1 John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen”
Exodus 20:3, 5 “You shall have no other gods before Me……you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”
Romans 8:5,8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Romans 12:1.2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Yikes! I was in trouble. These were not nearly all the verses on addiction and keeping one’s body clean. Ahhh, no help for me. Loser. I’d been smoking for years……decades? Centuries? A long time anyway!
I am an addict, although I am not still partaking of my vice. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I am free of it. Finally, my mind got right, and I realized this was a problem—not just a willful problem.
I was enslaved to tobacco, nicotine and tar. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? But I was enslaved to those dried leaves, rolled into neat white tubes. And not only enslaved. The other part of the power breaking for me was to realize I had set these expensive little tubes as something to worship. Not that I ever prayed to them; I did not; but they were on my mind constantly. I need one now; how much longer can I escape and light up? When can I have a break–I NEED a cigarette…. And so on. those rotten things held a control of my mind and body.
I prayed to find a store to replenish plenty of them if I was going to be away from my particular brand of vice; if I was going camping with a bunch of friends, or knew that I would be someplace it would be difficult to replenish. So I would stock up, depending on the length of my plans, I would have a carton, maybe two!
However, I came across several verses from scripture in the period of two to three days all condemning and convicting me of my enslavement to smoking cigarettes. I had placed the importance of them, over God. Yuck, what a terrible feeling of guilt and waste that was.
But I didn’t want to be ENSLAVED to something material, something tangible. I mean, really, a cigarette? You light it and five minutes later—ash. Poof and you could blow it around your home.
But I was enslaved, addicted and dependent on them. I nervously planned what to do if I went to bed and only had two smokes left. ‘Ok, ok, get up, while coffee brewing, smoke first one. Have a couple sips of coffee, jump in car, light the last remaining smoke, and drive to nearest store and buy a couple packs.’ The idea of not having cigarettes, caused my hands to shake, my anxiety and grumpiness to surface, and my thoughts concentrated on them. If my brand was sold out, okay, grab the next best.
Our thoughts are to be on God. We are to pray and give Him thanksgiving. I was NOT doing that when every thought was about the cigarettes.
So now, I had to face facts. I truly wanted to live a good life. Of course I would NEVER be pure and good and without sin. But, here, in black and white, I read how I was polluting the temple; God’s dwelling place (my body) and it had to stop. Sickening, nasty. My behavior was gross, and sinful.
The idea I needed to stop smoking and inhaling my cigarettes frightened me. I used them as my crutch, my comfort, my ‘calm down-go to.’
I told myself, ‘I’m not really addicted. I could stop. I LIKE smoking.’ But my lies didn’t drown out the truth of God’s word from His book, the book I loved to read, to seek, to learn from.
So, finally, I chose a date, Christmas, and made the commitment I would quit for His birthday. And I did.
It was without fanfare, and without much struggle. I won’t say thoughts and desires to have a cigarette after a meal, or when chatting with other smokers didn’t cross my mind. Certainly, they did. But they didn’t control me, overpower me, or feel much like a struggle. Because I asked for help….and He freely gave it.
When any deceptive thought or lie such as ‘Give in and have just this one. You’ll feel soooooo much better. Have just one…’ crept and slithered into my mind, I confronted the devil and told him to GET OUT! I was not going to agree to even one.
After all this time, I knew I was an addict. I couldn’t have just one. Because one cigarette would turn into a pack—then all twenty in a pack would go up in smoke….. and I would go back for more.
But, thank You. I knew where to find help. I had read and absorbed your words, your many verses on this, and fearfully and doubtfully (since it is my own self I don’t trust), I put my belief in You, and tried.
I made no promises to be successful. I picked my quit date, and when was weak and wanted ‘just one’ I asked for help, and told the devil to flee, to go, to GET OUT and AWAY from me. And he left, God stayed, and I steadied. And then suddenly, I was a non-smoker. And I honestly do not know how long it’s been, but I can say I am truly delighted to no longer be enslaved to cigarettes.
So, I am a non-smoker presently, but I am and always will be an addict. I do believe if I chose to have a cigarette now, I would be a smoker within a moment. I am an addict. But I strive to be free of the sins of addiction and pollution.
Thanks for Your help. Again! Another blessing, another one of Mybellaviews….free of enslavement.