How does something become a life-controlling problem? It starts with what we are giving our thought-life over to. We become preoccupied with thoughts. We begin to plan around what we are thinking. When we are bored, we begin to think about what we have focused on, and give in to a substance, a behavior, or an unhealthy relationship.
There is a growing need for it for our new pre-occupation. We begin to turn to it during times of stress, or as a reward. Next, we become more rigid in our lifestyle. Rituals are developed around our obsession, which in the beginning, seemed innocent. We become frustrated or angry, whenever our rituals are interrupted. Times of the day, are set aside for use or practice. We we find ourselves breaking our self-imposed rules. Then we narrow our friends and free-time down, to those which focus on our obsession. We lose control, as all areas of our lifestyle, are structured to serve and support our “problem.” Then our use, practice, or relationship, is no longer limited to certain times of the day.
What do we do? We cannot stop, we seem to no longer be in control. We need to persevere! We must work at it with God’s help.
Some Helpful Ideas and Scripture:
- “We take captive every thought to Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:9.
- Make your life a sacrifice to God striving to please Him, as an act of worship. Don’t conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; Romans 12:1-2.
- Find a mentor or accountability partner to talk to. Someone who is a believer in God, who can lovingly help you in times of weakness.
- Have faith in God! Hebrews 10:19-12:2, talks about those who had faith in God, and miraculous things happened in their lives! People like Moses, Abraham, Isaac, the Israelites, Rahab, Gideon, Sampson, King David, Samuel and the prophets.
- Trust in Jesus, read the Bible, let the Holy Spirit guide you, and fellowship with the people of God.
- Our struggle is not just against flesh & blood and we can not stand on our own. Our battle is against spiritual forces of evil, in the heavenly realms. So put on the full armour of God to stand your ground. Stand firm with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of readiness, that come from the gospel of peace. Take up your shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit of God. Pray and keep praying; Ephesians 6: 10-18.
In other words, come to Jesus and be saved, be truthful and know the truth of God. Use your faith as a shield, to stop the arrows that the devil is going to shoot at you. Let your feet be ready to move with the good news, that Jesus died for our sins. Use the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God–The Bible. Pray to God, talk to Him, pray in the Spirit, and pray often. We don’t fight spiritual battles the way the world does. God gives us divine weapons that will demolish strongholds. He also gives us His knowledge, to use against thoughts that Satan, puts in our mind. We find those truths in God’s Word. Often the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, telling us the right thing to do. Sometimes we are searching for an answer, and a friend who believes in God, gives us the answer. Or we go to church or a gathering of believers, and they pray for us, and God is there. He hears us and answers.
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. We obey our God. We submit our will to His. This is what we call dying to ourselves; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. These verses are promising us, that the power of doing these things, using these weapons— will pull down strongholds! They will defeat Satan! They will help us overcome anything that has us bound! Alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, addictions, bulimia, anorexia, obsessions, life-controlling problems, wrong relationships. Our struggle with life-controlling issues, is most often won or lost in the battlefield of the mind. It starts with a thought, and gets bigger until it is no longer something that we can control. It controls us. We don’t have to live this way. We can follow God, letting Him guide us. He will show us the way, out of captivity! We can take captive every thought, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
He wants us to be free. That is why He died on the cross. To set us free from bondage, to heal our spirit, mind, and body. To lead us into healthy relationships. He wants us to allow Him to be our Savior in every way! “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised;” Hebrews 10:35-36. We are seeing people everyday, who are set free from bondage, and walking with God. I have shared some of the basics that are helping them. They are going to go to heaven and live with God. They are claiming every promise that God has given in the Bible. In times when our faith fails, and we are weak, remember God walks with us, and He will fulfill His promises. God is always faithful; 2 Timothy 2:12-13.
We can be confident that God who began a good work in our lives, will be faithful to complete it! (Philippians 1:6) We have to choose to submit to Him first. It only takes a moment to get our hearts right with God! If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, but want to, you can receive Him right now.
How to Receive Christ
- Admit your need and that you have sinned.
- Be willing to turn from your sins–this is called repenting.
- Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave
- Pray, by talking to God as you would a friend
- Invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit–this is called receiving Him as your Savior and Lord.
What You Can Pray
- Dear God,
- I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness.
- I believe that Jesus died for my sins.
- I am willing to turn from my sins.
- I now invite you, Jesus to come into my heart and life as my Savior.
- I am willing, by Your strength God, to follow and obey you as the Lord of my life.
If you have prayed asking Jesus to be your Savior, please contact a believer and share this with them. You will need to find a Bible believing church to go to. It is also important to follow-up with being baptized. When we are baptized we are declaring to the world that we are leaving our old ways behind, and following Jesus. It is important to tell others about this decision. You will want to pray to the Lord everyday. This means you talk to Him. Read your Bible everyday as much as you can. And fellowship with other people who believe in Jesus.
Scriptures to Support Your Salvation
- The Bible says: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;” Romans 10:13.
- “Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God;” John 1:12.
- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;” Romans 5:1.
- When we receive Christ, we are born into the family of God through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer. This process is called being “Saved”, “Born Again”, “Regeneration”, or the “New Birth.”
References: Insight: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min, used in the Living Free Program