“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (James 4:17 NLT)
Years ago, a young high school boy sat in my office. He was hurting. He had just returned from the doctor and was told that he had cancer in his mouth. Even though he was young, he had been chewing tobacco for years. He knew he should quit chewing, he wanted to quit chewing, but he did not quit chewing and developed cancer. He needed deliverance from cancer.
While it is true that God is our Deliverer, He also empowers us with His grace so that we can implement the preventive maintenance necessary to prevent destruction. Simply put, God could have empowered this young man to quit his cancer-causing habit so that the deadly disease never would have developed.
Sadly, the young man could not stop chewing on his own and he did not understand that God’s help was available. In the same way that God can miraculously heal us, He can also miraculously deliver us from the habits that cause destruction.
In Hosea 4:6, God says that His people perish because of a lack of knowledge. It is a lack of knowledge of the principles of God that causes destruction in the lives of many Christians.
When I asked this young man specifically why he didn’t quit using tobacco, he said, “I have prayed and prayed and prayed and asked God to take the tobacco away, but He just didn’t do it.” He was blaming God, but it wasn’t God’s fault.
The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh.” He said that “the thorn” was a messenger, or angel, sent from Satan to torment him. He went on to say that he asked God three times to remove this thorn, and God didn’t do it. Instead, God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
To remove “the thorn” from your life, God will tell you the same thing He told Paul. His grace is sufficient for you. God will empower you with His power and His ability so that you (not He) can defeat the addictions of life. Even though it may seem like drugs, tobacco, pornography, overeating, etc. has you by the throat, it is possible to be set free.
Make the decision to rebuke the enemy with the authority Jesus gave you. Stand on the Word that says that you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you and you will overcome the thorn in your life.
Everything we receive must be received by faith. God’s Word is pregnant with promises of deliverance. When you find them, believe in your heart they are personally for you, receive God’s empowerment (grace), and you will discover that you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you.
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NKJV).
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJV).
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).