Have you ever been addicted to anything? Dictionary.com defines addiction as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” There are many things people can become addicted to, such as alcohol, drugs, food, porn, technology, and so forth. I recently heard it suggested that our culture is caught up in the practice of self-addiction. When I first heard it, I laughed, but the more I thought about it, I realized it is an accurate statement.
Our culture tends to breed people who have a sense of entitlement to anything and everything. We want what we want and we want it now. Delayed gratification seems to be a thing of the past. It is why our marriages are failing, why we’re suffering financially, why we jump from job to job, and why our kids are turning out with a lack of respect of boundaries and authority.
The Lord calls believers to live a counter cultural life. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Today we wear crosses around our necks without even thinking about it, yet in the time of Christ the cross was used to carry out the death sentence. It would be like us wearing a pendant of an electric chair around our neck today…not a top seller in the jewelry store I’m sure.
What Jesus was saying is we must be willing to die. To follow Jesus, we must be willing to do what He did and He gave His life up for the life the Father had for Him. That’s simply not possible in our own strength. We are too selfish to even consider it; however, with the Holy Spirit moving in us and through us, we can deny ourselves and surrender our lives fully to Jesus’ plan. So how do we do it? Like anything else, we follow the example of Christ. When He was called to lay His life down and take up the Father’s plan, He cried out in prayer in Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Have you totally surrendered every aspect of your life to the Lord? Is there any part you’re holding back from Him? If so, cry out to Him and ask Him to help you see it through. We’re reminded in 2 Chronicles 16:9; He desires to strengthen us so we can do the hard things. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” What will He find when I looks at you? A life of self-addiction or self-surrender?