Monday, August 18, 2008

Overcoming Addiction

In 1 Corinthians, there is a verse that helped me when trying to quit smoking. You see, July 11, 2003 I put down cigarettes and never picked them up again. I made the decision to give it over to the Lord, but Satan was not going to make that an easy fight!! The Lord kept bringing me to the passage:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

I knew smoking was bad. But here, in North Carolina, my home town's name being a combination of two names of cigarette brands, yes, the home of RJReynolds, RJR being the employer that clothed me my whole life and kept a roof over my head, smoking was not quite looked at the same as in the rest of the world. So I prayed for the Lord to give me the conviction I needed to move towards making that decision. To let me know when it was "time" (because everything happens in its own season). I prayed for six months before getting to the point of setting my quit date. I even chatted nightly with members of the Kick Butt Community at When I got to the point my heart ached as I was reading what these people were fighting on a daily basis to not smoke, as I was sitting at my computer smoking like I usually did, I knew it was my time to take the plunge. I got my quit counter, set my date, made my plan, and gave it to the Lord. I also done as much research as I possibly could to encourage myself of the good I was doing for my body, mind, and spirit.

I kept thinking those last nights in chat as I as smoking while chatting with the quitters, that I was choking out the holy spirit. I rememebered having the vision of being in a smoke filled room, and even as a smoker, how my lungs would feel tight as I would inhale secondhand smoke, while I was smoking, too. Then I would envision the holy spirit living within me, trying to speak to me, but not able to because it was choking on all the smoke I was sucking in. Then my flesh would rationalize things, I was a strong Christian. I knew my values, I knew my convictions. I served the Lord, I was involved in ministry. I was "good".

My friends, you only THINK you are "strong" until you face something that changes your life forever. I only THOUGHT I was "spiritual" until I quit smoking, and realized just how powerful that ADDICTION was over my body, mind, and spirit. I faced a double whammy. The chemical composition of my body is lacking the hormone serotonin, which, "TaDa", leads to depression. Chemical depression. We had no health insurance then, so I was not taking any medication to help with my chemical imbalance. That was one reason I felt so strong spiritually, because I had been handling my depression well, managing it, should I say. I felt good about things. BUT-
nicotine acts as an anti depressant in the body, when taken in a pack a day (or so). So, I was chemically imbalanced, and taking away the last chemical (nicotine) that apparently was helping me to function.

I literally almost had a nervous breakdown.
I felt like Elijah in my reading today of 1 Kings-
1 Kings 19:4
4But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

But God is faithful. I had my prayer warrior friends committed to praying for me daily (you know who you are), and I held onto His promise:
Hebrews 13:5:
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Then he brought me back to the same chapter he used to convict me in the first place:
1 Corinthians 6:12
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."

Through him, I knew I would overcome the power of my addiction. Through him, five years and one week ago, I did :o) Praise Him and may HE have the glory!


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