Addiction is easy. You become a slave. You don’t have to make any decisions if you’re a slave. The decisions are made for you. Somebody else owns you. Somebody else tells you what to do. Somebody else tells you when to get up. Somebody else tells you when to go to bed. Somebody else tells you what to do all day. But you weren’t created to be that way or live that way. It‘s for freedom that you were set free. And right now, God is calling you to that free life.
“If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26).
To take up your cross means to put yourself in the place of a condemned criminal. But not just any condemned criminal—Jesus. He is saying “If I died, then you did too. To be My disciple, identify with My cross. And when you do this, you are identifying with Me and I with you.”
You’re a condemned criminal in the court of God. You are guilty of treason. You are guilty of abandoning the God who made you and loves you. You are guilty of infidelity. You cheated on the One who loves you more than you can understand. So graciously, Christ comes to you asking you to die to yourself and to the things that are preventing you from identifying with Him.
See the way we deal with our fears, pains, and anxieties is to first identify ourselves with Christ.