February 11, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever. - John 14:16.
Have you ever seen a mother comforting her baby who was hurt in some way? Have you ever been in a courtroom or watch on TV a lawyer defending his client? Have you ever encouraged or heard of someone else who was encouraged in a desperate situation like a commander encouraging his troops in the heat of battle? The Holy Spirit is all of that and more. He is the Christian’s comforter, advocate, and encourager. Paraclete is the Greek word used in John 14:16 for “Comforter” as translated in the KJV and the 21st Century KJV above. Other Bible translations use additional words, which give even greater understanding of the word: Helper, Counselor, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. My son tells me that the ancient Greek word meant “Shield Brother,” or the “one who holds the shield.” When a warrior was in battle a man went with him to hold the shield to protect him from attacks by arrow, or by any other means.
I was asked this morning what was the cause of an addiction to pornography. I'm not sure that I have ever really thought about the root causes of a pornography addiction. But I believe the cause is the same as for other addictions in that we use those addictions to bring us comfort. You have heard people talk about comfort foods such as chocolate, candy, chips, etc. Whereas some people take a snort of cocaine or a good stiff drink when they are feeling down or have problems others eat or some look at pornography. That is the beginning. There is a progression downwards from there. The addiction takes over more and more of a person's life bringing destruction with it.
Only God can truly give us relief from our addictions on a sustained basis. Alcoholics and drug addicts who have overcome their addiction continue to refer to themselves as alcoholics and addicts because they are always going to be more susceptible to the temptation than others. They must also constantly for the rest of their lives be on guard against it. The same goes for pornography and every other addiction. It is an ongoing battle once you have the addiction.
The key to breaking the addiction is in learning to turn to God and His resources for comfort, strength, and support instead of to whatever you are addicted to. The addiction will only take you further down causing more pain. However, God and His resources will always take you up giving you more life and leading you to a life free of those addictive things.
One great help in times of temptation is the Holy Spirit. He is our “Comforter” and so much more as I have described above. Since through our addictions we are seeking comfort - ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you, to help you, to shield you, to strengthen you for the battle. Pause and wait for the comfort and strength to come upon you for 1 to 5 minutes. Before you give in to your addiction wait for His comfort, help, and strength to come upon you.
You can defeat your addiction but it will be a battle and you must commit yourself to using God's Resources.
For additional help read the message “God's Help For The Tough Problems” http://www.theburningbush.org/2.html
Read Part II of Journey to Fruitfulness “Help For the Journey” http://www.theburningbush.org/10#PartII
Read “Devotionals for the Journey” http://www.theburningbush.org/DevForJourney.html
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