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Alcoholism: Quitting Tomorrow Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2020 1:00 am

Alcoholism: Quitting Tomorrow Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 17, 2020 1:00 am

Like quicksand, alcohol draws in its victims until they can no longer free themselves. The temptation to drink is best handled by never taking that first sip. In this message we learn why it’s almost impossible to say, “I’m quitting tomorrow.”

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Jesus alcohol draws its victims until they can no longer freeze so the temptation to drink is best handled by never taking that first today is almost impossible to say I'm quitting tomorrow and stay with the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Erwin looks her loose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Master loser is clear in the Bible be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the spirit, you're absolutely right.

And by the way, I love that imagery that you spoke about when you said that alcoholism is like quicksand. It draws people in, and they can't get out and they can't get out alone.

I hope that these messages really become a warning to people understanding the depths of addiction I've written a book entitled seven snares of the enemy. Now it is based essentially on this series of messages would you like to have a copy. I think it would be of tremendous benefit seven snares of the enemy breaking free from the devil's grip for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. In an age in which there are so many views about various addictions. Let's turn to the Scriptures to try to understand what God has to say.

So let us listen carefully, both with a warning in mind, as well as instruction for those who might already be ensnared. Now listen to this accurate description. Again we we admire the Scriptures we admire God's word for its accurate description of what alcoholism is like just listen to this, who has Willow who has sorrow who has strife who has complaints who has needless bruises who has bloodshot eyes who will linger over wine. Who will go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly in the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sites in your mind. Imagine using things you'll be one like sleeping on the high seas lying on top of the rigging they hit me, you will say I'm not hurt, they beat me.

I don't feel it and when I wake up I will ask where can I find another drink.

I think of Mel Trotter walked into funeral parlor and saw there.

The dead body. The dead body of his little daughter and he gently pulled back the blankets when no one was watching and slipped off her shoes and put them into his pocket so that he could go sell them for a few cents just to get another drink. He wake up and say where.

Where can I find another drink. Proverbs chapter 23 why these warnings I say to those of you who struggle in a culture where drinking is so common for everybody does it for everyone in the office thinks it should be done. I know that the Bible does not condemn drinking wine. As such, it was drank during the time of Christ. Some of us from time to time might have a sip of wine at a wedding when were having a a toast to the bride but I say to you that abstinence undoubtedly is the best policy because there is one way to make sure you will never be an alcoholic. Don't drink don't drink is wonderful for some of us to be able to walk past alcoholism and drugs and not even feel a twinge of desire to know what what kind of a euphoric experience. We could have because you see reality with God is manageable. It's manageable and you don't need that stuff. Those are the warnings warnings don't deliver you.

Do they some of you struggling with alcoholism and I know that there are many of us many among us here who do because some of you have come to me and said I can hardly wait until you preach on my snare alcoholism and drug what is the means of deliverance. One thing to condemn but how do you help how do you get through. How do you minister to what does the Bible have to say to those who struggle with addiction.

I want you to know today. I believe that the Scriptures have helped because the Scriptures have God take for example and we could turn to many passages, even last night I was debating what passage to turn to, because I three or four that would have accomplished what I intend to take. For example, Psalm 40 Psalm 40 and if you wish to. You may turn to that Psalm were that the psalmist is talking about God's deliverance and it won't be the only passage I use. But what a marvelous, marvelous Psalm of deliverance. The pathway for help, involves two words or two phrases at this point they are so simple.

You've heard all this before you, you have to take notes if you haven't been taking notes up to this point. Don't take notes now.

You don't need to. You're gonna remember this. The first word is God.

You think you can remember that I think you can Psalm 40 I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and he heard my cry. He lifted me up out of this line. The pit out of the mud and the Meyer and he set my feet on a rock and he gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see in fear and put their trust in the Lord blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to Paul's gods blessed is the person who doesn't turn to his substance that's far enough.

When the psalmist said I came to the Lord and he heard my cry.

What do you think the Psalm is cry. I wish he'd of told us that the text doesn't tell us, but I have some very good suspicions as to what he cried to God about why you need God. Why you need God to get out of your addiction. I know that Alcoholics Anonymous has success in all comment on that in a moment even though they talk just simply about the higher power because they don't want to get to specific care theologically, but I want you to know that when you talk about the God and father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have an awesome power that you can access that is not just any higher power is God. Why do you need God. So desperately those of you who are hiding drink from your families and your coworkers and you still take drugs on weekends. First of all, I believe that the Psalm is cry must've involved a cry for forgiveness. It involved a cryo- God. I am in this miry clay.

