Thursday, October 8, 2015

THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS

                                           

                                             

It doesn't matter what you are addicted to: alcohol, sex, drugs, food, gambling, TV, or cigarettes. The list could go on and on. If there is any thing that you can't control and it controls you, it could be a demon oppressing you. Don't freak out. Demons love to prey on our weaknesses.  The name of Jesus is above every name.  His name is more powerful than any addiction. He is our deliver from this world of sin. 

 What I am about to share is a true story of how the Lord delivered me from an 18 year nicotine addiction. I have to admit that there are more powerful devices than nicotine, but an addiction is an addiction, and anyone who has had an addiction knows what I mean. It is not that easy to quit a powerful, controlling vice in ones life. You need something or someone  stronger than your will power to deliver you from an addiction.

I was eighteen years old and a freshmen in college when I started smoking. Back in the 50's, cigarettes were a status symbol. I was  heading off to college and  smoking became my identity.  I needed it to feel accepted.  I never thought about my lungs or any other health issues that might occur.  All my friends smoked.   A white cloud of smoke followed my gang  everywhere across the campus.  By the end of my freshmen year, I was smoking a pack a day. It financially shot my monthly allowance. 


For the next eighteen years I smoked.  It was part of who I was.   Many of my friends who smoked weren't addicted.  They could stop and start at will.  I could not.


Hope for the first time came one morning in prayer.  I  cried out to the Lord, "Why can't You stop me? I can't stop!" I was desperate.


A soft answer came into my spirit, "You love the cigarette more than Me.  It is your idol. Repent and I will deliver you."


Honestly, I had no idea that I loved smoking more than the Lord and that it was an idol. I repented. "Lord forgive me for loving the cigarette more than You.  I confess I have listened to the devil's voice and not Yours. In the name of Jesus I renounce the spirit of nicotine. I repent and turn to You."


Second Chronicles 15:17 quickly came to mind "You will not need to fight this battle.  Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf." I realized that this scripture was given to Jehoshaphat when he was up against an enemy worse than my smoking, but His God was mine, too, and  God doesn't change.  By faith I received this word as if God was speaking to me.  The desire for smoking disappeared within a week.



Shortly after this deliverance, one afternoon while I was resting, I felt a  warm sensation come over my lung area.  I didn't think anything about it, until later, when I went shopping. A strong desire for a cigarette came over me.  I kept a pack of cigarettes under the front seat just in case.

 The urge was getting stronger,  and as I reached under the front seat, I heard a small still voice say, "I healed your lungs. Why do you want to destroy them now?"  From that day on, I have never smoked or had the desire. The God who delivered me, by His grace is now keeping me, by His grace. He won the battle of nicotine  and I could see for the first time the power of the cross, not only against addiction, but against my sin. To this day there is  no hidden pack of cigarettes under the front seat of my car. 

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