horrible smoke smell that permeates your clothes and your home and from the cigarette butts and dirty ash trays. You can save thousands of dollars a year that literally goes up in smoke. You can benefit from whiter teeth and pinker lungs. You can add years to your life span and enjoy a better quality of life!

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8-10

If you have never made a confession of faith then say the following prayer aloud:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.

You have been born again. As a new-born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer.  (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

Please contact us. We want to rejoice with you!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?
Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry
can participate in our international prayer event:


TO WIN THE BATTLE OVER ADDICTION WE NEED OUR SPIRITUAL ARMOR

It is so very vital that we understand that there is an unseen spiritual battle that has been taking place throughout the course of human history.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been waging war against mankind.                                                               

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Our fight is not against human beings, but against the devil and his hierarchy of evil spirits. Satan is the god of this dark world who has blinded the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prince of the power of the air who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). We cannot fight this battle in our own strength but must be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians from a prison in Rome and used  the physical armor of the Roman prison guards to illustrate the spiritual protection and weapons that are available to born-again believers in Christ.  By learning how the natural armor was worn and utilized, we can better understand the spiritual weapons of our warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Roman Soldier in Full Armor

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with  the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this,  take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17

The Roman soldier wore a tunic or outer garment that served as his primary clothing. It was a large, square garment with holes cut out for the head and arms. It did not provide for body movement unless it was cinched up and tucked into a large belt that the soldier wore around his waist. This cinching was known as “girding up the loins” (or waist). A soldier who was preparing for battle would gird up his tunic into this belt. So that he would be ready to run or move quickly. The belt was also fitted with a scabbard or sheath to secure his sword to his side. In the front it had leather or metal straps attached to help protect the front of the soldier’s lower body.

The soldier’s belt protected his loins from harm. This lower area of the body serves in elimination of wastes and in reproduction. Our spiritual girdle or “belt of truth” protects us in a similar fashion. By knowing and loving the truth – the word of God (the Bible) and He who is the Truth (Jesus Christ), we can discern and eliminate false doctrines, lies and deception of the enemy. By spreading the truth of the gospel, we can reproduce spiritual offspring. People perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Therefore, the first piece of armor and our new life in Christ must begin with “the truth” – we are sinners who need a savior and can be justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:23-24). Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The next piece of armor that needs to be fitted into place is the breastplate. This breastplate was attached to the belt by leather thongs that passed through rings on the bottom to keep it solidly attached. It protected the upper body and the vital organs including the heart and lungs. Our spiritual breastplate of righteousness is “the righteousness of God” which is imputed to the believer by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22).

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

Once we have embraced the truth, repented of our sins and believe in Jesus, we are in right standing before God. We need to walk uprightly and guard our hearts because the heart is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). The heart is the seat of our emotions and our attitude. Our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus who humbled himself, came as a servant and was obedient to the Father (Philippians 2:5-8).

The Roman soldiers’ footwear was called the caligae or military boot often referred to as sandals. The upper is incorporated into the sole construction between two thick layers of leather. These layers are nailed together with iron nails which can be replaced as they wear down. The only stitching is in a position where it is not subject to wear and can easily be re-stitched. Their footwear was constructed to be long lasting and easily repaired. Our spiritual footwear is “our readiness and obedience to spread the gospel of peace.”

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

When we are obedient to be witnesses of Christ and fulfill the “Great Commission,” the enemy will certainly rise up against us. That is when we need to take up our “shield of faith.” The Roman shield that Paul referred to was called the scutum. It was a very large, slightly curved rectangular shield featuring at its center a large metal knob (called a boss). It was made of two planks glued together, the outer surface being then covered first with canvas and then with calf-skin. Its upper and lower rims are strengthened by an iron edging which protects it from descending blows and from injury when rested on the ground. The soldiers would oil their shield to keep the leather covering supple. In preparation against the flaming arrows of an enemy, the soldiers would soak their shields in water. When they came into range of being attacked, packed formations of legionaries would overlap their shields to provide an effective barrier and their water soaked shields would douse the fiery missiles. In a likewise manner we need to keep our shield of faith prepared for the battle with the “oil of the Holy Spirit” and soaked with the “water of the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Then we can stand in faith when the enemy attacks.

A soldier’s helmet protects another vital organ – the brain. The battle of the spirit takes place in the mind. The “helmet of salvation” is the spiritual piece of armor that will help guard our thoughts against the assault of the enemy. The adversary is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He will place negative thoughts in a believers mind in an attempt to make us doubt God’s love for us and our assurance of salvation. But we are saved to the uttermost because Jesus lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

Finally, we have our offensive piece of armor – The Sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Chemical addiction is not just a biochemical problem, it is spiritual bondage. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses, crime and death.
In order to become victorious over drug addiction, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do we renew our minds?  How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.

