“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” (Ephesians 1:22 NLT)
We’ve grown so accustomed to seeing the word “addiction” used in reference to drugs, alcohol, sex, and dozens of other life-destroying tools of Satan, we’ve forgotten that it also means: “to give oneself up to some strong habit; an ardent supporter, devotee.” I’ve given myself up to reading and studying the Bible every day. The older I get the more often I turn my thoughts to God in gratitude and thanksgiving through prayer. I rarely miss church unless I’m sick or out of town, and even then, if I can’t be in worship, I’ll watch it online. I’m an ardent supporter and devotee of the Lord Jesus and I give Him ALL glory, honor, and praise for what He’s doing in my life. Am I bragging? No, I’m throwing you a lifeline! How so?
Addiction is another word for “habit.” Habits rule your life. Tell me what you do habitually, and I’ll tell you who your master is. You only have two choices: Jesus or yourself (the devil). That’s why Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
What you think about comes about! Think “world” all day and your life will reflect your thoughts. Think “Jesus” all day and your life will reflect your thoughts. Your body is the vehicle of your mind. The word Paul uses that is translated “plead,” means “to beg, to earnestly warn,” and carries a sense of urgency. Why is he so eager to warn us?
Notice he pleads that we first give our bodies to God, then, in verse 2 he lets us know that if we let God transform the way we use our bodies, He will change the way we think. Hmm! Doesn’t that seem backwards? Let’s look more closely. Where are our eyes? Where are our ears? Body parts, right? Our eyes are the windows of our soul. What we look at (focus our eyes upon) will become the force that drives our thoughts. (i.e. pornography or the Word of God; videos that point us to Jesus or the world?)
Our ears are also key receptors for our mind, heart, and soul. What do you listen to in the car? At the house? At work? I’m not just referring to the kind of music you like, but what is the predominant theme of what you allow your ears to hear, or of your casual conversations? Work conversations? Church conversations? Etc. What we allow our eyes and ears to “teach” our mind will drive the habits of our bodies, which drives the way we view the world, and paints the picture of us the world sees.
That’s why in verse 3 Paul gives a warning: “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves (DON’T MISS THIS!) by the faith God has given us;” Another way to say that is: “by the standard of our God-given faith.” What does that mean? It essentially means by a Biblical standard, not by the standards of the world.
If you’re not living up to Biblical standards by the way you treat and/or use your body, your mind will reflect that. And, if you’re not living up to a Biblical standard in the things that occupy your thoughts, your body will reflect that upon which your mind is feeding. BUT, if you feed your mind on Biblical truth, and discipline your body to follow Biblical patterns/habits of behavior, you will reflect the glory, honor, and fame of Jesus. Your choice. Which will it be for you? As for me, I’m praising God for my addiction to Him!
Blessings, Ed 😊