Jesus wants to offer hope, and help us with addiction recovery.

Chris Hilken
Jun 24, 2018    41m
This sermon looks deeply at John Chapter four. By using the story that is told, Pastor Hilken's helps us understand what Jesus's hopes are for us in regards to addiction recovery. He also discusses different types of addiction. These include addiction to pornography, substance abuse, sexual addiction. He shows that by admitting our sins to Jesus, we can have hope for recovery. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Chris Hilken: 00:24 Hi Cornerstone, how we doing? Good. We are in John Chapter 4 today, John Chapter 4. If you ever mobile devices, or you have a one of these ancient physical books, you want to get that out. We're talking today in the last part of our series baggage, about the baggage of addiction. And now before you tune out, because you go oh, I'm not addicted to anything. What we want to look at today is when Jesus confronts someone in Scripture, who is struggling with addiction. He makes it a lot simpler than simply someone who's addicted to a chemical substance, or alcohol, or drugs. I think scripture always qualifies addiction, as anything that gets in the way of the most important things in our life. It's when when we receive now, and then give up what we want most. So we're going to look at that today. And if you have something in your life that's intruding in your relationships, your parenting, your marriage, your ability to be single and follow Christ properly in a way that is edifying in scripture. If there's anything in your life that's getting in the way, the Bible talks about that in a very similar way that we would talk about modern day addiction. James calls it a snare. He talks about that sin is going to keep hold on us, and that's going to give birth to death eventually. So we want to talk about is not simply people who have some kind of a long term chemical addiction, but any of us where sin or brokenness, has permeated and broken parts of us. That otherwise we feel like we'd have a closer walk with God, a better way of parenting, a better relationship, a better marriage, or a better life single trying to follow Jesus.

Chris Hilken: 01:55 So the book of John Chapter Four illuminates this in a great way. We see Jesus, the God man, fully God and fully man, and he is entering into a region called Samaria. So a little bit of a background in what Samaria is. There was a group of people, that God instituted as his chosen people on earth, and through him he was eventually going to send the person of Jesus. That's the Christmas story, and the Easter story, Jesus was going to save that people from their sins. So he chooses the Israelite people to do that, to be that lineage, by which he is going to save the world. And they were a proud race, they were a Jewish nation. They had a hard time following God, and then God would save them, and then they would fall away and he would save them. Well. One of the times that they kept falling away, they said, God, would you leave us alone? And then they did the crazy thing, where God gave an exactly what they asked for. A group called the Babylonians came in, and they basically demolished Jerusalem. It's kind of the centerfold of where all these Israelites are living, and the Babylonians come in and they take down their walls. And all of the smartest people from Jerusalem, and all the best Israelites, the people that were of high repute, and the beautiful ones, and the intelligent ones, and the productive ones, and the talented tradesmen, were all taken to Babylon to become good Babylonians. Well, they also left a group of people there, back in Jerusalem, after the walls were collapsed and they took all the good people. All the people that were left over were kind of wandering around like, well we have no walls to protect us, all of our most productive people left. Were not particularly intelligent, we're not extremely good looking, what do we have to offer the world? So they kind of looked around like, well, what do we do?

Chris Hilken: 03:33 Well, the pagan nations surrounding them, particularly the men from the pagan nations surrounding them, came in and said we'll take you. And so the pagan nations around them, the ones that didn't believe in God,and had no fear of the Almighty, and they weren't following God's law. They came in and they started to intermarry with these otherwise Jewish people, that used to believe and stand strong in who Yahweh was. And they're going, well, if you can provide protection for us, and you can give us money, then I guess we'll marry you. So the pagan men and the Jewish women got together, and they created kind of this race called the Samaritans. And so for Jewish culture, this was like the lowest of the low. To bring into the bloodline, of God Yahweh, these other pagan nations. And then you had a group of people, their offspring, are known as the Samaritans. So in Jewish culture, this was as despicable as it got.

