Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
We have been in this October series, and last year we did the fears around us, and this year, we’re talking about fears, but we’re talking about strongholds, and we’ve called them the monsters that live under our beds. And this is the monster of lust. It is something that some people fight with day in and day out. Other times it’s something that comes up. Some of us may not necessarily struggle with lust, but to a degree, I think we can lust over certain things, so we’re going to talk about releasing that stronghold and giving that to Christ. Today. And so let us take a second to just think about all the things that are flesh desires. All of us deal with something that might be tempting for us, whether that’s overuse or abuse of us really of social media. Maybe it’s abusing how much food we eat; it’s abusing different relationships physically. Maybe it is what we use our eyes for. So what our eyes watch day in and day out, maybe it’s what our ears are listening to on a daily basis, different things that might create a sense of lust in our lives. So this verse says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. And so what that truly means is that when we accepted God into our lives, we accept what he did for us 2000 years ago, and we have the power to let go of the lust in our lives. We had the power to allow the passions and desires of the flesh to die with him at the grave to allow him to take that to the grave on our behalf. And so, whatever you struggle with, if that’s substance abuse, and if you’re new here, I want you to know firsthand what substance abuse can do to a person, really to their family. My dad struggled for years, 10 years, with a substance abuse addiction. And we are still in that battle today as he continues to fight for his sober life, and we are going on nine months of him being sober. And it is a fun time in the sense that I am so thankful to the Lord for the progress that he’s made in my father’s life. But at the same time, it’s worrisome because I have never seen him, or at least in the last 10 years, go this long without relapsing. And so I’m a little bit guarded.
My heart is guarded, and I am a little bit nervous, so I know that that is all part of the healing process. But if you’re someone who’s someone who struggles with substance abuse, I know what it feels like to be your family, and I know what it feels like to watch you go through that, and all I can tell you is that whatever loss you have for whatever substance, whatever situation, whatever food, whatever activity, whatever you’re watching or listening to, whatever it is that has a stronghold over your life. God has the power to break it. God has the power to take it to the grave. God has the power to restore his health. God has the power, and you have to take the step of surrendering that to him. So no matter how big or strong the stronghold, he is the breaker of all chains. And so maybe this message is for you, for someone you love for you and someone you love. Let go of the stronghold in your life. Allow your passions to be crucified with God. Allow Jesus to take care of that for you. So you can live in the goodness and then the freedom Christ thought for us.
Father God, you are so strong, Lord; you’re stronger than any disease or addiction, or lust that we’ve battled. So Lord, today we give it to you and give you the last of the body to give you less of the food and give you less of substance abuse, give you the strongholds that hold us back from Your goodness and Your glory. Give you the things that we cannot say no to because we know that you have the power to help us to say no. We know that you can give us everything that we need to overcome whatever addiction or lust we may battle with. So God, today we’re handling this monster under our bed, and it’s normally not an easy stronghold to break. We know that addiction is something we need to give to you day in and day out. And so today, we take that stuff. We acknowledge what holds us back in life; we acknowledge the overuse and abuse of media consumption and of any other type of product that we are consuming. And so we give it to you. We ask You for strength today. And we’re going to ask you for strength again tomorrow. We thank you for the love and support day in and day out. We thank you for the blessing and the fact that you had your hand over life. Pray the song your son’s Mighty Name, Amen.
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