I am in this line me pit the mud and the Meyer God forgive me because you see unless you are forgiven, it stands is a great barrier between you and your deliverance for his reasons, the guilt is killing you and you need that substance to deaden the pain. A chaplain was making his rounds in the hospital came to a young man who is just destroying himself on drugs and he said why are you doing that you know that you're absolutely just ruining your life in your destroying your mind and the kid looked at the chaplain and said you a lot I know the answer to your question is that I shouldn't even have to have to tell you what the answer is.

He says I'm so guilty because of what I have done I can live with myself and even if I destroy myself that's okay because I can't stand the pain of guilt. Your friend, there is a God who pardons iniquity. There is a God. We receive letters you know from prisoners all the time because of our radio ministries.

In fact, this message will be listened to by prisoners and their going to write to us. I can tell you that advance and they tell terrible stories about lives, whom they ruined because of their sin. But what does the Scriptures say he have not regarded our sins and he can take those sins that he can cast them into the depths of the sea. He can forgive you, even though you have ruined your family. He can forgive you. He can make up for the years that the substances that you have taken have eaten and destroyed God can forgive you. It's a great barrier to your deliverance. But God is there to pronounce you forgiven one barrier, but there's a second barrier that is just as important, and that is the barrier of shame, shame, shame is an incredibly powerful emotion.

Shame tells us that we are fundamentally flawed, that we are different active we are haunted by a sense of loneliness and emptiness, a sense of absence, a sense of feeling so ashamed and we begin to think that the shame I feel has no cure. Some of you feel that way and there's that sense of helplessness. In fact, this shame is so important that fundamentally it can cause some people to become criminals because they are overcoming their own sense of shame.

That's a whole other story that I will not get into today, but except that you can take it for other people and they are driven into all kinds of perfectionism to trying to make up and to assure themselves that they will never be ashamed again what does God. God says your sin can be taken away for forgiveness and your shame can be taken away by my acceptance of you, my fundamental acceptance of you and let's get this business of self image straight okay God doesn't love you because your valuable that's where many of the people of the world go round. I'm so valuable.

God has to love me now now now your your friends know better than that. You don't dictate no but you are valuable because God loves you.

You are valuable because God loves you because he set his space and his love upon you, and therefore he accepts you and the value that you have is God conferred value because his love toward his children who accept his blessed son and as a result of that you see this whole sense of hopelessness. The shame be the sense of darkness and oblivion that you developed in that in that world of trance that that world of delusion.

It can be taken away. You can look God in the end he accepts you see without an answer for guilt without an answer for Shane. Where are you going to go back to that person substance. There's 1/3 barrier that God will help you overcome and that is the sense of replacement where you going to put in the place of your drink what's going to be there for me when things go wrong what's going to be there when I financial pressures what's going to be there when I'm rejected.

What's good either. When I'm evil spoken about what's going to be there when I don't have a job I tell you what's going to be there book of Ephesians tells us this and says do not be drunk with wine.

Where is it where is dissipation, and then you know dissipation means that that chaos. Some of you know what chaos is, but do not be drunk with wine, wherein is this chaos this dissipation. What instead be filled with the spirit, God says you need something to rely on because reality is too harsh for you. Reality is harsh, but I will walk with you through that and you can be filled with the spirit singing to yourselves with Psalms and praises and hymns and spiritual songs just like the man here in the 40th chapter of the Psalms, who says he has put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to God. So you need God overcome guilt overcome shame to overcome that need for something else that replacement for your addiction. You need God guides the big hang up his neck with addicts because they won't admit the depth of their need only until they say I am hopeless, I am an addict I can do anything and they surrender to God is. Then he hears their cry and lifts them out of the sling it Mel Trotter, the man that I told you about a moment ago was delivered instantly from alcohol when he accepted Christ as Savior and it doesn't happen to everybody because some of you are Christians and you struggle but I'm talking about what God sometimes does he picks them up from the slimy pit he cleans them up and he sets their feet upon a rock, and he establishes their going and they can sing again. You need God. That's not all you need, you say well you know I always thought that God in me was enough is me and my God well is not the way the Scriptures teach it to see the average addict thinks to himself, my addiction is secret. Therefore, I can take care of this in secret. Just God and I I doubt that you can. I doubt that you can second thing that you need is the body of Christ, because what really has to happen is that your your closet, you must come out of the closet.