Chris Hilken: 04:30 And here's why I love following Jesus, and here's why I love the heart of Jesus, and I love the heart of God. Here's how this section starts, Chapter 4:3, "So Jesus Leaves Judea and went back once more to Galilee." So there's a plot line that you can take, to go from Judea back to Galilee. And the next verse actually flies in the face of what's true about it. The next verse says this, "Now he had to go through Samaria." He being Jesus. So the Bible tells us Jesus had to go through Samaria. Well, if there's something you need to know about God, it's he doesn't have to do anything, he's God. He spoke you and I into existence, without anything else being there. And before there was time and space and the whole continuum of time and space, God said, let there be light, and everything came to be, and there was nothing before that. So to say now God has to go somewhere, it is a complete misnomer, it's a complete misunderstanding of the text. When it says he had to go somewhere, it's not because there wasn't an alternate route, or if he felt like flying over he could have, but it said he had to go through it. But why? Because what I believe, is Jesus had a divine appointment with this woman, who is caught up in the sin of her addiction. And it was weighing down who she was, her identity in Christ, and it completely affected and mutilated her walk with Jesus. So Jesus had to have a conversation with this woman, "So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of Ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph."

Chris Hilken: 06:00 This is actually the most attested to holy site in the ancient near east. So if you're new to church or whatever, and you think these are nice fairy-tales, you can stand here today. You can go to this place in the ancient near east, you can stand at Jacob's well where this interaction took place. I have had the privilege to go now, three times and got to stand at this location.

Chris Hilken: 06:19 And here's the drama that unfolds. Jesus goes up to this woman and he says, "Jacob's well, and Jesus tired as he was from his journey, sat down by the well and it was about noon." An important detail. Okay, about the same line of latitude that Phoenix, Arizona is on, and Bakersfield, California is on, which is where I originally am from. It's a hot line, right? It's not cool here, no one would go outside and go, oh, I could use God to crank it up a few notches, it's warm. So you're talking about the hot desert sun, and arguably for this context in this culture, noon for them was the hottest part of the day. So if you have all these hours of dusk and dawn, where things are much cooler, you would expect a woman who's going to have to travel perhaps a mile or so to draw water to go near the coolest part of the day. And yet that's not what we see, we see this woman braving the heat, but for what reason will the texts say? Join us next week, just kidding.

Chris Hilken: 07:25 Here it goes, it says this, "When a Samaritan woman came to draw water." And everyone that's listening the first time this Gospel is ever written, arguably around the year 68 AD, so less than 30 years after Jesus was crucified. The Bible began to take shape, and the earliest copies we have of the book of John, we're right around the first century AD. Well within the time of the eyewitnesses. But now they are hearing these stories of Jesus, and anyone who was a good Jewish person would listen to this story with their mouth ajar, and they would guffaw at all of the scandal in the story. Because it begins like this, "When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her." Now we have a Jewish rabbi, not just any Jewish rabbi the king himself, the one who claims to be God. The rabbis, rabbi, the ones that the other rabbis call, good teacher. He is the prince of the rabbis. The greatest rabbi who's ever lived, and he claims to be God, and he is of Jewish descent. And now he is going to speak to a Samaritan woman. The bigotry of that day towards Samaritans, allow Jews to murder Samaritans, to denigrate Samaritans, to spit on them, to defame them, to reject them, to never have anything to do with them, not even look their direction.

Chris Hilken: 08:40 And now you've got Jesus who goes, I don't care about your cultural norms, I'm going to speak to this woman in the heat of the day. Here's what it says in verse 8, this little parenthetical phrase, "Jesus says, will you give me a drink?" And then it says, "His disciples had gone into town to buy food." So the Bible wants us to understand the scandal even more. He wasn't just speaking to a Samaritan woman in the heat of the day, he was speaking to her alone, just the two of them. And he says, "Will you give me something to drink? The Samaritan woman said to him, you are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman."