The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Fight the good fight of faith by putting on the full armor of God each day. Be sure to keep your sword sharpened!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?
Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry
can participate in our international prayer event:

 http://justprayno.org/click-here-for-information-on-the-annual-worldwide-weekend-of-prayer/

Hope and Help for Food Addiction – Losing Weight God’s Way

Obesity is more than the result of poor eating habits, it is spiritual bondage.

The following teaching will encourage and empower  those who are truly seeking to lose weight and be set free.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

The first twenty-one verses of the Gospel of John, chapter three record the account of Nicodemus and his private meeting with Jesus. Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night. Nicodemus addressed Jesus as Rabbi and acknowledged that the signs and miracles that Jesus performed evidenced that God was with Jesus.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 

“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Although Nicodemus was a spiritual leader in Israel, he did not understand God’s plan of salvation.

 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Jesus explained that our physical life is the result of a physical birth. But for a mortal human to be received into heaven, that person must be born again. To have spiritual life we need to be birthed by the Spirit of God. Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to the wind.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Since Nicodemus still didn’t understand, Jesus went on to explain:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

 The Israelites rebelled against God during their wilderness wanderings and murmured against his provision of manna.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!”If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.   Numbers 11:4-5

No cost – only their very lives and the lives of their children. Instead of being grateful for their great deliverance from the bondage ofEgypt and being thankful as they looked forward to the Promised Land, they wailed and lamented at God’s supernatural provision of manna.

Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.  Numbers 11:31-33

Because the people were ruled by their stomachs it resulted in death. But they did not learn their lesson.

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9

…so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

People who sin are in rebellion against God. The wages of sin is death. The snakes that bit the Israelites symbolize the sting of death that is inflicted by the great ancient serpent –Satan. But he who knew no sin, Jesus Christ the Righteous, became sin for us and was crucified – which is symbolized by the bronze snake on the pole, so that we may become the righteous of God in Him and receive eternal life.

The one verse that is most widely remembered from the account of the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus is John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 Jesus went on to explain quite clearly concerning God’s gracious plan of salvation:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  John 3:17-19

There is no middle ground or compromise in obtaining eternal life. No one can serve two masters. You cannot receive eternal life if you desire to remain in the darkness. If you do not recognize that you are a sinner then you will not seek the Savior.

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:22-30

 For a limited time, John was sent ahead to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. John preached a baptism of repentance. John’s calling and ministry was to declare to the masses their need to turn from their sins. Those who came under conviction of their sins were baptized in an act of obedience and made a public declaration of their need of a savior by the ritual of immersion. After Jesus was revealed as the Lamb of God, the ministry of Jesus increased while John’s ministry decreased. John declared, “He must become greater; I must become less.” Each person who has placed their trust in the finished work of atonement that Jesus accomplished on the cross must die to self so that the work of Jesus can increase in their life. The old nature must be crucified daily so that we can take up our cross and follow him.

Although God had sent a redeemer and freed the Hebrew slaves from their cruel bondage inEgypt, many perished in the wilderness from a severe plague and others died from the bites of venomous snakes because they were ruled by their stomachs. God has sent us the Redeemer who was dead and lives forever more to free us from the cruel bondage of sin and from the carnal desires of this world. Yet many blood-bought Christians are prematurely perishing because they are not honoring God by taking proper care of their bodies.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. One in three Americans is obese. Obesity is also increasing rapidly throughout the world, and the incidence of obesity has nearly doubled form 1991 to 1998. Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is a dire health dilemma directly harmful to one’s health. In theUnited States, roughly 300,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and more than 80% of these deaths are in patients with a BMI (body mass index) over 30. Obesity also increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases including:

  • Insulin Resistance. Insulin is necessary for the transport of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat (which is then used for energy). By transporting glucose into cells, insulin keeps the blood glucose levels in the normal range. Insulin resistance (IR) is the condition whereby the effectiveness of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) into cells is diminished. Fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, one important cause of IR is obesity. The pancreas initially responds to IR by producing more insulin. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. This IR state (characterized by normal blood glucose levels and high insulin levels) can last years. Once the pancreas can no longer keep up with producing high levels of insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes, thus IR is a pre-diabetes condition. In fact scientists now believe that the atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) associated with diabetes likely develops during this IR period.
  • Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common among obese adults. A Norwegian study showed that weight gain tended to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men.
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA)
  • Heart attack The Nurses Health Study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased 3 to 4 times in women who had a BMI greater than 29. A Finnish study showed that for every one kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, the risk of death from coronary artery disease increased by one percent. In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer. While not conclusively proven, some observational studies have linked obesity to cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Gallstones
  • Gout and gouty arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:18-20

 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Ephesians 4:17-18

We, as the children of light, are not to live as the unsaved do. Their destiny is destruction and their god is their stomach. We were purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb of God and we are to honor God with our bodies.

