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If you’re struggling with an addiction, let me ask you: Are you willing to die to yourself? Think about it: who or what would you be willing to die for? If you want to be healed, you have to die to yourself. When you die to yourself, you experience God’s power.

In John 11, Jesus comes to the home of Mary and Martha. Their brother Lazarus is sick. But when Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick, he doesn’t come right away. In fact, it isn’t until after Lazarus is dead and buried that Jesus finally comes. Mary and Martha rush out to meet Jesus. And they say, “If only you had come sooner, our brother would not have died.”

Even though Jesus knows he’s going to bring Lazarus back to life, he is deeply moved by the grief of his family and friends. He comes to the tomb and asks that the stone be rolled away. Then Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Jesus makes it clear that he allowed Lazarus to die in order to glorify God by raising him from the dead. It sounds cruel to us. Until we realize that it’s only in death we experience Christ’s power. And we can’t experience that power until we die to ourselves. Until we surrender control of our lives and give control of our lives to God. We have to wave the white flag. If you stay in the business of trying to heal yourself, it will be a long and futile struggle.

We’re like Mary and Martha. We have a lot of ‘if-only’ questions for Jesus. Where are you? What’s the problem? Why won’t you come and save me from my addiction? Sometimes when we suffer from hurts, habits, and hang-ups, we get frustrated with God. We think, why won’t you heal me? But God can never heal us until we concede our brokenness and choose surrender. God heals our addictions when we acknowledge our powerlessness and give over complete control to Him!

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