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September 15, 2021 2:00 am
Feel like you mess up all the time? You're not alone. Pastor John Elmore helps listeners understand why the struggle exists and shares about the power to overcome each day.
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Staring through the windshield just so angry she says I just wish we wouldn't fight for the rest of our lives and in that moment what the Lord said to me, have freed you from alcoholism.
I can free you from arguing with your wife and family life today where we might help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life app family life today so when I give my life to Christ in college and started dinner really read the Bible for the first time I really wasn't much of a Bible. I did know I was biblically illiterate and so now I'm finding out a man of God as a man of the word starring the Bible there's a passage I came across did I could not believe was in the Bible. I have no idea where you live a night sky member read and gone a guy who wrote the Bible writes this. It was Romans seven how the apostle Paul writes for I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 715 Emily White because I'd experience that I like all the way out guy that close to God is apostle Paul is like, you know the guy we all will become and he goes on to say I have the desire to do it's right but not the ability to carry it out for I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing and I'm like oh my goodness, how in the world is this guy describing so clearly and specifically the same struggle that I have is that in fact it's one of the reasons I love the word of God, because it's so honest and practical to our everyday lives and what were going through that it doesn't hide the struggle. It says no. I know the struggle and by the way, I haven't read the rest of the passage, but he does lead you to what we want to talk about today is where you find victory in the struggle so we got the perfect guy to talk about this with us again. John Elmore's back welcome family life today John love being here with you all. Thanks to limitations you have.
Obviously we talked about it so far this week you've walked through a similar struggle with alcohol. You direct the ministry a watermark church in Dallas to thousands and I mean literally 1200 or so a week and Monday nights in a recovery program who obviously have read Romans seven you walk through this, your father, your husband and you've got kids you have this dynamic ministry, written a book called freedom starts today overcoming struggles and addictions. One day at a time so we were to talk quite a bit about the struggle, and I would add to Dave. If you haven't listened to our first conversations where John shared his story of overcoming of really Jesus overcoming addictions. I would really recommend that you listen to those discussions because it was a holy moment in here. Where were all crying and John was on his knees as we prayed and it was pretty remarkable to me because it still showed me your need for Jesus your love for Jesus of really setting you free side really say go back and listen to that yeah and then jump right in right now because here we are. I know people are listening who literally are living. Romans seven not want to do the right thing. I feel like I can't Irene have the power to do it.
John, you've been there you walk with people every week who maybe feel hopeless just in front. How do you get to victory. How do we win over the struggle it up such a good question and it's warm. Everybody is asking because one of the red room and seven.
They have lived room so everyone has known that experience like I don't want to do this anymore and I keep going back to like what is this cycle but I'm in that I hate and you keep returning to. And here's the crazy thing. It's not just localized to like Paul writing to the Romans and reread it of the Bible.
It is the common experience of all of mankind. So forms and Inc. did the study of new years resolutions bring about this year because it's so fascinating to me in the stomach of his New Year's resolutions. Everybody has this thing in your life. Maybe it's overeating maybe it's not working out. Maybe it's unhealthy lifestyle. Whatever may be spending too much and they know something is wrong.
They wanted out of their life. They make a resolution meeting they go public with the current social media that told everyone they throw out half the pantry, which is the reward or whatever it may be me right now to make all these like macro changes into 1/2 weeks later on January 19 90% of people have already quit so much so they call it national quitting day but how funny is that we make this like outcry. I'm done with this I make a huge change. New your new me to have weeks later they will quit and so they do a follow-up study because the what is going on like people know something student in the life they make a declaration they return to it through enough weeks later. Follow-up study revealed far and away the greatest reason we don't have enough willpower. The psychologist and sociologists ascending amount of knowledge, only to find the theologians, Artie sitting there as of course you will you don't have willpower over sin's power. That's the Holy Spirit's job. It's not your job to work and send you have no ability to fight sin. That is the Spirit's job is Romans 813 where he says if you live according plus you'll.you do what you want to do is not to go well, you'll die but he says he never leaves us our love that about goddesses, but if by the spirit. He is the means you put to death the deeds of the flesh, you'll live were told in first Peter one. The father adopts were sprinkled have a cleansing by the son and the Spirit's job is to sink the fire, the one who makes us holy. She's the one who takes us from justification all the way through glorification. He gets that big lifelong job certification.
It's his job and yet we try like what I think that's my job is like no that's not your job, you can't. You don't have the willpower assumption. The white knuckles that anything that is the spirits role in this is really festering too so Owen talks about the negative work of the spirit. When I first read this and more traditional flesh is like way what negative work of the Holy Spirit like that must be a wrong translation because formidable use of something way out abound.