Chris Hilken: 09:21 Right? Well done, captain obvious. But sometimes when something is so unnerving to us, we can't do anything but repeat what just happened? Right? Like if someone drop kicks me in the face, I'd have to go, you just drop kicked me in the face. You just repeat whatever's happening. Right? The other evening, my son Peyton, he's three years old. He had this blueberry thing that I made for him, it was like kind of a scone. It was my first attempt at baking anything worthwhile, and he didn't like it, so we threw it at the wall. My only response is, you threw it at the wall. You just reiterate what happened, with an incredulous tone, like what? And this is just what she does. She just says, "You're a Jew, I'm a Samaritan woman." Perhaps the most shocked by this whole encounter, is the woman. She's used to rabbis spitting on her, to laughing at her, to mocking her, and this one's going to ask her for a favor. "You are a Jew and I'm a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" And in case we didn't understand, the text says, "For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus said to her." Now, Jesus is going to get all ethereal, right, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." So Jesus now takes this turn, where you're all hanging out with your friends, and then one of the friends goes, let's talk about things way on another planet, right? You're like, why do you have to do that, we were just talking about working out, and then you got to go. well if we all spiritually worked out, we'd be in better condition. You're like just stop it okay, you're ruining our day. I no longer want to go to the gym. You're the worst kind of human, and Jesus does this to her. Can I have a drink? How could you ask me for a drink? And he goes, well here's what's ironic, "If you knew who I was, you would ask me for a drink, and I would give you a drink that would actually become a spring of water inside of you, and you would never go thirsty again."

Chris Hilken: 11:24 Here's the miraculous nature of God. You don't get it in temporal things. In H2O, you will never be completely satiated, you'll always want more, there will always be a next step. But in me, you will find mayim chayim, the Hebrew phrase, living water. It's water like a river that flows, and never runs dry. It's always going to be there, right? No one is dumb enough to go to the Mississippi, and go, this is going to take forever, right? I'm never going to drain this thing. Right? The more you did it, the more you would look so dumb, and you wouldn't even make a dent. And this is what Jesus says, "If you search for who you were in me, you wouldn't have to keep being thirsty again and again over and over again." So Jesus immediately moves things to spiritual matters, and she doesn't pick up, on what he's laying down. He just claimed to be able to do a miraculous thing. And what was her response? I love this, "Sir, the woman said, where's your bucket?" Right? That's her response. She says, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep." Do you get the irony here? He goes, hey, listen, if you only understood who I was. You would ask me for something, and I would give you miraculous water. And she goes, oh, with what bucket? Is that what you're really hung up on? Like how about, what living water? From where? Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you really talking to me? No, she's hung up on the bucket. No bucket, no magic. Sorry, can't be done, right?

Chris Hilken: 13:02 It's like once you understand Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God spoke everything into existence." Everything after that is child's play, right? Now for those of us who sit here, and go, well I know God made everything out of nothing, but can he really fix my marriage? I don't think so. Like if I told you, hey, the other day I ran to Hawaii, with an old pair of Adidas on. And you went an old pair of Adidas, Yeah, right. I ran to Hawaii lady. Yeah but an old pair of Adidas, that's just incredulous, that is impossible. This is what she does. She goes, where's your bucket, to get this magical water? "Where can I get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock? Jesus answered everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again."

Chris Hilken: 14:01 This is the text in the gospels, where Jesus speaks to our addictions in life. Here is what he says, "Everyone who drinks of this water." The temporal water, the water that seems to satisfy in this moment, you're going to get thirsty again. In other words, he's asking her, is this working for you? No, you don't get it lady. I get the mindset behind it, I get your method, I even understand it in practice. But let me ask you the question of prudence, is it working? Well, technically it should work, because if it makes me satisfied, if I get more of it then I'll be more satisfied, and eventually I'll be ultimately satisfied. So doesn't it make sense? And Jesus goes, look, I'm not worried about your methodology, I'm worried about the practice of it. Is it actually working?

