Christians with Addictions

Everyone finds themselves battling some form of sin at some point in your life. It’s sad that in the church we have people that believe in “big” and “little” sins. You know, those who secretly gossip, lie, steal and hate others, but they don’t think they are a “bad person” because they aren’t fornicating or a homosexual. Please understand this before reading any further, you need Jesus. I need Jesus. Those people that hurt you need Jesus. WE ALL NEED JESUS!
As I was saying, it is normal to have a struggle, the issue is what you do with your struggle. Let me give you two biblical examples of how your issue can become your downfall or it can be used to your advantage depending on how you control it.
The apostle Paul

Other than Jesus Christ, Paul was arguably the most influential man in the New Testament. The guy practically wrote half of it. Many of us look at Paul and we pray things like, “Lord, let me be as effective for your Kingdom” or “Lord, let me walk with that sort of boldness and faith”. Those are great prayers, but did you know that Paul still wasn’t perfect? If you read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, you will see that God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. Some argue that it was a sickness, some say a struggle, but that is besides the point. The point is that God will allow us to go through certain things that may not be pleasurable, but it will help mold us into His image. Paul says he sought God three times to remove that issue, but Jesus responds to him saying that “His grace is sufficient”. Paul didn’t want to remove his issue to have an easy life, he honestly thought that thing was just a burden to his purpose. Your struggles can push you into the presence of God instead of away from Jesus. I know this thorn in Paul’s flesh may not have been some form of addiction, but it was something he couldn’t shake. Many of you aren’t struggling with “sins”, but you have some spiritual weights that you need to be freed from (Hebrews 12:1). You feel trapped now, but allow that weakness to push you deeper into God’s grace and in His presence.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Some guy named Judas

Judas is easily the craziest guy in the whole bible. At least, that is how we often view him. For a man to walk side by side with Christ and still manage to not get it right is sort of appalling. However, many of us live the very same way that Judas did. We follow Jesus, but we won’t die to our carnal nature. Judas didn’t appear to have an issue with what Jesus was teaching, because he was more interested in what Jesus was doing with the money (see John 12:4-6). We follow Jesus, but our love for the world continues to get in the way of that. Do you believe that Judas ever loved Jesus? I believe he partially did, he just never placed his addiction under subjection. Paul says that we can preach the gospel and still not make it into the kingdom of God, and Jesus said that many will be doing things for God, but never had a relationship with Him. So yes, it is possible to jump, shout, preach and sing and our hearts still be on the way to Hell. Don’t let that be you. I pray that isn’t me. It will be sad on judgment day if we have helped so many people go to Heaven, but we do not get in because we had a godly appearance, just not the lifestyle or heart (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Are you willing to admit you have issues that God wants to free you from?
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
If you find yourself not being able to live without someone or something other than Jesus, then that is an idol that you either need to remove out of your life or get it placed back into its rightful place. Many people love their bf/gf or spouse more than anything. Yes, loving others is great, but it should never exceed your love for God. The day you want to be with the person you’re dating more than Christ, you will see your life go downhill and that relationship hurt you in the end. The day we turn to pornography, sex, lust or masturbation in our times of weakness instead of Christ, we will see how much those sins will drain us. If you have to turn to alcohol, drugs, parties, etc. to ease that pain or fill some void, you will continually be empty. Those are just a few issues to name, they are not the only ones God wants to free us from. If we gossip and slander people to make ourselves feel better, God wants us to repent of that as well.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)
The woman at the well is a clear example of a person that has a void in their heart and not know how to fill it. She was constantly sleeping with a new man, yet she was empty inside. Jesus saw her emptiness and offered her Himself, the Living Water. When we turn to Jesus instead of to whatever our “vice” is, we will be satisfied. Whenever we turn to our addiction or habit that isn’t pleasing to Him, we are still empty, full of shame and guilt, and desperate for more. Sin will never be satisfied. Sin will always take us further than we planned to go, keep us longer than we planned to stay and take more than we planned to give. I know you feel disgusted by your sin and maybe even in yourself, seeing how you continue to struggle. But that is why we need Jesus. The power of the Holy Ghost can help you overcome every single struggle and issue you face. Please do not condemn yourself. Get back up, repent and keep following Jesus. You may finish this blog and within the next thirty minutes find yourself on some XXX rated website. You may read this and go back to your binge eating to help your sorrows. I’m here to tell you that God is able to deliver you. You are not alone, Jesus is on your side. Do not allow your weakness to push you out of the will of God, allow it to cause you to keep seeking God so that you can permanently break that cycle.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:11)

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

We Love Jesus, but we "Messed Up"

One of the things I have learned in church is that people are afraid to admit when they fall. We don’t want to feel condemned. We don’t want to feel as though we are the only ones struggling with that issue. We don’t know who to turn to, because others don’t even care to live a God-fearing life. So what do we do? We keep quiet. We talk about it AFTER God “delivers” us so we can have a cute testimony to share. We keep quiet so we won’t appear to be a failure if we do slip up again. 
Let’s discuss those who are in relationships with people that seemed to be on the right track, but they fell into sin. This isn’t for those who are in deliberate sin and lustful relationships. Relationships that pull you away from Christ will never be God’s plan for your life. However, it is possible for you to be in a relationship that can glorify Christ despite making a mistake in your past. 

