Long before I got sober, I used to make choices that I knew in my heart were not good choices. I would convince myself of this: “God will protect me, He won’t let any harm come to me.” I told myself I was trusting Him. Does this sort of thing sound familiar to anyone? I was pretty lost back then, so it is amazing for me to look back and remember that I “sort of” sought God while I was walking in darkness. I knew nothing about trusting God back then. I was not even sure if He was real (SO grateful that I now know without a doubt that He IS!).
Someone I have known for over 20 years who has become a like a sister – well, she is a sister in Christ who reminded me of how I used to be. She struggles with smoking cigarettes. Her mother died from it as well as alcoholism. Although she knows what a harmful vice it really is, her addiction is too great right now and she just is not ready to quit. I pray for her. I pray that God will remove the craving and desire for it just as He removed the craving and desire of alcohol from me. I pray the same for all my friends who keep lighting up those nasty cigarettes. I am sorry, but they are NASTY. I used to smoke, so I know. I ruined good work clothes and the inside of my vehicle in my younger days with stupid cigarettes – cigarettes that have killed many people. And we will not even get into the smell…there is just nothing good that comes from those things.
I was also thinking and praying about people in recovery meetings who recover from alcohol abuse, but then trade or cannot let go of other harmful vices such as cigarettes. I have wanted to write something about this for a very long time, but it has not been easy to do. I was not sure how to do it without sounding judgmental, but I am going to be bold and write this anyway. I want my friends to be healthy. I want them to be closer to God. I want them to reach for Him before reaching for anything or anyone else. So I am not here to judge. I am just here to get someone to really think things through before lighting the next cigarette or reaching for the next harmful vice whatever it may be.
My “sister” has the attitude that her smoking is OK. In so many words she mentioned that if God did not want her to smoke, that He would not have allowed cigarettes to exist. So since they belong to Him, it is all right. That was hard for me to hear. That was me several years ago!! I am grateful that God has opened my eyes and heart to know better.
So if you are anything like I was, trying to convince yourself that you are trusting God when you really are not, remember the story about how Satan tempted Jesus after He had spent forty days and nights in the wilderness. Satan is a liar, and it is pretty interesting that he decided to quote Scripture when he wanted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God by throwing Himself down a cliff. However, he only quoted part of it to try to trick Jesus. Isn’t that funny? Like the devil could really trick Jesus. It is really a good lesson for us to remember — Satan knows Scripture, so make sure you know it too or you will be deceived!!
Anyway, after Satan tempted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God, he had said to Him, “For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:6)
How did Jesus respond to him? Of course, He used Scripture! He said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)
So I need to ask again: Are you trusting God? Or are you testing Him??!!
If you are struggling like I used to, I hope you will think about this. You can choose to be free from harmful vices. I pray you will. Only God can give you the power to quit. Put your vice down and let God do something amazing in your life. You will not regret it.
Don’t let Satan have his way any longer with you. Only God’s way is LIFE!