Another man spoke up and said that he had been listening to what had been said about living in a constant cycle, and he admitted that it had been the constant cycle for his life since 1979. He said there were instances where he had cried out to God and really gotten serious for about 3 years, but one night he had a dream about doing drugs and it began to draw him back in. He went right back to the drugs and the cycle started back over. But he didn't understand why God would allow that to happen to him. We replied that it wasn't God that tempted him because God doesn't tempt anyone with sin, and that it was Satan that came and tempted him. We explained that as long as he was in this body of flesh, he would have to contend with this battle. We explained how we have to resist this temptation. I said to the man that I guaranteed that the night he had the dream that the devil was tempting him with the drugs, but the Holy Spirit had also been leading him and giving him a way out. The man admitted that, and I continued to explain that he had the way out but he made his choice.
James 1:13-15 - And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
We asked the guys which ones were saved, and all of them said they were, but two said they were backslidden. So we asked them about being backslidden and what that meant to them.....if they were still saved or if they had fallen away and were no longer saved. Terry asked them if they would have went to heaven or hell, and both believed that they would have went to hell.
We discussed further how to break those cycles in their lives. I discussed the addictions I had in my life and how I never thought I'd overcome them. I explained how you have to get to the point where you humble yourself before God and truly repent of it and DAILY die to the flesh in that area. It's not just something you do one time...it's an everyday thing. Everyday we have to submit to God and resist the devil and resist the flesh. Just because we're saved doesn't mean the fight is over and we have to stop resisting the devil. A lot of times people try and resist the devil before they've humbled themselves. That's not what the Word tells us to do though. It won't work like that.
James 4:7-10 - So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
We also talked about the following passage and how it applies to their cycles of sin:
John 3:19-21 - And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.
People won't stop their sin because they love it more than God. We have to get to the point where we hate the sin.
The real key to it all is the relationship with Jesus Christ. You can't let that relationship slip. You can't just have a part-time relationship and expect things to go like you want them to. You can't overcome things without living it 100%.
Many of the guys talked about various different things, which is somewhat unusual. They are usually quiet. But we had a great time of ministry and look forward to the next time.
Living Radically for Jesus,