Tag: Oliver Underwood

“It pleases me to please me.”

by Oliver Underwood

Why is addiction increasingly prevalent?

Soak This In!

While reading these stats1 you will see points marked in bold font. Do not think numbers! Instead, think fathers, mothers, grandparents, and children.

  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 15.8% (51 Million)
  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over who had at least one heavy drinking day (five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women) in the past year: 25.0% (3 Million)
  • Number of alcoholic liver disease deaths: 19,388
  • Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 30,722
  • Percent of persons aged 12 years and over with any illicit drug use in the past month: 10.1% (2015) (4 Million)
  • Percent of persons aged 12 years and over with any nonmedical use of a psychotherapeutic drug in the past month: 2.4% (2015) (7 million)
  • In 2015 the National Institutes of Health spent $30 billion for Mental Health and Addictions research.

I guess that it would be fair to say that America’s researchers had an extensive pool of addiction subjects from which to draw. It is becoming unmistakably clear to our nation that something else needs to happen in order to assist in our nationwide/worldwide epidemic of addiction.

What is needed?

Is it further research? Is it more counter addiction pharmaceuticals (oxymoron)? Is it increasing taxes to glean from the community in order to assist these so-called diseased individuals by opening more secular treatment centers?

The Word of God has the answer that we are all looking for. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 speaks of what will happen in the last days. Paul tells us that difficult times will come not because of our surroundings or a widespread disease; but because men will become lovers of everything but God.

The root word that Paul uses throughout the text is “philos.” He attaches this word to many objects that are related to selfish motives. This word means to be actively fond of or a companion of someone or something. Here Paul writes that men will be actively fond and companions of themselves, actively fond and companions of wealth and gain, and finally actively fond and a companion of pleasure. Paul not only states that mankind will not just gravitate towards these things, but that they will do so with the approach of opposition toward God. Paul uses the word “mallon” of “philos” toward God. This word illustrates a picture of leaving something at the wayside and pressing toward something that is more personally desired.

This is our one and only problem. It’s as simple as that. No need for medication. No need for scientific methodology. No need for further investigation resulting in further depravity.

In Matthew 6:24 Jesus tells us the complete sufficient truth that No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (NASB) The Lord gives us a clear answer in 1 John 1:9 (NIV): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Click on the link below to download a pdf that shows the progression of addiction in the United States. I include it in hopes of educating the public with the approach America’s most prestigious scientists and doctors have taken. It is important to say that I do not agree with the treatments included in the link.
Progression of Addiction in the US

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.” -M. Monroe

“Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.” -Benjamin Franklin

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

[1] Statistics gathered from: www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/smoking.htm, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drug-use-illegal.htm

For resources on a biblical approach to addiction, go to: The Addiction Connection.

Click to Tweet: This illustrates a picture of leaving something at the wayside and pressing toward something that is more personally desired. https://ctt.ec/mesaI+ #biblicalhelp4addiciton

NOTE: This article first appeared on Through the Lens of Scripture, January 18, 2018.

Oliver Underwood, and his precious wife Lisa, are ministering on the front lines of the BIBLICAL battle against all types of addictions. Lisa and Oliver are blessed to parent three children: Christian, an eight year old boy; Evan, a sic year old boy; and Kiley, a three year old little girl (going on 19!).

Oliver struggled for (xxx years/months) with meth, heroin, and alcohol addition, which was really on the the tip of the iceberg of what was really going on in his heart.

By God’s grace, Oliver’s life was transformed, and now God is allowing him to comfort others with the same comfort Oliver was given. Now, Oliver and his family are richly blessed to be a part of a ministry. Oliver serves as the Executive Director of “The Mission House,” a biblically-based men’s program helping men enslaved by sin (addictions). The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the men at the “The Mission House” helps them learn God’s instructions for living and strengthen them to choose a life of freedom in Christ.

For more information about “The Mission House” go to: https://themissionhouse.info/

Significance

“Peacocks are male peafowl, a type of pheasant that also includes the female peahen. No matter the species of peacock, these colorful creatures boast impressively sized and patterned plumage that they fan out for display purposes. It isn’t an act of vanity, though–peacocks fan out their feathers as part of a courtship ritual to attract a mate.”[1]

Recently as I was reading about Job’s life in the scriptures I was faced with an unavoidable wall of conviction and revelation.