Chris Hilken: 14:48 Like if we tell ourselves. Well eventually if I get enough followers on Instagram, and I post enough selfies, and enough people like it, then I will find value and worth. And yet ironically speaking the people on Instagram who have the most followers than anyone else, also report the highest levels of self doubt, insecurity, and depression. But you and I don't believe it, because we go, well then there's something wrong with them. Because if I had enough, then I would be. The issue is the people who have climbed to the top of the temporal things of this world, the biggest money makers, the most successful athletes, the people who are in the highest realm available in their own temporal categories, will all look down back at you who are climbing the same mountain and go, you better climb a different mountain my friend. Turns out when you the top of this thing, it's just nothing. I'm here, I made it. So why are people who have achieved the highest results in our life, and just think of the last couple of months, think of Kate Spade. Now there's obviously mental stuff going on there too, but you see these people who in their particular categories. You won, how could you not be satisfied, in the world of fashion Kate Spade you won. And people who have reached the top of the mountain of temporal things, will look back at you who are climbing up, and go, you better find another mountain my friend. Turns out, the only thing up here is me, and I am terrible at satisfying myself,

Chris Hilken: 16:27 So Jesus wants to speak to this in her, and he said, "I want to ask you the question, is it working? Because whoever drinks the water that I give them." Jesus says, look I'm different. If you are made of what is material, and what is immaterial, you can throw as much as you want at the temporary part of who you are. But if you don't get something, immaterial and eternal, to satisfy the soul of you, the eternal spiritual part of you. Then what makes you think that satisfying the flesh, will satisfy the soul. At the end of the day, we know a lot of people who have all the things of the flesh they could possibly want, money, riches, wealth, all those things. Who still internally, we would never want to switch places with them, but that doesn't stop us from trying does it? So he continues, "Indeed, the water I give them will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life. The woman said to him, sir, give me this water so I won't get thirsty again and have to keep coming here to draw water." It's like, lady, it's not about the water. You know have you ever done it before? Like I go okay, how can I make this any more obvious? So Jesus skips the small talk and he says, "You know what, before we continue, why don't you go get your husband for me."

Chris Hilken: 17:39 This is the core of what Jesus wanted to talk about the whole time. He tried to get her there with the water talk, and have her go, you know what, you're right. I keep trying to draw from the same well over and again, inside, and it's not working. But that well isn't water, it's something deeper. And when she won't go there, Jesus goes, okay let's stop the niceties, go get your husband. And her response is, oh, you're so smart. Are you? Well, I don't even have a husband, so the joke's on you. And then in the biggest mic drop of history, Jesus says, "You're right. You do not have a husband. The fact is you've had five husbands, and you're living with a man right now that isn't your husband." So I guess, yeah, technically you're right.

Chris Hilken: 18:27 Like, is that the lowest eq statement ever? Where you're like, Jesus, she's sensitive, but she's alone. It's just him and her. He's not embarrassing her in front of anyone, but now we just found out why she's walking to the well at noon. Even in a Samaritan society, she's ostracized. She's sick and tired of the conversations on the way to the well, of the other women snipping at her, and backbiting, and gossiping about her. She's sick of that. So she goes, I'd rather brave the heat, than have to listen to you jabber on about how I've had five husbands, and I can't satisfy anyone. So she just quit. This is a woman who was at the end of herself. But don't you love it? Jesus goes, what are you most embarrassed of in your life? Like what's your greatest shame? Let's talk about that. Isn't it funny, that's how he interacts with us too? We go well Jesus here, I've got a big math test coming up, or you know, we really hope that this house goes into escrow. And he goes, blah, blah, blah, go get your husband, go bring your Internet history to me, let's talk about your broken marriage. And we go, oh Jesus, stay in the box I put you in. I'll let you out, when I need things to change financially for me, and until then you stay there. We become picky and choosy about what parts of the Bible we want. Go get your husband.

Chris Hilken: 19:57 Verse 19, "Sir. The woman said, I can see that you are a prophet." And then she tries to do the most ancient ritual, of change the subject. Let's talk mountains. And he goes, no let's talk husbands. But we'll let's talk worship, you're a prophet, so maybe you wanna talk about worship. And he goes, yeah, I am a God. I am the God. I am the god of everything. You would think that theology would really trigger my interest, or maybe we should talk about eschatology, or things at the end of time. Let's read Revelation together. But until we talk about what separates you from me, I don't care about anything else. Until we're on the same page relationally, until you find your worth not in men, but in man. The man, Jesus, nothing else matters. And you know this in your life. If you're carrying around the baggage of addiction, no matter what else is happening in your life, if you don't get rid of that addiction, nothing else counts. It's just not going to matter. It's all going to be asterisks, by whatever is absolutely enslaving us in our lives

