RECOGNIZING YOUR NEED AND RECEIVING THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Do you see your need for the infilling of the Holy Spirit? If you do see your need, are you receiving His power daily into your life? If you are still losing the battle with your addiction then you must answer no to one or both of these questions. Why? The Holy Spirit living in you is the greatest blessing and liberating force God could ever give you. He is more than a power or influence upon you. God Himself has come to live in and through you (2 Cor. 6:16). Failure to recognize your need for, or to seek, or to depend on and yield to the Holy Spirit is the reason why Christians lose the battle with their addictive behaviors. He alone can enable you to live the Christian life, and is the only one who can control your strong desires and drives. Paul said, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).
I. How Does the Holy Spirit Work in Your Life?
A. Before you came to Christ the Holy Spirit was working "with" you (John 14:17). He was drawing you to Himself through conviction of sin, conviction of righteousness, and with an understanding that there is a judgment to come (John 16:8-11).
B. When you received Christ the Holy Spirit then came inside you to regenerate and renew you giving you a new nature which enabled you to come out of the world (Titus 3:5) (2 Peter 1:3-4). This is what it means to be born again or born from above (John 3:3-5).
C. After you received Christ the Holy Spirit now began to dwell in you (John 14:17) (1 Cor. 6:19) (Rom. 8:9). When the Holy Spirit imparted to you God's divine nature this is what gave you the godly desires and thoughts to obey God. However, here is where the problems began. These new desires and thoughts were in conflict with your old nature and your old desires (Rom. 7:22-23). Today the Spirit gives you a continual desire to do what is right, but there is another corrupt nature of sin inside also trying to control you attempting to lead you to sin (Rom. 7:18-20). This battle can only be won by you surrendering to the Holy Spirit and Him enabling you to perform what is good (Rom. 8:2).
D. To be victorious over your sin nature and your addictive behaviors you must be continually filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that this empowering of the Holy Spirit was essential to enable them to follow Him. In John 20:22, when Jesus first met with the disciples after His resurrection the first thing He said was, "Receive the Holy Spirit". This is where the disciples were born again and He came to indwell them. However, ten days later He told them to wait in Jerusalem to be endued with power from on high and to be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49) (Acts 1:4-5). Jesus told them that now the Holy Spirit was to come upon them so that they could be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). The word baptize means to cover completely, to engulf, or to overwhelm. God wants to completely engulf you and overwhelm you with His power so you won’t be overwhelmed by the power of your sin nature. This is why God gave the Holy Spirit.
II. How Does this Relate to Addictive Behaviors?
A. If you don’t want to be controlled by your addictive behavior then you must continually ask for the Holy Spirit to control you (Luke 11:11-13).
B. The Holy Spirit will satisfy and control the cravings within you (Eph. 5:18).
C. The Holy Spirit enables you to obey God's commands at the moment you are tempted (1 Peter 1:22).
D. The Holy Spirit will enable you to put to death the desires and deeds of your body (Rom. 8:13).
E. The Holy Spirit will give you strength in your inner man to continue to fight (Eph. 3:16) (Eph 6:10-11).
F. The Holy Spirit will set you free and keep you free (Rom. 8:2).
G. When the Holy Spirit rules in your daily life this is what it means to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
III. What Steps Should You Take to Apply These Truths?
A. The next time you sense your sinful desires beginning to control you and to captivate your thinking stop and make a choice. Choose to resist these desires and don’t let these desires take control (Rom. 6:12).
B. Acknowledge that your thoughts and desires to use drugs, or drink, or overeat as sinful and displeasing to God. Confess your sin and receive His forgiveness for even playing with these thoughts (1 John 1:9). Remember that even these thoughts are sinful and must be confessed (Acts 8:22) (Prov. 24:9).
C. Then ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill you to overflowing (Luke 11:13) (Eph. 5:18).
D. Begin immediately to thank Him for answering your prayer and filling you (Phil. 4:6).
E. Wait upon Him with complete expectancy. Believe that He is doing just what He promised (Is. 40:31).
F. If later in the day, you sense the same old desires returning, go through this same process again.