To honor God by properly maintaining your body, the Temple of God:

  • Seek the Lord in prayer to empower you to change your eating habits
  • Trust in the Lord and not in junk food for comfort
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains
  • When you are full, stop eating. Eat smaller portions.
  • Exercise more
  • Do not diet – CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE
  • Be patient – it  took quite a while to put the weight on, it will take time to lose it
  • Set achievable goals – lose 1 to 3 pounds a month

The following verses are to encourage and strengthen you. Take them to heart and know that God is faithful to perform his Holy Word.

  •  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in youwill carry iton to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  • For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
  • I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
May the Lord bless you with health and long life!


THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse is a unique verse-by-verse account of the Book of Revelation viewed from a Hebraic Mind-set. The Book of Revelation first gives an overview of the apocalypse, followed by specific details which unveil the future of the nation of Israel, unbelievers and the body of Messiah. The author Steven L. Sherman, is a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ who is a gifted teacher and lecturer on biblical prophecy. Steven is also the founder of “Just Pray NO! Ltd. Since 1991, “Just Pray NO!” has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families by sponsoring the annual “Just Pray NO!” Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting.

Although we are all facing financial challenges because of our economy, there is some exciting news regarding this insightful literary work. If you purchase this book directly through the publisher’s web site, not only will you save 27% off of the suggested retail price, but all royalties go directly to the ministry of “Just Pray NO!” Not only will you get to read a great book but you will be supporting a great cause – fighting drug and alcohol addiction.

To order THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse, call this toll free number: 1 (877) 421-READ [7323].

To order on line, go to: WinePress Books

To arrange for a personal interview with “Just Pray NO!” Founder and Author Steven L. Sherman call: (727) 647-6467
or email: justprayno@aol.com

Beverage Alcohol is One of the World’s Most Widely Used Drugs

Alcohol is one of the most widely used drug substances in the world. Alcohol use & binge drinking among America’s youth is a key public health problem.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • Alcohol is used by more young people in the United States than tobacco or illicit drugs.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with approximately 75,000 deaths per year.
  • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 41% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Among youth, the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior.
  • Long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder.
  • Drug use contributes directly and indirectly to the HIV epidemic, and alcohol and drug use contribute markedly to infant morbidity and mortality.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things.

You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

Is it so surprising that the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries?

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Ephesians 5:18a

Debauchery is defined as, extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures; dissipation. Debauchery earliest usage meant seduction from duty, allegiance, or virtue.

Is it also very surprising that drunkenness leads to academic and occupational problems, illegal behavior and gross immorality?

Who would seduce us away from our duty or virtue? Synonyms for seduce are beguile, allure, lure, deceive or tempt.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, “What is this that thou hast done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:13

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3

Who beguiled Eve? Who is the tempter? Who is the great deceiver? Satan is the profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity. Drunkenness is neither a bad habit nor is alcoholism merely a disease that needs to be treated; they are snares of the devil that lead to sickness and death. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses.

Does it now make sense that since the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy that long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder?

But what about controlled social drinking? Shouldn’t a Christian be able to have an occasional beer or two or some wine with dinner?

Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, Leviticus 10:8-9

Israel’s high priesthood was forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages when ministering before the LORD.

It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Proverbs 31:4-5  

It is not good for kings to drink wine or rulers to crave beer.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Born-again believers are not only adopted into the family of God but are the children of the King of kings. We are a royal priesthood and are to rule and reign with Jesus. Although the moderate intake of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden for believers, refraining from fermented drink is the better choice for those who which to honor God with their bodies.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But didn’t Jesus drink wine?

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Matthew 11:19

Jesus was falsely accused of being a drunkard.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Drinking is not prohibited in the Bible. It is uncontrolled drinking to drunkenness. The acts of the flesh include drunkenness and those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus in order to emphasize with our weaknesses drank wine, but resisted the temptation of becoming drunk with wine.

Public intoxication, also known as drunk and disorderly conduct, is a summary offense in many countries. In other words it is prosecutable without an indictment or full trial. “Driving While Intoxicated” and “Driving Under the Influence” also carry their penalties under the law.

It is obvious that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs have had a devastating impact on individuals, their families and their communities not only here in America but throughout the world.

Annually in the United States the alcohol beverage industry is grosses nearly $500 billion dollars in the sales of wine and beer as well as distilled spirits such as vodka, rum and whiskey.

The English word, “Intoxication” is from taken from the Latin words which mean to smear with poison. The medical definition of intoxication is poisoning by a drug or toxic substance. Intoxication is the condition of being drunk as the result of drinking alcoholic beverages and/or use of narcotics. Intoxication is mental and emotional stupefaction or excitement by the action of a chemical substance. To stupefy is to befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate or bedevil.