Chris Hilken: 21:02 And this is why the idea of addiction, being such baggage, and why I think Jesus goes after this woman's addiction. Because I don't believe that this woman just randomly had five husbands who all died of natural causes. I think this woman bought into the right person myth early in her life. And some of you single people, you've bought into this too. Some of us married people bought into this too, which is why we're divorced. Because we think if I just find the right person, then he will instill in me this spring of love, and affection, and desire, and worth, that will never run out. And so we go on this hunt, like Indiana Jones style, like who, who, who you, you, you, you, and then we get with them and maybe we just sleep with them and then we're done. And then all of a sudden we go, hmm, wrong one. Right? So we go back in our hunt like who's next? And same thing, and five times she's done the same thing. And the definition of insanity is doing the same action, expecting a different result. So she goes back to the same well, the temporal well, the simply physical well. And you know, what I know, is that until something shifts inside of her, where she is no longer seeking her worth, and her being, and her value, in what she can provide for a man. Until she gets rid of the notion that she needs to be saved by men, she's never going to understand who she is in Christ, and that well's going to keep going empty again and again.

Chris Hilken: 22:36 And so some of us are sitting here going like, well, you're talking about people who have big addictions, but not me. Well, let's take Sarah for instance, I don't know who Sarah is, she's a random name. Seems a pretty popular name, it's good strong Christian name. Okay, here's the thing you need to know about God. God, when he created us, and breathed life into us, he created us to become addicted to him. This is a brain, kind of looks like a quip, but it's not. God created us to become addicted to him. You see, your brain is neuroplastic. That's a big word, but what it basically means is you can rewire, physiologically, the structure of your brain. You have the power to do that. Have you ever read the book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, or How to Win Friends and Influence People? Every one of those things is, I practice something, and then my brain changes the way it thinks about it. So if you want to like someone more, then listen to them more, because you only listen to people that you like. So your brain goes, we must like them, for I am listening to them a lot. I think it was Jefferson that said, "If you want someone to like you, go ask them for a pencil." To borrow a pencil because they're going to give you that pencil, and their brain's going to think what? I'm only let people borrow stuff if f I like them. Why am I letting you borrow this, I must like you.

Chris Hilken: 23:59 See our brains, in the fall, we fell though. And what was meant to glorify God, and to become addicted to him, and to want more of him. And to always be desirous of the next thing, when it comes to knowing him more and deeper, it all fell when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the garden of Eden. And now our brains that we're hardwired to become neuroplastic and desire more of him, we've now put other things in his stead, and we've desired more of them. So let's say Sarah has a chemical addiction. But let's say she started out, she's a soccer player. This is called dopamine, right here, dopamine is one of the key ingredients. I'm oversimplifying this, I understand that, but dopamine is one of the key ingredients in addiction. It's what gives us happy feelings, but not by itself. Let's say Sarah plays soccer, and she scores a goal, And when she scores a goal, her endocrine system says, time to release some dopamine, so releases this chemical in a brain and it's wandering around. And then she also has her brain, something called the dopamine receptor, which is right here. Now, when she scores a goal, her brain shoots a dopamine into a dopamine receptor right here, and it's when these two things meet that you get that reward feeling. It's called your limbic reward cycle. You are then being rewarded for what you've done. Why? Because in Sarah's brain, she goes scoring goals is a good thing. It helps my teammates win, it might further my relationships with my teammates, it might get me into college. So your brain says those are all desirable things. So once she scores a goal, we're going to benefit her, so she chases more of it. Because we all want to chase a good feeling, right?