Nothing God does. God the Spirit is negative. What he says is is we always focus on the positive work of the Holy Spirit, the love, joy, peace, patient, kind of quick about memorized as a five-year-old and we have altogether neglected the negative work of the Holy Spirit.
The negative work of the Holy Spirit is that he is the sin killer, it's his job and we wrestle for all our lives trying to kill sin and we are getting killed our wives and spouses and children are looking at us like, don't you know this is wrong. Why don't you just stop, just stop looking up or just stop hurting us.
Just stop being passive, raising your voice overeating. Just stop and were trying we can we fail because it's the spirits job. So what we do.
Got to bring down the fight. I had like this eating thing is hard. My numbers, my cholesterol is bad and I can't eat if you just start eating me certain things and I feel more compelled to go to writer before I write and so I think maybe it's not a huge addiction but it's anything that's controlling us or our flesh is controlling everybody when they hear some like the thought of my nephew means that that but I will stick needles in my arms and given over to porn's like, well, we've all got our thing that we run to first John the apostle John writes to the church is running to them is of little children. All this is like a reflection in terms of the lid of the church the very last verse. It's not like great Silvius or whoever you know that the Lord bless you it's it's not the ending of it says little children, keep yourselves from idols because all of us daily.
As Calvin wrote the heart is not a factor like Alden of the ditches these things that we run to and maybe they aren't as insidious, socially but there every bit insidious to the holiness of God and so zones are becoming sooner it will be killing you pal, because obviously there's part of me going okay. I have the whole power the Holy Spirit.
You do tailor the sin killer, I've experienced, and yet there's moments of weakness where it's almost like you know Paul wrote in Philippians work out your salvation and fear and trembling, so there's a part of working minutes. It's all done by by the blood of Christ in the power spirit, but there's our side. We have to take a step yes how do you defeat and eating addiction. You don't just go God did it.
He did write. But what is my participation.
What is my working that out.
So tell us how to how to work it out well is free from alcoholism for 10 years sober. Laura brought a date night and we had not made it two blocks from our house and were already in a fight. Small children which pressure reveals front lesson so we got kids scream and diverse line is just a mess and material our date night we go to Chili's to split a meal, pastor, and we go there and not two blocks away was that the light Waterview and Campbell and I'm staring through the windshield just so angry and she says I just wish we wouldn't fight for the rest of our lives. And I said yeah me too, except during this marriage. Now I didn't say that I thought it was a mental statement just like but you're here like we can't, and in that moment what the Lord said to me, have freed you from alcoholism. I can free you from arguing with your wife shall just ask and spring God of the fight. And so I started doing what I did 15 years prior getting on my knees every day asking God to keep me sober, but this time was God keep me from fighting with Laura. She's your daughter.
She's my wife and sister in Christ, of whom one portion of the spirit. One flesh like this is not your will so free us and that first year we probably fought three times which single people are like hot so you didn't work times yesterday you mean three times the whole year through the little you. It was a miracle and halfway through the year Lord is like. Have you noticed we don't fight anymore and I told her what I was doing that I was seeking daily repentance, which is what it is.daily surprise daily repenting and turning from sin by turning towards Christ that I was like daily being like Lord today by your strength.
Tony from Florida and we didn't miss was like that is like to tell you something was crazy as I'm the only one to change anything. She didn't change anything was squarely placed the blame on me for providing one's efforts.
Look what can happen every single day that's really big so you're really going to God, asking God to be the sin killer in your life you repenting every day. I don't believe there's any other way after and I fall headlong in the sun is just no other way. Right now it needs to be daily repentance from shore with my kids like that's the one that's with because of some five and three are just meant the I don't want a bite to miss this. You didn't do it. I would probably do if were frightened and I want God to help us with fighting. I was a guy change or change and she can't see my perspective.
She always brings out it's a hard thing to look in the mirror and say this is in her file problem. The course. She's got her thing.
But you said God change me. There was about seven years of that to like this woman you gave me out of the Eve tried her fault was like or won't you seek repentance and see what happened.
As were talking about spouses like your wife's name Laura so let's talk about Laura little banner and tell us how did you meet because there's a story behind that as well. I had been married before my wife found a relationship with one of my friends they got married and so here I am in seminary.
As a couple years sober, recovering alcoholic divorced at like 33 unemployed in school.
This is not the whole like a dad. I met a man that is divorced and an alcoholic is not working and it's just not a great picture and so I am speaking out of Ponca camps in Texas, Christians were camp mother speaking at their ministry training program for a few days and I get home to the guy who oversees all the camps on staying with family my best friends and walking and I was going to my bedroom and prep for the next day and he says hey come in here meet the babysitter mark in the world, like I will meet your 13-year-old neighborhood watch as your kids like a time for that him I'm here to teach like I was like a walk around the corner in this girl woman is lying on the couch and she got pops up and looks at me deer in headlights on a mark out loud. Do not, the neighborhood girl. We proceeded to talk like two hours two hours. She must've been stunning. She went from out on a meter to list so full of joy, so happy, so engaging so sweet and at this point in life and like put in the right mind can even want a date with me, let alone marriage become just all these lies because you're not can hide your past either friend alto anybody brainless and what Jesus said me from so it's out there and the next day were talking and I were having coffee and talking. That night, and she all of a sudden she is really quiet and she's like I can't believe this Cyclops, I can't believe this. What you the guy what guy I can't believe this.
You're the guy what guy what you talking about and she just goes silent.
Among this is when she put it all together she knows divorced alcoholic hard. Well, I never wanted to marry wish you the best yet, like she, and she knows who I am to the church was a postbubble, slick, and local brother is a guy like what you talking about is like well do you know Tom Laura Gilbert and like I've had Thanksgiving dinner with them. She's like there my aunt and uncle was like oh no, no muscular. He had just as I know your whole story.
I'm not going anywhere. And just like tangible grace from her next question was, do you still talk to your ex-wife must've known to the gospel to a few times, but that wouldn't be appropriate. She's married with kids in Soquel. You really do know everything don't like I do think it's amazing what you system and I don't like you less because of your past like you more because of what Jesus did well and just like started on doing and unraveling all these lies of and that wasn't even for marriage right that's just hard for a second date, but it was crazy is that those were such lies in my mind what God had done as her aunt and uncle for like 22 years have been telling her there's this guy in dollars. We want you to meet him like I will be set up like none of you need to meet him. Is this crazy God story so they had unbeknown to them. They were like helping pave the road in her heart and mind to one day meet a divorced alcoholic has told the whole story so that when she would meet me would like way what know our Jesus redeems our past and he he paves highways through seas and that was one that he just like split open a midwife so talk about you know like her role and anybody's role in a person's would get back to where we were saying okay God brought you partner and some of us have partner. Some of the cell, but we all want a road to victory. You know the struggle we start with I can't do what I want to do. We have the Holy Spirit in our lives but we gotta take some steps to walk us through the recovery that you've been through and that you help others through the topic with your be forgiven. Confess to God. If you would be healed confessed others first on one line and James 516 is no way around it. And so for ceiling Sagan and this is like super simple, I'm not how to sell books or dogs provided for me. So here it is free to buy the book is ACT just act and a is ask God to bring God of the five that's Romans 813 were you by the power the Holy Spirit you invite him to the fight because he's the son Taylor. He is the one that was can sense he just ask him and he says Jesus of those were using heroes because were many words don't keep up these empty phrases just like God of the porn we help me reframe you from it and not just once and for all.
Want to talk about walking the somebody like casting a demon of drunkenness to stupid this is a daily walk with God like a God. I have a struggle today with you free me today every day. Yes, every day, and I recommend you do that in a position of humility and so on your knees if you can.
If you can't physical limitations raise your hands. My kids really come up to me, their hands are up there helpless, especially my three-year-old and somewhere along the way we stop doing that. So, God reminds us men with holy hands lifted high praying MPC up all throughout the Psalms.
You see people on their knees praying. So I recommend doing that just helps him his body, mind and soul so you engage your body with where your mind and spirit are things really beneficial and you've been sober for how many years at 15 1/2 years but really I would sometimes say like since about 6 AM because really it's just daily.
Every single yes I'm not asking them to keep me sober.
Yeah today. Yeah, more because I just like it's not a strong temptation: sometimes it is a alone but it is a day we surrender every day I struggle my knees again. Sometimes alike because of their kid's throws up to start the day.
That way clean up vomit instead of you know and then like halfway through the demagogue never know what shut my office door kneeled down, so I'll say this much I can tell if I miss what something is off in me, not like mentally, spiritually got no place to surrender so is ask me ask you this week. Have you ever talk to anybody that said I'm too embarrassed I'm too unworthy to ask God for help.
I filled him so badly. I mean, is it ever probably does that mean that's identity that's understanding that they are forgiven's and I think that some sometimes it were afraid it's a wise pastor asking the question because of how many times of heard but I'm just not worthy in my responses, plus you so much unworthiness, like there's nothing we could do to make ourselves worthy. And if you wait until your worthy. You can be waiting a really long time, but he comes to us, that's his only choice. So tell people is a lot of say like Jesus and Jericho. Like what's he doing that's a godforsaken city. Joshua says whoever rebuild this you'll do so at the cost of your children and then they rebuild it, and then Jesus goes to Jericho you think like he's about to like tell those people what's up the city instead because the worst person in the whole city because the chief tax collector. He seeks out the one of his own people that should've known better and didn't says him.
He was rich like he just goes to the worst and the worst city and why and how does this relate to like what if someone doesn't feel unworthy. That's the only kind of person that God can go to his unworthy people in sin, and yet does like that's where Jesus set his sights as like I got a good Jericho to meet Zacchaeus and church history tells us he went on to become the bishop of Caesarea pastor over whole city. Think about the woman at the well, and John goes out of his way to go to Samaria to talk to her, who will become the great evangelist.
Yes, I mean obviously we again that is the heart of God revealed through the heart of Jesus is made when you feel unworthy and you come to him, even in your unworthiness. He is jumping up and down. Finally, we can do some and in fact I would say unworthiness is such a healthier position.
He says he opposes the proud which would be worthy unworthy unworthy. I deserve your attention.
Thank God, like that man. I ties I pray, whatever is our brother want to beat his chest and said, God of mercy on me a sinner. He went on justified so he gives grace to the humble.
So unworthiness is actually really healthy heart condition and yes you are altogether unworthy and he loves you all the more speed.
A is ask God to help see is commit, I think we can often have a reactive confession of sin. Like, I'll tell you if and when my son gets bad enough, big enough upbringing of the light, if ever, but this now is a proactive commitment. So rather than telling you if and when arson on me to decide in advance a minute commit.
That's the city commit for the next 24 hours to not give them a thing.
The food porn controlled nagging.
Whatever may be give myself way to God's passivity are committed by God's strength. That's really important to stay by God strength for the next 24 hours. I'm not gonna quit forever. Don't focus on forever. Focus on today daily bread. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Most of the wars of its own. What you're doing is committing to another person, like a minute so Dave Dave commit to you by God strength that I will not be short with my kids for next 24 hours and now her to go for the TV because this is act. Ask God commitment to talk or text popular phrase. If you'll recall, probably a mean person that would allow meetings or text to follow up with you this time tomorrow. Minnesotan alarm on my phone and offered 315, let you know how I did in 24 hours.
If I was free from being short and sharp and harsh with my kids lost 24 hours and if I fill your response is to pray for me. James 516. You can use a him and thank you for confessing. You want to re-up you want to go another 24 hours. Yes, of course, in return from us. Proverbs 2813 whoever conceals us and will not prosper. Whoever confesses and renounces will find mercy. So yes will fall forward seven times and rise again. Oracle also yells free from being harsh, sharp markets and awesome praise God must thank the Lord you want to go another 24 hours and so we then start walking daily. Again, this is not some Christian life talk that's Hebrews 313 where it says encourage one another daily, so that why why do we need to encourage each other daily and Sunday. Enough isn't women's Bible study on Wednesday and of no every single day why God so that you will not be hardened on the deceitfulness of sin every single day you're to be hardened by sin. Unless you have a daily encouragement with a brother or sister in Christ, so that act as God commit for 24 hours. Not for life.
People can't quit porn for life authority would have struggled with drinking doctors would be like you could drink and what all that's profound thanks for the help. Yes of course I know that I don't know how do it for one day. 24 hours daily bread, and then talk text is the act focus on the next day and that requires friendship and rehires accountability just and so how do people get that. I'm thinking especially sometimes you feel so isolated your living so much shame. What would your first steps be in encouraging someone to find that person, or find a few people I would start with your church.
After several came to my church consumer church with no that's a whole bigger problem. You can start a church and so be the first one. And if you get mocked because of your sin, then widen the circle and so to your group spouse or whoever does like her brought saliva resulted in gossip like work through it.
Don't go find another church don't church shop does not write like be the change to bring health like repentance is a thing that catches fire like God will use it and if you just keep bouncing and running are all tell my overeaters anonymous groups like no, no, these are scriptural instructions for the church so say find a brother or sister in Christ will do same gender.
Just as everything that can happen there. I would say not with your spouse. Just because your spouse may be one of the lungs are sending the greatest against like walk with a brother in arms a lot of times with guys. The be like the just honestly, unpack the guilt with their wife and they should.