The Peacock is an amazing sight to observe. Although it is simply a bird at its simplified definition it poses itself in such a way to appear as something much more. At every opportunity, this illustrious fowl deliberately struts about in an attempt to gain attention.

Not unlike the peacock, we as humans have an extreme desire to be noticed and/or exalted. We live in an age of self-promotion and are submerged in a culture that prescribes the boosting of self-esteem. As I evaluated my own life it was not hard to see my natural bent toward self-absorption. Self-absorption has saturated the physical, relational, and spiritual areas of my life. This is a humbling revelation considering that these areas make up everything that I am.

As you read this you might start to think, and then say to me, “Wow! This guy is really hard on himself! You can’t be that bad. Don’t have such a critical spirit. You’re involved in ministry and love your wife and children. Just keep being the best version of yourself.” Let me clarify what I am saying. I am not saying that I don’t do anything good. I am simply declaring that there is a constant undercurrent of the desire for approval, pleasure, personal success, consumerism, and a first-response priority of self-consideration.

Throughout the scriptures we can see clear examples of men who are entangled with “self.” In the first chapter of Job, we see the God of the universe sovereignly allowing Satan to challenge Job’s faithfulness. Job’s responses initially were amazing. He made the well-known statements “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:20 NASB), and again he says “shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10)

Then we see a transition in Job’s perspective and attitude for the next thirty-six chapters. He begins to hone in on his personal circumstances and deprivations (justified in my mind). With the help of his social surroundings (friends) and his natural inclination, he deviates from the truth of God’s sovereignty.

Unlike how our natural response would be to a man in circumstances such as this, God begins to admonish Job in his self-centeredness. The Lord proceeds to make question statements like “where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth’, ‘you know, for you were born then” (Job 38:4,21). Job recants and the correct position is reinstated. “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:4). The Lord then accepts Job because of his repentance and restores him two-fold.

What Job did not realize is that his circumstances were not about him. He already belonged to the Lord. Job didn’t realize that thousands of years later a man and a people would be struggling with perspective and through the reading of his trials and tribulations that we would be pressed into the loving arms of a great God.

Our natural perspective along with cultural encouragement is the promotion of man. This view is anti-God and deviates from the message of the gospel. As the forerunner, John said “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Paul writes to the church in Corinth “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Immediately before Paul wrote this he was imploring the Lord to remove some sort of hindrance (the thorn). The Lord responds to his distress in a way that only a sovereign God would—NO! (my words)—by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

It’s natural to tell ourselves that we need to be esteemed, but this is actually what went wrong in the garden many years ago. The more we have a biblical fear of the Lord, the more reverent and submissive we become through the power of Christ. The more submissive that we become the more we can reflect the authentic love of Christ through obedience to His Word.

This is what transforms nations: the power of the Almighty God through the obedience and repentance of His people.

Prayer:
Lord, You are so good and worthy of all praise. Your “significance” is overwhelming. I become undone when I think of how You use the insignificant things in the world to shame the things that are, the wise, the strong. While we were helpless is when You came for us. Humble our spirits so that we may be effective for Your kingdom. To You be all of the glory forever and ever. Amen.C

[1] http://animals.mom.me/peacocks-spread-feathers-2729.html

*All Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation.

Click to Tweet: This is what transforms nations: the power of the Almighty God through the obedience and repentance of His people.. -Oliver Underwood #IamHIS http://bit.ly/2TtPfpZ


This blog first appeared on www.throughthelensofscripture.com on August 28, 2018.


About Today’s Blogger

Lisa & Oliver Underwood

Oliver Underwood, and his precious wife Lisa, are ministering on the front lines of the BIBLICAL battle against all types of addictions. Lisa and Oliver are blessed to parent three children: Christian, a nine-year old boy; Evan, a six-year old boy; and Kiley, a four-year old little girl (going on 19!).

Oliver struggled for 12 years with meth, heroin, and alcohol addition, which was really on the tip of the iceberg of what was really going on in his heart. By God’s grace, Oliver’s life was transformed, and now God is allowing him to comfort others with the same comfort Oliver was given. Now, Oliver and his family are richly blessed to be a part of a ministry. Oliver serves as the Executive Director of “The Mission House,” a biblically-based men’s program helping men enslaved by sin (addictions). The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the men at the “The Mission House” helps them learn God’s instructions for living and strengthen them to choose a life of freedom in Christ.


For more information about “The Mission House” go to: https://themissionhouse.info/

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