Chris Hilken: 25:34 Let's say Sarah decides she's going to start drinking heavily. So what happens is what it does, drugs, alcohol, pornography, Instagram popularity, success, wealth, gambling, all those things, what they do is it basically cheats the system. It elicits more dopamine, because your brain doesn't really know, should I reward only good behavior that gets me a good result? Or should I even reward a bad behavior, that gets me the result that I'm looking for, in this exact moment. So when she does something negative, like let's say she's smoking weed. I'm big picture, so don't be like, it helps my stuff. Good, It helps you, I'm not talking about that stuff. But what it does in that moment, is it tricks your brain. It says, hey we just did something awesome, but you didn't, you smoked something, right? So it's not like we're great, we should be rewarded for this, but your brain doesn't know the difference. So it kicks these parts of dopamine over here, and it fills these dopamine receptors, and you go whoa! Four bits of dopamine, five bits of dopamine, for two dopamine receptors. That's awesome. Maybe you've got three dopamine receptors, and so they all get filled, but look how much dopamine is there. This is called a high. Your receptors are overwhelmed by all the dopamine, and so you experienced a high, and you go this is an awesome feeling. Well guess what? Your brain was created for order, and not chaos. So afterwards, your brain has an ability to replicate it's dopamine receptors. Isn't this crazy. So let's say smoking something, was able to give her one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight bits of dopamine, where your brain goes, we're not going to get overwhelmed again. So it calls, it says, now we need eight dopamine receptors. So these things replicate themselves. One, two, three, four, five more. Now guess what? She's going to do the exact same amount of that drug that she was doing. But now instead of the ratio being like eight to three, it's now what, one to one. One for each of these, and they're all satisfied, just like she was when she scored one goal. So this is the addiction cycle. We elicit these things, and it tricks our brains into rewarding us, but then in order to feel that feeling of satisfaction again we have to do more. And then if we do even more, and we go well then, I might need more drugs, or I might need more intense drugs. Your brain just keeps making these dopamine receptors, so it doesn't get overwhelmed again. And now imagine Sarah going back and playing soccer, and her brain then is sending one bit of dopamine to 37 dopamine receptors. What are they gonna do? They're gonna go really one for 37 of us? Do something else, do something more, do something bigger, be more extravagant, that was nothing. This is the addiction cycle.

Chris Hilken: 28:27 Now it's much more complicated than this, but this is essentially how our brains work. Our brains physiologically change as we feed it dopamine, this is the addiction cycle. You can imagine then that these people who have all these dopamine receptors are not really satisfied by normal things. I went skydiving a couple of years ago, and the guy that I was skydiving with was his fifteen thousandth jump that day, I was traveling up in the plane, urinating on myself, freaking out. I prayed to Gods that I don't even believe exist, Because I just covering all my bases just in case. The door of the plane was open, on our ascent, and the guy I was strapped to was taking selfies with me. And when we were going down, there's this point where they lower you down, so you're not like right up in their face when you're just kind of floating towards the earth. And he went, oops, and he did these straps, and I fell like six inches. It was a joke for him. And so all I heard was oops, and then I went and I said you're like five foot, I will kick you show hard. But why? Because it didn't mean anything for him anymore. For me it was all this dopamine, on one dopamine receptor. For him it was his fifteen thousandth time. He needs to put on like one of those squirrel suits, blindfolded, with a cowboy hat in order to experience any kind of excitement anymore. This is a thrill seeker, right? It's Travis Pastrana. He's broken every bone in his body, and he keeps doing more and more flips. Why? Because the original things that used to satisfy, just don't do it anymore.

Chris Hilken: 30:05 This is why I think in terms of being part of a church, we have to understand, could you imagine the weight? What would you be more merciful to the people in your life, including maybe yourself, who are knee deep in addiction right now. Addiction is a disease, you don't go up to someone who has lupus and go, dang it, knock it off. You'll be rude. Everyone would think you were really mean. Our brains rewire themselves. Now originally, a lot of times, we make bad decisions to get there. But when we're knee deep in it, what we need is we need grace, and we need mercy,

