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Universal Addiction

Every person who has ever lived, is living or will be born in the future is an addict from birth. We are all addicted to the world because we are born into the world. It’s both a physical addiction out of necessity because we need food, water, air and shelter, and It is also a psychological addiction because the world is all we know at first. The years from birth to three are critical to a person’s development, and during those years we are not capable of understanding the seemingly abstract concept of God and the spiritual world. We hear about Him later, after all our priorities and world concepts are set in our minds. But the psychological addiction isn’t necessary to our survival. It’s actually harmful because it keeps us separated from God. Satan is the dealer who tries to keep us mentally addicted to the world.

Our psychological addiction to physical existence can be cured, but it takes help from the Holy Spirit to do so. People addicted to drugs and alcohol need to find a recovery program to help them kick their habit or habits. And they need a person or persons to contact if they think they might fall off the wagon, or have fallen off, so they can recover and continue on with the program. Recovery isn’t easy. Almost no one recovers from addiction without help.

Recovery from our psychological dependency on the world isn’t possible without the Persons of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father without Him. And, it is the Holy Spirit who guides us through the restructuring of our world view and paradigm shifts necessary to recovery. Recovery from the worldly frame of mind requires that we recognize that, although we need the things the world provides to maintain our physical life here on earth, it is ultimately fatal to continue depending on our physical mindset because we will live forever beyond this world, and where we live after this life depends upon our recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior and our mental shift to placing Him first in our lives over everything else.. Once we realign our priorities and mindset we are assured of spending eternity with God in Heaven.

We all sin to one degree or another. Some sin is a lot worse than most people. The Bible tells us that if we are guilty of one sin we are guilty of all, or in other words the consequences of that sin are as severe as the worst of sins because it separates us form God. He is perfect and cannot tolerate sin in His presence. We have all sinned before we knew of Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins, so we were separated from God before we had a chance to live without committing a sin. But as humans we are incapable of living a sinless life. Even little sins like yelling at our kids when they don’t deserve it or little lies like “Tell they I’m not home” separate us from God. And we can’t recover from sinning on our own. It’s just not possible for an imperfect person to live a perfect life.

Only Christ Jesus lived a sinless life. The only reason He can pay for our sins is because He doesn’t have to pay for His own. Jesus on earth was God incarnate, our perfect Creator come to earth to give us a way to live with Him forever. The apostle John tells us that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place so that if we believe in Him we will live forever with Him in heaven (John 3:16). We cannot help but commit at least little sins, but Jesus has already paid for those sins, the ones we committed in the past and the ones we will commit in the future. That seems impossible. But remember two things. First, Jesus as God lives in the spirit world where time doesn’t exist. The past, present and future are all present for Him. He can forgive what is present. Second, God gave us the New Testament which is a contract between those who follow Christ and God. God lives up to his end of the contract. It is your responsibility to live up to your part of the contract by believing in and following Jesus while you are here on earth. If you do that you will live forever in God’s presence both on this earth and in the next.

Satan would have you believe that it is possible for you to lose your salvation. That’s not possible for those who are truly saved. Paul wrote, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39). Satan has been able to convince some Christian denominations and cults to teach that we can lose our salvation, which you have just seen is impossible. True, we do still sin, and some of us do fall off the wagon and back into a worldly life for awhile. God will chastise us for our failings, but He never disowns those who truly put Jesus first in their lives over everything else. He knows who will come back to Him and who won’t, and those who do not were never really committed to Him in the first place. To those people at judgement Jesus will say, “Depart form Me, I never knew you”.

Here’s a rough example. If someone in a treatment program falls back into drinking or drug use he or she is not kicked out of the program. Someone comes and lifts the person out of his fallen state and helps the person get back with the program. Some addicts go through this process several times before being able to live without whatever it was they were using. It is the same with God. He won’t withdraw His free gift of salvation just because you, an imperfect being, doesn’t live perfectly. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will help you get back on the narrow road to heaven, and ultimately you will get there. God doesn’t promise it’ll be easy: “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. And, so have you in Jesus.

Now, here is the critical thing to remember: You are an imperfect worldly being and as such you will always be addicted to the world. But as a Christian, you are a recovered addict. Recovery programs teach that an addict is always an addict. That is, the tendency to returning to using drugs or alcohol is always there, but the substance-free person is always watching and consciously maintaining his or her freedom from whatever took control of his life. So it is with Christians. You are a physical being while on earth and the propensity, the tendency, to follow the worldly life is always there. Certainly the worldly life is easier to live now, but the consequences of doing so is spiritual death. Jesus set you free from worldly chains.

So, put on the full armor of God, the things He gives you to combat falling back into the world, and be always watching for a slip. Don’t give in to Satan’s enticing traps that lead away from Jesus. If you do make a mistake and fall, repent and ask God to restore you to His way of life. You’re still His son or daughter in Jesus and the Holy Spirit will help you get back on track. Living the Christian life isn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Only the things that will ultimately harm you are easy. But God will guide you through the problems in this world so that you can live in that house in heaven that has had your name on the mail box since before the world began. There’s no telling when Jesus will come back. It’s improbable that it will be today–but it may be today. And if it is, will you be ready to greet Him? That’s what you need to keep in mind at all times. It will help you stay on the right road.

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