Let me put it that way, your secret must be exposed to your shame must be exposed because as long as it grows there in the darkness of your soul. It will stay there and debilitate you until finally it is brought into the light and I can only happen in the presence of other people. Alcoholics Anonymous may have a weak theology, but we need to we need to admit the fact that they are they are quite successful in helping millions, perhaps hundreds of thousands making because they they are based on two very important scriptural principles, namely that in that what an addict really needs is an environment that is not shame-based always ever lived with the shame and if he shares his need in the presence of some Christians, all that he gets is more shame and more condemnation. The very thing that he doesn't need these already stuffed with it what he needs is a group can say we love you and we accept you despite what you have done and therefore I'm told that in these in these Alcoholics Anonymous circles.

You know they go around and say my name is and then they say and I'm a an alcoholic or I'm an addict there's wisdom in that there's nobody there to point fingers because what they're doing is they're all saying the same thing because they're all struggling with. Secondly, you need the body of Christ for accountability to be able to look into your eyes and say have you fallen this week. Give me the circumstances and make sure to call me when the temptation is overwhelming and when it seems as if the desire to enter into that delusional world is so strong that you can't take it call me and I will help you. That's what the body of Jesus Christ is for.

That's the way were supposed to function. So you need to tell significant people were able to help you and hold you accountable. Whether you join AA or not you need the body of Christ John Bradshaw on one of his books tells a story of a man who was in a cave and was sentenced to die in the agreement was that he would be fed for 30 days through it hole at the top of the cave and after that no more food, but he was also told that there was a way out of the cave. If only he were to find it and if he could find his way out he would be free. What this man did is he looked at the top of the cave. Then he noticed that that was the one little people where the food was brought through every day. It was too small for him to crawl through. But he thought this is the only way out. I'm gonna try to began to lift all of the stones in all of the dirt and to try to build a pile so that he could make it but the problem was that even after he was 6 feet the pile was 6 feet to build another foot meant that there'd be so many more stones and things that were needed, but eventually he was running out of things that he could possibly used to build his file with an end the 30th day was on its way.

And one day he was standing up there wondering if least if he could touch the whole which he wasn't able to do and the 30th day came and he fell over in weakness and died. The problem was that when the cave was exposed to the light right there beneath the whole there was a tunnel if he had taken that tunnel he could've crawled. Maybe 100 feet and been in the sunlight and been free, but the reason she didn't see the tunnel was. You see, it was in the darkness, and he thought that this was the way out. It never dawned on him that there might be an easier way out. Even though it would be less visible. Some of you, bless you. You been spending your whole life trying to gather those stones to find a way out of your cave.

You drag those stones you brought all that dirt in and what you want to do is to say, I seal little peephole, but it is so far away so high and I am weary want you to know today that there is a tunnel there's a way out.

There's a way out and it's accessible.

It's accessible, come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. It's accessible tunnel length, and it may lead you through the darkness in the sense that there's going to be a tremendous amount of struggle with the sand and the addiction then the spirits of this world, but in Jesus Christ. There is a hand that comes to deliver you and in him there is a light and life and forgiveness. And if we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son cleanses us from all sin. I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and he heard my cry. Some of you have to cry out to God and say I'm helpless. Deliver me save may he came along and he lifted me out of that slimy pit out of the mud and the Meyer and he set my feet on rock. He gave me a firm place to stand, put a song in my listen to you alcoholics.

You addicts who don't want to admit that you are but you are Stuart Hamblin used to sing that song. It is no secret what God can do what he's done for others, he can do for you.

With arms wide open. He can pardon you. It is no secret what God can do what God did to the Mel Trotter's of this world he can do for you God overcoming guilt and shame and the emptiness in the body of Christ, helping you as you come to the light, this is Pastor Luther. Let me ask you my friend are you finding these messages a blessing a warning as well as encouragement. That's why they were preached. We hear it running to win exist in order to edify believers as we frequently say to help them make it all the way to the finish line. These messages can be yours so that you can listen to them again and again or if you prefer, you can receive them in book form.

The title is seven snares of the enemy breaking free from the devil's grip. We'd love you to have this because we believe that it would be of benefit not only to you but people whom you know for a gift of any amount this book or the sermon series can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me remind you that whenever we get a letter from people and we are encouraged by many people who connect with us. It is because others have stood with us financially and with their prayers. So for a gift of any amount you can have seven snares of the enemy either as a book or this sermon series.

Once again, let me give you that contact information. RTW or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for holding hands with us as we think about the running to win family and the many people who are being blessed as a result of this ministry, you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, Hanoi 60614. Since we all have sexual desires.

It's tempting to satisfy those desires outside of God's will. Next time I'm running to win a probing look at the damage done by pornography in our culture of most prevalent these days on the Internet no longer in plain brown rappers. Porn is now available at the click of your mouse. Next time, don't miss snare number five pornography is sold to file. Thanks for listening, Dr. Erwin certain this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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