Chris Hilken: 30:46 But church, if we are going to be the church that Christ has called us to, to walk with him, to have healthy relationships, to have strong marriages, to parent well, to interact with each other in a way that is uplifting and loving and satisfying. We have to get rid of the addictions that are separating us from each other, and learn to become addicted to the one spring of well that actually satisfies us. We're participating in the same thing this Samaritan woman did. She goes, well maybe if I just had one more husband. And now she's quit being a hunter, she's quit having husbands at all now, she just started to live with people. Because she thought maybe the husband thing was what's wrong, it wasn't the husband thing lady, it was the not Jesus thing. Jesus is the only source. He's the only thing ever, that has said come to me all who are weak and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Which is beautiful, for us as a church. Because that means you don't have to come to God, after having figured out your addiction and go, now that I'm good I can finally worship you. God goes, you think I died on a cross to high five, a bunch of perfect people. Do you think I died on the cross for the church to come in, week after week, and pretend like nothing was wrong. I died for the very idea of freeing people from addiction. Isaiah 61 says that. It says, "Jesus, the spirit of God is here for one reason, to pronounce freedom for the captives, strength for the brokenhearted, love for the orphaned." This is the reason he came, we can't shove it off, and go don't talk about addiction at church. It's why he's here, and don't get it twisted, because it's not a bottle that you're addicted to. Does it mean we all have an addiction, then it says in scripture, that's what sin is. It's an addiction to self. It is constantly perpetuating this idea that if maybe, I am my own God good enough, which is what all sin is. Then maybe I'll be satisfied, without Jesus, that well's going to run dry. I preached to a mirror when I preached the sermon, so if you're like, wow, he's intense. I'm intense because I need to hear this junk. I don't care if you're listening to me or not. I'm talking to me, I just thought I'd do it publicly. So what do we do with this? And if you're sitting here going, well I'd stop if I had to, that will never happen.

Chris Hilken: 33:05 You're dating someone, and you're addicted to pornography, and you go as soon as I get married then I'll have her there and I won't need pornography anymore. That's the biggest lie. You don't get a new brand, you don't get to swap it out, and go oh sweet now I have a married brain. What we've trained ourselves to do in pornography, is to actually desire what's not there. Your new chemical addiction is not to women, or it's not to men, of which 30 percent of Internet porn users are female, it's not to that. You actually want novelty, you want new, you want fresh, you've trained your brain to become addicted to a screen. And you don't get a new brain when you get married, and anyone in here who has struggled with pornography, and is now married is not going to contend with me on this one. Not a single one of you is going to go, actually, the day that I said I do, all other desires went out the window. So okay, captain denial, sorry, we're in your presence Jesus. He is the only one, who has never fallen into that, so don't get it twisted. That's what First Corinthians 6:12 says. It says, Everything might be permissible for you, but that does make it beneficial." You might say, well I couldn't do it if I want to, but you're not supposed to be mastered by anything

Chris Hilken: 34:18 And some of your thinking, here you go. But here's the thing, I've become powerless over my addiction. Well then guess what? In God's economy, you are so close to salvation, you don't even know it. The moment you go, I actually have no power over it, then you are a petri dish for salvation, you are a petri dish for freedom. You are ripe, and ready, for God's power to overcome your weakness. It those of us who go, what addiction? No addiction, not me, not my issue. That's what Jesus said when he came to this planet. He said, look, I didn't come for healthy people, I came for sick people. As he rolled his eyes and he went, if there's nothing wrong with you, then you don't need me. But for everyone else, including me, I go, "Give me Jesus." You keep your temporal things, you keep that. And this is what Paul says, "In our weakness, God is able to reveal his strength" Which means if we approach God in our strength, he goes, what room is there for me? I'm not going to approach you with weakness, I don't have any. You bring your weakness to me, and I will fill it with strength.

Chris Hilken: 35:25 And church, if we're going to be the church that revives Arizona, and revives our country, and revives our planet. We also must be a church that revives the idea that we're not perfect people, that we are all in Rehab. Who in Rehab looks at the guy next to them, and goes, you're in Rehab. We all are, until we see Jesus face to face, you're in rehab, and none of us are okay. You're not okay, I'm not okay, but that's okay because he's perfect. So what do we do with this?

