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Permission Denied!

By Jenniffer Mann

I recently had a conversation with someone who was questioning their relationship with God. Why? Because just when they thought they had conquered a past addiction it came knocking on the door and was granted permission to enter. There is much that can be said on this and has been said by others far more eloquent than I and whilst I don’t buy into the “Once an addict always an addict” ideology, I do believe that if we are not always on our guard, we become susceptible to temptation. Some will raise an eyebrow at this and even argue that it’s a defeatist attitude to have, but there is a reason why we read in 1 Peter 5:8:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil knows better than we will ever know, how to make us desire the very things we want to overcome. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we read, “Pray without ceasing” which is to pray without stopping! But why prayer? Philippians 4:6-7 says:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Power in Prayer

When we pray, we are in a state of communion with God, strengthening our relationship bond and creating a sense of intimacy. When we pray we speak but we also listen. We ask God for strength to overcome and the humility to know that in order to overcome, we have to be 100% reliant on God and God alone. Pray forms a wall of protection with God’s peace and when we stop praying and our guard is dropped, the devil takes the immediate opportunity to run roughshod over the our spiritual defences. 

If you have found yourself falling into previously overcome behaviours, watching porn after years of abstinence, taking harmful substances, eating the wrong foods, ask yourself if your prayer life deteriorated at the same time. It’s important for us to note however, that a relapse does not mean God isn’t working on us, it’s rather a reminder that without Him, we are not impervious to sin!  For those of us thinking, we have never had to battle addiction, then let me remind you that sin, by its very nature, is an addiction! John 8:34 says: 

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin”

We should never become comfortable in believing we have overcome, as this is when we become vulnerable and susceptible to attack, when our defences are down. We should not give our past life, permission to direct our present and our future life. The key to spiritual and mental freedom is Christ Jesus, John 8:36 reads:

Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

When your anger management issues comes knocking at the door…

When the internet throws up a seemingly random porn advert on your screen…

When your no-good ex-partner, you left behind keeps trying to make contact…

When the dark cloud of depression threatens to loom over your mental well-being… 

Jesus says “permission denied!” 

In 2 Corinthians 12:8 we read: 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

As you go through this week, sin will rear its ugly head, the roaring lion will salivate at the opportunity to feast on your weakness. That is the very moment to call on the name of Jesus who will respond – PERMISSION DENIED!

Dear Jesus, allow your perfect will to have dominion in my life and give me the strength to overcome. Amen.

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