In the book of Hosea, we are told about a time when the people of Israel had turned their backs on God. They had become a faithless nation that rejected the Lord and His word. It was a time of material abundance for Israel, because God had blessed them. However they didn’t give Him the credit. They even used their blessings to make idols and built temples to false gods. The people pursued immorality and lawlessness. The prophet Hosea warned Israel. He told them that their iniquity was causing problems for their nation and that the Lord would judge them. But they denied they were sinning and therefore refused to repent. Israel began deteriorating, because they had turned from their God. He didn’t want Israel to be destroyed, but He wanted His relationship with them to be restored.
We can apply the story from Hosea to ourselves. There are times that we put our faith in the things of this world instead of God. We may not realize it because we can deceive ourselves. Sometimes we even find ways to justify our sin. But it is so important to listen to the conviction from the Holy Spirit, to confess our sin, and to stop doing it. God wants restoration for us, too. He wants us to grow in holiness and grow in our relationship with Him.
In Hosea chapter 7,
Verse 1a says - I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great.
Verse 2 says - Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all.
Although they tried to ignore their sin, the Lord saw it. We can’t pretend that God doesn’t see our sins. Our sins make us distant from God and it hurts our relationship with Him. Sometimes we wonder why it feels like God isn’t nearby or listening to us. Maybe it’s because of our sin.
Verse 10 says - Their arrogance testifies against them, yet they don’t return to the Lord their God or even try to find him.
They needed forgiveness for their sins. But they were unwilling to go to the Lord. We’ve been forgiven, because of Christ’s death on the cross. All we have to do is surrender and turn to Him. Then confess, ask forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, and not pursue that sin any longer.
Verse 11a says - The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves, first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help.
Verse 14 - They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts. Instead, they sit on their couches and wail! They cut themselves, begging foreign gods for grain and new wine, and they turn away from me.
Verse16a - They look everywhere except to the Most High.
Sometimes when we have terrible problems in our lives, we don’t know how to deal with them. We may look to the wrong people or look to the wrong things to help us. Many of us, even us Christian women, have our secret addictions that we are using for comfort.
Some of our addictions are to: alcohol, prescription drugs, over eating, under eating, exercise, sexually related, shopping, over working, and even TV. We may use addictions to numb or cover up our pain. However, the addiction is not the root of the problem. That’s just the thing that we’re using in order to not feel the pain. But our problems won’t be helped by addictions. It’s time to give up the addiction.
The right thing to do is to turn to Jesus and to trust Him. You can talk with a pastoral or Christian counselor, too. Talking will help you work through the problem. Just don’t turn back to that addiction. See it for what it really is – sin. Commit to turning away from the addiction. You don't need something sinful to give you comfort.
The dependency on the addiction won't go away overnight. But you can ask God for the strength that you need and rely on Him to help you. It's important to:
- Admit your struggle with this addiction to God and to someone else.
- Admit that you need God's help to overcome this addiction.
- Surrender yourself to Him and to the will of God. Seek His will for you.
- Confess your daily failures concerning this addiction and keep going.
Here are some ways to get help with overcoming addictions:
- A Christian counselor or pastoral counselor
- Hope for the Heart Call Center 1-800-488-HOPE (4673) - Free. Spiritual guidance, heartfelt prayer, honesty, resources, and connections to skilled Christian counselors.
- Breaking Everyday Addictions by Dr. David Hawkins
Romans 12:1-2 tells us how we are to use our bodies to glorify God.
"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."