When you drink alcoholic beverages to the point of drunkenness you are bedeviled. You have not only poisoned your body, which leads to physical death, but have poisoned your mind and have been ensnared by the devil.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Those who are addicted have been taken captive by the devil. They must be gently encouraged to earnestly repent so that they can come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Alcoholism like any other drug addiction is a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons. We are not to be intoxicated with alcohol but filled with the Holy Spirit.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In order to become victorious over alcoholism and other drug addictions, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do we renew our minds? How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.

The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

To Battle Sexual Addiction: Gird up the Loins of Your Mind

The battles of sexual addiction and pornography are not won by girding up our genitals, but by transforming our thought life.

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:13-16

The word “loins” can be defined as the pubic region or genitals – the location of the reproductive organs. To gird up means to bind about, especially with a belt or sash. In biblical times, a Roman soldier when putting on the part of his armor that covered his loins; would take the excess material from his knee length tunic pull and it forward. Then he would tuck the extra material between his legs in front and gather it behind him. Collecting half of the material on either side in the rear, he would pull it around and tie it in the front as a sash or belt. This would enable him to run with more mobility and agility. Girding up his loins, the soldier would be prepared for the action of battle.

Peter exhorts us to gird up the loins of our mind – the reproductive center of our thought life – so that we will be prepared for the spiritual battle and be able to live a holy and obedient life. We are no longer to be controlled by worldly lusts.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

The battle of sexual addiction is not won by girding up our genitals, but by transforming our thought life. It is our own evil desire – lustful thinking – that entices us to sin sexually.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, as quoted in Matthew 5:27-28: You have heard that it was said,   ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Men are stimulated visually. Especially for men, indulging in sexual fantasy, reading or watching pornography opens the door to sexual addiction and leads to a path of immorality, degradation and shame.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1-5

 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 2 Samuel 11:1-4

At the time when kings go off to war, David sent his nephew Joab, as commander-in-chief, out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. King David himself remained in Jerusalem. David was anointed by God to be king over Israel and to lead the army of Israel in battle. Instead of David fulfilling his anointed calling and leading the physical battle against the Ammonites, he placed himself in a vulnerable position so that he would lose a most important spiritual battle.

From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her…

Men are stimulated visually. King David was no different than any other man. As James made so clear in his epistle: …but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. David gave in to his own evil desire to have someone else’s wife – Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. David’s evil desire not only resulted in his sin of adultery but also the arranged killing of Uriah in battle.

Praise God for his awesome grace and tender mercies. When David was confronted with his sins by the prophet Nathan he repented and was forgiven. But there were terrible natural consequences to his sins.

Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”  2 Samuel 12:9-12

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

David was a man after the LORD’s own heart because David was truly repentant. The LORD took away the eternal consequences of his sin. But David would reap in the natural realm what he had sown including the death of the child he fathered with Bathsheba as well as his beloved son Absalom having his way with David’s concubines.

David’s punishment included engaging in warfare all of his days because he struck down Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites. Because David didn’t go out to battle the Ammonites, he was idle. In his idle time, he lusted with his eyes and his evil desire enticed him to sin. The sin of David resulted in the sword never departing from his house. David avoided a physical battle but ended up with a lifetime of battles to fight because he lost sight of the spiritual battle.

Men are stimulated visually. Especially for men, indulging in sexual fantasy, reading or watching pornography opens the door to sexual addiction and leads to a path of immorality, degradation and shame. Because he did not gird up the loins of his mind, even Israel’s greatest king, brought down calamity upon his house.

Porn is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S… 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home. According to a Christianity Today magazine survey, Internet pornography is a personal problem for 37 percent of pastors. Pornography viewing is not just limited to men who are unsaved but is a besetting sin for many Christian men and Christian leaders as well.

We know that pornography and sexual sin are mighty strongholds in the church that must be demolished. We can also learn from King David’s errors, two important strategies in how to win this battle. First, we have to be aware of how we occupy ourselves in our down or idle time. Secondly and more importantly, we must be aware that the battle of the spirit takes place in our minds. It is our own evil desire – lustful thinking – that entices us to sin sexually.

In order to break away from worldly thinking – carnal mindedness, we must renew our minds. How is this accomplished? Paul explains how in his letter to the church at Ephesus.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27

The Lord Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and as born-again believers we immediately receive spiritual life. But Christ desires that his bride, the church to be without the stain of sin. Sanctification is a process by which we become more and more Christ-like. This is accomplished by our minds being renewed and cleansed from carnal thoughts by replacing them with the Word of God.

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:9-11                                                                                                                                    

For many years, people who had great treasures would bury them and in time of need, would dig them up. When we treasure the Word of God and bury it in our hearts, in our time of need it will come forth so that we will know the will of God and not sin against him.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. James 5:13-15                                                                                                                                                    

To be victorious over pornography and sexual addiction, we must not only renew our mind but also we need accountability, the confession of our sin and the support and prayers of our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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