God’s response to a people addicted to evil

Later this week I’ll be speaking at CCEF’s Annual Conference about addiction (more to come on that tomorrow) and so lately I’ve been thinking about sin and addiction.

It is common for Christian folk stuck in repetitive sin to move away from God. Why? There are a variety of reasons but often they include overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and a desire to fix the problem through some sort of penance. But when individuals suffer from being sinned against, they are much more likely to go to God and talk to him about it.

With that in mind, I went to church yesterday and heard a sermon by our pastor on Judges 4-5 (The Deborah/Barak/Sisera story). And Pastor Traylor made this point,

Israel brought their oppression on themselves by their own idolatry. Yes, the king of Caanan was the oppressor but the cause was their own foolishness and evil inclination. What do they do? It seems that after 20 years of oppression, they cry to the Lord and he provides, yet again, a rescuer. This pattern is evident throughout Scripture but nowhere clearer than in the book of Judges. Sinners return to God, cry out for mercy and rescue, and God hears and delivers.

What if we were to cry out for deliverance much quicker? When we are righteously suffering it seems easy to do. But when we know we have fallen away, we find it much harder.

Do you suffer from the consequences of repetitive sin? Turn to God the second after to seek his deliverance. Continue that pattern (in an honest fashion) and you will discover that God provides the way of escape BEFORE you give in to that temptation.

We need to beat it into our heads that God wants us to turn to him even when we sin. The illustrations are numerous that we are loved by a pursuing God. Unfortunately, we also see that we are very committed to covering up our brokenness. Let us remember it is a losing battle. We will not be able to cover up for ever…

May God have mercy and deliver us from evil.


Filed under addiction, biblical counseling, Biblical Reflection, christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity, Desires, self-deception

6 responses to “God’s response to a people addicted to evil

  1. Lightbearer

    I think the greatest hindrance to Christians in practicing their faith is a complete underestimation of the debilitating effects of guilt and shame on one’s worldview. Especially if said sins fall into the chronic-temptation-that-seems-resistant-to-prayer category; even worse, your neighbors don’t ever seem to have the problem with said sin that you do. Adding to this effect is the emphasis on Original Sin, sacrifice, punishment, and undeserved Redemption that is bought at a price (obedience to God), found throughout Scripture (including Judges) and Sunday sermons. All too often, the Love of God is simply not emphasized enough, or allowed to be undermined with the above-mentioned beliefs, with devastating results upon the congregation.

  2. judi

    phil, your topic brings up something, let me bounce it off you?
    there is a verse that says that christians do not sin habitually. however, addiction would be habitual sin, would it not? so if you have a christian who continually sins, how do you know they are a christian?
    this comes from some dear friends who have been influenced by a pastor who harps on this and has created several ‘new conversions’ in his church.
    unfortunately these friends are pastor/wife of this guy’s daughter church and still think this way.
    thanks, it’s been bothering me for years…and i just don’t know how to respond to it.

    Lightbearer, i’d need to think a bit before answering.. then again, maybe i’ll let someone else reply? you bring up some thoughtful points.

  3. Ryan

    Judi, it has been awhile since I’ve read the book, but there is one by Ed Welch called “Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave” that should help answer some of your questions. I’ve been a student of the Bible since I became a Christian and my profession is an addictions counselor (as a master’s level social worker) so I can attest that people can be both Christians and suffer from habitual sin patterns.

  4. Phil,

    I was sitting in the same room listening to the same sermon and came to the same conlcusion! Judges is a wonderful OT narrative that gives insight into corporate addiction or enslavement. Looking forward to seeing this week!

  5. judi

    ryan, thanks for your response. i read ed’s book quite a while ago, will hunt it down and reread it.

  6. Juli—What verse is it that says Christians do not struggle with sin??? I am interested.

    A. Hatfield,LCSW

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