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs‬ ‭28:13‬)

You’d read that verse and think I’m telling you to blindly run back to others regarding your struggles and confess everything to them. Accountability is a major key to maintaining a successful relationship, but God does not want us telling everything to every person in the church. When the Bible tells us to confess our sins, God wants us to do two things: turn to Him in our weakness and be accountable to other believers in the body of Christ that will help us with prayer and encouragement. Please understand that some things are not meant for everyone to hear. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and by our testimony (Revelation 12:11), but God still does not expect us sending out mass texts to say how we are “finally free from lust”. That’s great and all, but please understand there is a time and place for everything. 
With this blog, I pray that none of you leave with the wrong impression. Our aim is not so anyone can feel as though they need to cut off a relationship because they made one mistake or for anyone to continue in a relationship just because it isn’t leading to sexual immorality. The point is for you to evaluate the heart and motives behind the relationship. Just because you slipped up before, that doesn’t mean you two can’t reestablish boundaries and honor God. And just because you two haven’t had sex, that doesn’t mean your relationship is pure or you two aren’t heading that direction.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

One thing I have realized is, too many believers want to know “how far is too far”? I understand that may be a legitimate question, but how exactly does that honor Jesus? If your goal is to honor Christ, you should be striving towards pleasing Him and staying as far away from sin as you possibly can. However, what you find is too many relationships are asking: “can I kiss him/her?”. “Can I spend the night at their house? It’s not like we both don’t have self control.” “Can I feel on their body? I’ll make sure to stop before we get carried away”. Or you’ll hear the famous line “I’m not less of a Christian because I have sex from time to time. God knows my heart, you can’t judge me.” 
Some of these lines people may never say, but it is happening in their relationships daily. If you notice the key aspect behind some of those relationships, it’s all about self. What can I get? How can they please me? Don’t judge me, etc. If you get to the point where you are asking what you can gain from being with someone, you see that you aren’t ready for a relationship. I understand the desire for physical intimacy is within all of us, but if you can’t control your urges while single, they will still be an issue when you are in a relationship. Marriage doesn’t cure lust. Dating doesn’t cure lust. Sex doesn’t even satisfy lust. You will always desire more. Touching will lead to kissing, kissing will lead to sex, and sex outside of marriage will lead to you dying or pregnant (just kidding, but there are bad consequences for sin). 
“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27)
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
Here are 5 things to remember/examine if your relationship fell into sin:
1. God is able to forgive you. 
I know the devil may play games with your mind at times, but please understand that Christ died for you knowing you weren’t perfect. He knew you’d fail, which is why He came to save you (Romans 5:8). God is able to restore you when you fall and to place you back on the right track (Psalms 37:23-25). God’s love doesn’t change, you just have to seek His forgiveness. Please do not think that is to say it’s okay to live as you please. God is a merciful Father, but He is a righteous judge. Do not think sin has no consequences just because we are saved (Romans 6:23). 
2 . Is this a godly relationship? 
You can fool me, but you can’t fool God. Please be honest when examining your relationship. Does that person even love God? I don’t mean do they go to church, they’re a pastor’s kid or they preach every Sunday. I want you to check if their lifestyle actually shows they desire an intimate walk with God. If not, that is your cue to end it and pray for their growth. If they are faithful to Christ, then you should be seeing if you are the person who is straying away from Christ and need to get your act together. This isn’t to sound harsh, but we will act like those we surround ourselves with, so we must guard our hearts from the enemy (Proverbs 4:23). 
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

3. Could I have prevented this? 

Many people like to play the victim role and give the devil all of the credit. The truth is, most times we knew what we were doing. You knew you two were falling into sin when you two started being alone and touching one another. You knew things were getting out of hand when the comments started becoming less godly and more sexual. If you realize they want naked pictures or to start doing sexual things, that should be your cue to draw the line or cut the relationship. I know what it means to love someone and know they aren’t good for you. It happens to us all, or we are bad for someone else. It’s okay to admit when a relationship isn’t healthy. That’s when we decide to stop entertaining our lustful desires and seek God for help. Accountability partners and spiritual leadership are smart moves to make, that will help us prevent some issues. 
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

4. Is this consistently happening?

When you fall into sin, it’s easy to get back up and trust God again. When you consistently fall into sin, it’s harder for you to hear God’s voice. That is because deliberate sin is the same as rebellion. So if we consistently ignore God and His will for our lives, eventually we become desensitized to His voice. If you two keep falling, it’s an indicator that God is not in your relationship. God can’t bless a relationship that blatantly ignores His word. We wrote another blog on “How Do I know if they’re The One” and we have a youtube video about it, we will let you get into those for more information. 
“Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” (Psalms 19:13 NLT)

5.  You will never have to sin/compromise in order to get or keep who God is sending.

It honestly breaks my heart when I receive messages from believers who say they have been waiting so long and are frustrated because they have friends who live in sin and appear happy. Please don’t let social media or smiles fool you, their is no peace or true joy outside of God’s will. God would not ask you to wait if He didn’t have special plans for you. God would not ask us to avoid fornication if He didn’t understand how it can cloud your judgment, drain you emotionally and spiritually, and even pull you out of His will. Don’t let anyone creep into your life telling you a little sin is okay if you two keep it a secret. Or tell you “don’t worry because God forgives”. The devil is a liar. You are special to Christ. He will reward your patience and obedience to His word. 
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7 ESV)
There are many people who turned away from Christ because of a bad relationship or because of a relationship. I just want to encourage you that God is willing to forgive you. God is not holding it against you, just turn back to Him. You may have even had a child outside of marriage, but God is able to restore you. Turn back to Him today.
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey