Everyone needs to ask the question, “What has mastered me?” What is it at this moment that is out of control in my life and is bigger than me? Because almost everyone has something that has taken over in some area of life. II Pet 2:19, the Bible says, “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”
What are you a slave to? What is it that is bigger than you? And if you are honest enough to say, “Yes, there is something,” I have got incredible news for you. I promise you that in the presence of a very holy God, if you will apply His living Word and submit to the power of His Spirit, the risen Christ will set you free. You see, scripture says, “He who the Son has set free is free indeed.” You can become absolutely free.
That freedom begins at the question, “What’s mastered you?” Be really, really honest. It may not be something that’s apparently really dangerous. It may be something like caffeine. For example, if it takes six cups of coffee to get you to work in the morning, you may be addicted to caffeine. Or maybe you are addicted to dipping, which, I have to tell you, is incredibly sexy. I have to admit, the way you put the little black stuff down in your lip and a little runs out the corner of your mouth and then you spit that black saliva stuff in a cup. It’s a turn on. Girls love that. They love it.
Maybe it’s smoking. You know, smoking some cigarettes, or maybe smoking some weed, or I don’t know, crayons for you. It could be anything. Maybe you are addicted to the internet. You’ve got to check your email. “I’ve got an email. I’ve got an email.” Maybe for you it’s your stocks. “Did my stocks go up or down in less than five minutes.” You got to check it out. Maybe you are addicted to work. You work and you work and you work. Or maybe it’s sports. Or maybe its pornography, or masturbation, or maybe it’s shopping, and you’ve got the gift of going in debt. Maybe it’s overeating. Maybe it’s computer games, or Nyquil. Maybe you are addicted to your appearance, your body. You’re at the gym more than the people that work at the gym. Or maybe you are one of those suntan freaks, you know. You tan, and tan and tan, and, “I’m not very dark,” and your tan, and hopefully, if you’re lucky, you’ll look like a suitcase before you are forty.
Maybe you are carrying along a generational curse. You’ve got a temper, just like one of your parents did. Or you are incredibly critical or negative, or you cuss like crazy, or you are abusive. You look pretty normal and everybody on the outside thinks you are, but you are abusive, maybe, physically or maybe emotionally. What’s mastered you?
Now, you may be tempted to say, “Hey. Yeah, yah, yah, I can quit at any time.” Or you might say, “You know, I really don’t have a problem with this.” Friends, please listen carefully. If more than one person has told you that you have a problem, you better shut up and listen. You have a problem. What has mastered you?
Look at what the apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 6:12. He was speaking to a church that was full of people that had been mastered by sexual sin, and he said to them, “Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me-but I will not be mastered by anything” I will not let any outside source, beside the presence of Christ be my master. I will not let anything else be bigger than Christ is in my life. If today is the day that you get set free. Freedom begins with the bold and honest identification and admission of what it is that has mastered you—to whatever degree that might be true. So what is it? Write it down. Only then have you processed it enough to take the next step. Only then can God begin to do His divine work in your life.
(For more on winning over addictions got to this link, http://relaxedchurch.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=57, and listen to the 7/24/2011 message on “Overcoming Addictions.”)