Chris Hilken: 35:58 Number one is we got to confess our sins. And in 21st century postmodern, independent, existential America. We go, "Well my sin is between God and myself." Says Miley Cyrus, you're literally quoting Jay Z, right? Or maybe that's Nelly. Either way, they're not theologians, they're not. "The only one that judges above me." And you're like what did you just say? The only one that judges you is above you? "It doesn't matter to anyone, it is just between me and God." The Bible doesn't say that. And unless we're going to engage in Kelly Clarkson, Tupac, theology, we've got to go maybe the Bible has something bigger to say about that. Don't you find it ironic that the number one system that our country has used, to bring people out of addiction, begins with confession? Like alcoholics anonymous, the first step of the processes is, admit that you have become powerless over your addiction. And then what's the next step? Submit to a higher power. Do you think it's just coincidence, that the Bible sits here and goes, I've been telling you to do that for 2000 years? Admit you're powerless, for my power is made perfect in your weakness, and then submit to a higher power. Because only when the well that never runs dry, is inside of us, are we ever going to experience true freedom.

Chris Hilken: 37:29 Number two, pray. Now that you've made it public to other people, make it part of your prayer. God, would you please take this away? Would you please reform this?

Chris Hilken: 37:37 Number three is repentance. In our society repentance means you got to feel bad about what you did, and that's what
repentance is. As soon as you feel bad about it, you've repented, and you're good. But the word in Greek is this idea of turning away from something, it's taking a new path, it's not doing what you used to do again. One of the best examples I can give you of this is, and you go well this is radical, Chris, your calling me to something big. And look, when we serve a big God, and a radical God. Sometimes requires it radical obedience, to get rid of the radical sin, that has a radical hold on our lives.

Chris Hilken: 38:15 I work with a group of 17 and 18 year olds, and they're in my small group, and I said, how many of you guys struggle with pornography? And every last one of them put their hand up. Ninety five percent of 15 to 25 year old men, note having some addiction to pornography. It's such a high number, that there isn't a control group big enough, to understand the effects of pornography on our brain. There's not enough people that don't watch it, that are normal people, to even understand what pornography does to us. And so I said, guys, what are you going to do about that? And they go, well, we have no accountability, we have our phone. We can do whatever you want with it, whenever we want. The next week they all showed up with dumb phones. They traded in their smartphones, they traded in their iPhones, and they had old flip phones. You could only text and call. And the rest of the world around them is going, what are you doing, that's so radical. And you're absolutely right, it is radical. But sometimes a radical God, who called us to a radically new life in John 10:10 that is full, is going to require a radical step of obedience to get there.

Chris Hilken: 39:29 Church, men, leading your families. Will we have the courage to do the thing that's necessary to stop our addiction to anger, to stop your addiction to lust, to pornography? Are you going to do what it takes, even if it's going to hurt? Ladies, as we're leading our families, are we willing to take the steps necessary to walk closer, and walk with Jesus? Because guess what? If you come week after week, and you're putting your hands up, and you're bowing your knee. Look, this is what he says to this woman. He says, "There's going to come a time when people worship in spirit and in truth." Which means if you come and worship just in physicality, you're not actually worshiping. God wants to talk about what we find most shameful, not so that he can bring us more shame, but so that he can bring us to himself. For only in Christ, do we find freedom. Church will we be bold enough, to confess our sins to one another. Would we be loving enough, to show the grace necessary to come out of that? Families, can we make phone calls to counselors this week, that I might fix our marriage. Men, how many of us need to kneel down beside our teenage sons, and apologize for the way that we've treated them, how we've lashed out against them. It is in this moment, that his spirit, is going to renew and revive us as a people group. But don't get it twisted, he's called us this morning to go get your husband, that's what I want to talk about.

Chris Hilken: 40:53 Let's pray. God, there's no amount of anything we could do, or money we could make, or satisfaction we could have outside of you, that would ever satisfy who we are as people. For since we were created by you, you're the only thing that can satisfy. God, will we have the courage and the humility, to do the radical thing, and to take the radical step of obedience today? To get rid of those things, that are pulling us away from you. To unload the baggage of addiction, we've been carrying around, so we can experience the life that you've made for us. Father it's in your name we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286