Well, I do not have a 5 or 10-step program for this one, but I have a personal testimony of divine deliverance. For me, this was the hardest thing I ever did.
As a professing Christian, I struggled with smoking cigarettes for about 5 years before I finally found deliverance from God. I knew smoking cigarettes was wrong, I knew it was sinful, but I was completely powerless. I hid my habit and did not smoke around other Christians.
As a professing Christian, I was very ashamed of my smoking habit, even though I had the Sunday superintendent from the congregation I attended tell me once, when he caught me buying a package of cigarettes, that I had my sin and he had his sin, and God understood.
I always hated the sin of smoking and always wanted to be free. I had prayed so many prayers, repented so many times, and wept so many tears, it wasn’t funny.
So here is how it happened. I went to a holiness camp meeting sponsored by the “Faith and Victory” group, where I had a good talk with a minister by the name of Merrel Smith. This was the first time I ever heard that there were Christians who taught you had to forsake all sin and live a holy life by the grace of God to get to heaven.
So I confronted him by telling him I smoked, and that I was very sure I was saved. God had delivered me from a rough street life of immorality and drugs, and without a doubt I had made some major changes in my life. He asked me if I knew smoking was sin, and I told him, of course it was sin. He then told me that if I left this place and went and smoked again, that I would not be saved.
Wow! Now that was judgment: I was floored. I asked him to step outside the dining room where we were all talking, and as soon as we stepped out where we were by ourselves, I start to tell him, with weeping, how I wanted to free. We walked down to the chapel on Charis Campground and knelt at the prayer bench and I prayed.
I do not remember what I said, but I sure do remember what God did for me there. God met me and delivered me. I have never smoked another cigarette, nor have I had the desire to; and that was over 25 years ago. God completely took the addiction away, and there was no struggle at all.
I do not understand why some people do not find complete deliverance like I did, but I do know what God has for each person. My heart goes out to all who struggle with this terrible habit; it truly is bondage.
There were a number of things that helped me. First, I felt that if I smoked again, I would be cut off from God. I think this was a wonderful and helpful truth for me. Second, I really really wanted to be free. I was sick of smoking and the guilt that came with. And third is God’s mercy. God just had mercy on poor, weak, sin-laden, sin-sick, Bob Mutch.
So, my dear friend, if you are smoking, the first step is to realize that it is sin. I have only met one professing Christian in the last 5 years who has told me they do not think smoking is sin. Most people know that already. The second step is to realize that any willful sin in your life cuts you off from God. What I mean, is you cannot be saved and live in willful sin.
I do not mean to say you were never saved, but I am saying you cannot have willful sin in your life and be a Christian. You need to get it clear that salvation delivers you completely from sinning, and there is no room whatsoever for sinning. I would suggest you read my article on True Conversion.
After you get clear that real Bible salvation delivers and keeps from sin, you need to find someone who will pray with you and keep you accountable. Find someone who has been delivered from smoking and teaches the free-from-sin experience and has faith that God can and will deliver you.
I am going to meditate on this article a bit more, and perhaps I will add more later.