Issues & Solution: Faith

The Judas Addiction

“…‘Judas, betrayest… with a kiss?’” Luke 22:48

Judas evokes betrayal. And, it wasn’t too long before I saw addiction itself within this Judas figure. Scripture tells us a great deal about the infamous man and his downfall. Who knows exactly what motivated him? Greed? Fear? Misguided intentions? Regardless of what it was, he seemed to be driven to follow this addictive mindset.

Are You Tired? Sick? Discouraged?

…he whose might is his god. Habakkuk 1:17, ASV

It isn’t often that such a short phrase of scripture so impacts my heart, but since running across these six words in my reading of Habakkuk earlier this week, I haven’t been able to put them out of my mind.

I Prayed that God Would Get Out of My Life!

My name is Kelly. Here is something that happened to me that I hope blesses you….

In 1984 after struggling for years with pornography and masturbation, I was a youth pastor in the Midwest. Working for my brother the pastor. I fought and fought with my thoughts and finally went out in my car and purchased porn. Felt horrible and tired. I was so frustrated. I tried and tried to live a clean life and just failed over and over again.

“Damn, what is the point?” I asked myself. I then sat there alone in my room and calmly prayed a new prayer to God. This was a prayer that I’ve never prayed. I prayed that He would get out of my life. I prayed that I would not be a Christian any more. I prayed and boldly asked the Holy Spirit to leave.

Then I sat there alone in my room feeling even more alone. The desire for porn was gone and it felt that God was gone too. I didn’t feel guilty but I did feel very alone.

Day after day I walked in an Oak grove talking with God. I didn’t feel like a Christian anymore and it was a weird experience talking to him outside of the “family”.

Katherine: Not Recovering but Fully Recovered!!

After I finished my freshman year of college, I got saved at a Christian church here. I went out and got a little pocket Bible so I could read the Word where ever I was. Well, I was taking this psychology class in summer school and got really bored so I open up the Word. I don’t think that this was more than two or three weeks after I got saved.

Anyway, so here I am sitting and reading the Word and I “just happen” to be in Colossians and I read Chapter 2 verses 8-10:
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and EMPTY deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the God head bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:8-10)

Needless to say, I packed up my bag and left in the middle of class, ran

John: “Sin is My Sickness”

I am powerless over sin. That’s my problem. I used to feel damned because my life seemed to be falling apart. By the grace of God I learned that although I was just as much at fault for the problems in my life as the people in my life, God was not so cruel as to torment me for my sinfulness. In fact only he could restore me to sanity. My higher power volunteered.

Luke 4:18
He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

I Died, Stayed Dead in Many Ways Until CIR

My recovery birthday is the day I registered at CIR. It was shortly after I joined. I chose it because I began to seriously take on my recovery as a whole: Alcohol, Codependency, Sex/love addiction, Bulimia (teens-20’s), then became Compulsive overeater, Workaholic, PTSD from Childhood rape/molestation…..abuses/ bullying of every variety including self-inflicted. I experienced a date rape with an abortion in 1994 (I died / stayed dead in many ways until CIR). All are interconnected.

I have since found a measure of serenity, of freedom from sin (or enslavement to righteousness) !!!! Romans 6:15-17), healing in the areas my mental illness/health problems & I have found the blessing of relationship/fellowship.

Remaining Happy in the Face of Adversity

Relationships are built on the quality of our conceitedness to God.

People can be so quick to judge. I sometimes am guilty of this. It is an issue that I struggle with. Maybe it is because I so badly need to affirm my fragile righteousness, I don’t know. What I do know is that Jesus wasn’t like that and I need to acquire this knowledge quickly.

Jesus is always gentle with anyone who seeks His help. That person might not receive the help neatly wrapped in a predictable way; that is in a way they perceive.

Are You Willing to Live by Faith?

There are two kinds of rest: the rest (peace and joy) that we have with the Lord everyday when we walk closely with Him and the eternal rest of Heaven. The writer of Hebrews has just talked about the Israelites who, through their rebellion toward God, were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. It seems very possible for us to deny ourselves of that very thing we have wanted by our own unwillingness to live by faith.

Hebrews 4:1-2 NKJV
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Unfortunately, the word “faith” is bantered around so much these days that it’s almost impossible to know whether or not we truly have the kind of faith Hebrews talks about. We talk about believing in Jesus as having faith. James writes: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!” (James 2:19 NKJ). Why do the demons believe? Because they know that someday God will deal with their rebellion and sin against Him. We believe and fail to tremble because we think that God is so tolerant that He will just forgive and let us go on in our rebellion. Why. we believe in Jesus! That should be enough. The demons believe and it won’t save them.

James precede this verse with a discussion about works:

The World is Not Controlled by Satan

When error comes, it always rides in on the wings of truth.[1]

Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), Premier of the former Soviet Union, described a time in the Communist republic’s history when a wave of petty theft was sweeping through the government-owned plants. To curtail the stealing, guards were placed at factory entrances to watch the laborers as they entered and departed. At the Leningrad timberworks, one of the guards spotted Pyotr Petrovich leaving the yard with a wheelbarrow filled with a bulky sack. A guard became dutifully suspicious.

Trying to Find Your Way Back?

Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable “amnesia scenario” is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names–nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.

And that is exactly what has happened to us–all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son’s older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning–to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion…
Before the fall…
Before the exile.

As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to….somewhere…. hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.

The problem is, even if we figure out where that “somewhere” is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.