They have sinned against the wife. They need to ask the wife for forgiveness. They withheld themselves from their spouses for screen consultants is not to say do need to ask for forgiveness that I think sometimes you need a brother is gonna exhort you, admonish you, rebuke you, encourage you all the different ways the Scripture instructs and for sister in Christ. It could be spouse for different couples were different maturity levels and if it ever spouses ready to probably own mutually different dynamic sponsor brother sister Christine again. I would just manage sin so helpful because I learned what you said earlier years ago and I never understood it that when you confess to guide you a receipt forgiveness. When you confess to a brother of a woman confesses to a sister you receive healing and I was. I like how are you healed God's the healer, but there's a healing that happens again. We said earlier, when you bring some out of the ark insulate in community with some bank and trust that healing starts and again it doesn't mean you never struggle with this again. It's not this demon is gone, but it's this beautiful step toward hit it. It just shows how God made us to need one another is no prescriptive progress is what you can't say to another part of the body. I don't need you going we really exactly inextricably intertwined temple in which God dwells. And so then I think we play this game is like I confesses got unforgiven I got it and then we struggle. I confesses got unforgiven and it's like now. It's so scary is it to tell a brother and I were I will never forget the day I told three of my best friends. The year we started our church that I was struggling with porn and I had no idea that written that moment. Healing started yesterday. It was finally out to some people that I was off. I was there my best friends.
I'm still scared of that town because they don't know and I thought I would get are you kidding me, dude. They all look to me and said thanks for Sharon, we will walk with you. And here I am 30 years later, so beautiful, you know, live in a different life because there was healing in that moment that was continual healing for anions and again I would just say if you listen and nobody knows yet tell somebody and it isn't sent an email to your pastor unless you're really good friends with them. It's you need to text or call somebody that you know you know all along with you that you can ACT with think one of the things to do is to get John's book freedom starts today because it's a 90 day devotional. We can all read it honestly and it would help us. John, thank you for being here, and I'm wondering would you just pray that her listeners to close us and I think it be great father, thank you so much for brothers and sisters in Christ is adopted by the blood of Jesus now and well, but the spirit and Lord, we we hate sin.
We love you and that we return to that which we hate and so I ask for freedom of pray Lord that she would do what only the Spirit can do that you would kill sin in us as we walked together, encouraging one another daily, and we would take action. As Dave and Anna rightly said, this isn't just something were listening to us is like daily nourishment, but this would be actionable say in your word. Do not just be shearers but doers so Lord may reemploy what you've made so clear in the Scripture to be free from sin. Lord may repentance the roots of revival so that at your coming. You will find the bride of Christ and spotless without wrinkle or blemish. We love you in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen, amen.
Our hope, our prayer actually this week is that the conversation we've heard with Dave and Ann Wilson and John Elmore would be the first step to freedom for many of you who are listing all of your listing who are ensnared by sinful addictions or patterns behaviors that you need freedom from John's book freedom starts today is is a great catalyst. In that journey.
In fact were making that book available this week to any listener who would request a copy. If you can help with a donation to support this ministry. The book is our gift to you as a way of saying thank you for your partnership with us in expanding the outreach of family life to helping us reach more people more often. Would love to send you a copy of John Elmore's book freedom starts today overcoming struggles and addictions. One day at a time. You can donate email@example.com or you can call to donate one 800, FL, today is the number that's one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today and on behalf of the people whose lives will be impacted because of your support your donation. Thank you for partnering with us here in the ministry of family life to the you know what John has talked about today talking about addictions or behaviors that control us and the impact that can have in a marriage and family. This affects so many families and David Robbins is the person of family life is here with me and David. These are the kinds of issues that we want to be addressing regularly because these are the issues that we know families are dealing with that.
We really do have a passion for whatever the things that are drifting you apart. We want to halt that drift and help you move toward oneness with God and move toward oneness with one another. Whether that's a spouse or other relationships in your home and we went on vacation. About a month ago and it was a strong current day where our kids were boogie boarding and within five minutes they were already know 50 yards down the beach and I spent all afternoon waving them back to the shore and then telling them the come walk backs they could get back at it again because they were having a blast in life does that. There's all sorts of issues whether it's addictions with its communication issues intimacy issues a prodigal kid conflict that we have in our marriages. The natural drift of life will drift you apart. The currents will push you away and we are passionate about helping people see what the currents in life are doing to the oneness in their homes and helping them get to the shore little bit to walk backs they can get back and join what God has created them to experience in the oneness in their home with the relationships that matter most well and again we want to say thank you to those of you who support this ministry financially because you make all of this possible and we are grateful for that partnership. Thank you David now tomorrow or get a chance to hear from Dave and Ann Wilson about what they would do differently if they were raising their kids all over again. I mean all of us would like a do over right when it comes to parenting we can all look back ago I man I wish I done it this way done it differently there to talk about some of their biggest regrets. When it comes to parenting will hear that tomorrow hoping to be with us for that on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine. We will see you next time for another edition of family life today family like to do is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most