SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Smoking in the Ministry

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Next Page )

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Thanks Jina,

That aspect was something I didn't give as much attention to, though I do know it...

Had forgotten about the principle of;

Rom 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Something selfish lurking within if I can't see that. And indeed had very similar thoughts about doing just what you mentioned, VOM is of the rubber meets the road, the likes of which we know next to nothing about. Went to the store earlier tonight and the cost of a carton is over $40.00

Thank you, will take this all to heart as well

Mike Balog

 2005/1/31 1:00Profile

Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re: To Smoking or Not To Smoke....

I recently read an interesting article by Zac Poonen called Two Types of Blessings & Two Types of Curses, where I got this quote from:


Just this that when Adam sinned he hurt only himself. But when Cain sinned he hurt another human being as well. There are some sins that we commit that hurt only ourselves. There are other sins that we commit that hurt others as well. God takes more seriously the sins which hurt others.

If you smoke or drink or take harmful drugs or indulge in dirty habits or thoughts, or keep bitterness or anger in your heart, etc., you hurt only yourself. But if you gossip, speak evil of others, judge others, lose your temper at others, act in jealousy or bitterness or anger or hatred against others, or commit adultery or murder, etc., you harm those others too.

Ask yourself what you are more horrified to hear - that a brother in your church got drunk or that a brother in your church spoke evil of another brother? Your answer to that will show you clearly whether you look at sin the way God looks at sin or not.

Personally, I think that the key problem is that christians think that they have "rights". The only right we have, is the right to die the long (as in a whole lifetime) agonising death of the cross. Any moments of relief in this death, are a gift from God, not a right. I say this because I have no issue with anyone who smokes, only with people who excuse or try to hide their smoking. Just as I have no issue with people who lash out when they're hurting, only with those who think that it is acceptable to do so.

Most people who smoke, aren't okay with it (I know I never was), and how many times do you here people say "If only I could give these things up." Smoking is addictive, it's real hard to quit, and anyone who says otherwise is taking the grace of God for granted. The only true way to quit, is to do it out of purpose, and not out of guilt. Don't stop smoking, become a 'non-smoker', and where your badge with pride. Otherwise, you'll spend the rest of your life yearning for the "comforts of Egypt".

And for all those who bring the whole "you're the temple of the Holy Spirit", what about fornicating in the "holy place" of your mind? Which do you think is worse?

Anyway, that's my two cents.:-)

BTW - In case you're wondering I don't smoke. If you do, I wish you well in the battle you're facing.

Aaron Ireland

 2005/1/31 2:22Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


Here's a true story. I friend of mine worked in an office and quietly lived God's life there. A teenage girl saw it and began to ask questions. Soon the teenage girl came to personal faith in Christ and began to walk as God taught her. Lots of things 'dropped off' but smoking persisted.

One day the teenager said "I am going to pray about smoking". My friend was thrilled. The next day the teenager came back and said "I prayed, and feel it's alright to carry on smoking".

[i]what would you have done?[/i]

My friend determined to say nothing but to pray for the teenager. Some days later the teenager said "I've been praying about smoking and feel God is telling me to stop." She ceased from that moment.

What is the greatest moral in this story? That a teenager stopped smoking? Not at all, the greatest moral is that because an older Christian was prepared to wait God's time, a teenager learned to hear the voice of God.

When God says 'quit' anything... you can and you must.

Ron Bailey

 2005/1/31 3:21Profile

Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


I told Dad no it wasn't my will power, it was the power of Jesus' blood over sin. He broke it. I couldn't do it. Victory over sin is not about trying harder because that's a flesh deal but it's submitting to Jesus and believing in faith in the power of His blood.

I'm sorry ya'll. Please forgive me. I never mean to say that I think we can quit in and of ourselves. I never meant to hurt anyone by a religious demand. If you read my own testimony,found in the testimony thread, you will know that I don't believe we can do anything to make ourselves other than to cry out to God and maybe we can't even do that until he gives us the grace to do so. I will be praying for these folks, and for you Mikey.

Ya'll don't be mad at me. I have the calling of a prophet, so I see everything in black and white. I'm just as brutal with myself. I just learned a new song by Julie Miller, Broken Things. Here are the words:

You can have my heart, though it isn't new.
It's been used and broken and only comes in blue.
It's been down a long road and it got dirty on the way
If I give it to you will you make it clean and wash the shame away

You can have my heart, if you don't mind broken things
You can have my life, if you don't mind these tears
Well, I heard that you make old things new
So I give these pieces all to you.
If you want it you can have my heart.

So beyond repair, nothing I could do.
Tried to fix it myself but it was only worse when I got through.
But you walked right into my darkness and you speak words so sweet
And you hold me like a child till my frozen tears fall at your feet

Repeat Chorus

I love that line, Tried to fix it myself but it was only worse when I got through. I've lived that. Love you all. Dian.

 2005/1/31 6:06Profile

Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


If we are going to be talking about idols or strongholds here then I would like to add my 2 cents :-)

Actually this is what the Lord showed me about 3 years ago and also very recently.

Adultery is having "another love". A stronghold, an idol, there are many things we can call it.

The point is this: are we willing to lay it down forever? if we are not, then .....

If the Lord asks us to give it up, can we, will we?

If we won't or can't then our heart is divided.

The Lord showed me once again this past week that He does not want us to have other loves. We cannot have Him and other loves too.

What ever need that smoking is meeting in a person- the Lord wants to meet that need. He wants to be the one you turn to for relief and for comfort.

What things or attitudes or behaviors have power over us? Those are idols or strongholds.

I see this in my own life so clearly. I have had many idols and strongholds. Fitness, food, diet pills (otc), my body image. The Lord showed me these things 3 yrs ago, but it has taken along time to weed them out.

Even lately He showed me that fitness was still my "other love". I had given it up completely a while back. But then when i thought I had control over it, I picked it back up because i thought i could handle it. It made me feel better and it was hard to stop everything 'fitness' in my life. I am associated with it. People know me for it. I saw over the last few months how I struggled with laying it down for good. I could think of tons of reason why I didn't need to lay it down. But just because I was unwilling to do so- God did not like that.

So, He had to show me how He felt when we give ourselves to other loves. He is hurt. He wants to be the only source of our satisfaction, our comfort and our relief. He is to be our ALL.

I saw how awful my heart was inside when I had been holding out on Him. I know He still loved me and was longing for me to reconcile myself to Him. He is jealous for us.

We have to give up the right (as someone else already said) to do what we want. If we say we want to surrender all to Him, then all is everything.

When the Lord showed me my heart idols and strongholds about 3 years ago, I layed them down as best as I knew how at the time. So right away I went about preaching a message of "getting rid of your idols". Yet, I didn't know at the time, that I had not clearly been delivered yet and was to even pick them back up and struggle with them later.

I hate hypocrisy and I know the Lord hates hypocrisy and so I knew that the Lord would be strict with me. I could never give a message that I have not lived yet :-)

So I see that i have to be very careful about pointing sin out to to other people. Like Tony, my gift is in discernment, and it is so easy to see other's sins. Yet, now I am learning to pray about them, and also look at my own self first and say, ok, where are you guilty? Do i have unforgivenness? do I have bitterness? am i holding back on God is some area. am I holding out on someone I am supposed to love?

It is so hard when you have that prophetic calling. You want to be a trumpet blowing for God, yet we have to "live" our messages first. I really believe that the ultimate prophet we need to look at as an example is Jesus. He was the ultimate example for us. Until we become like Him, how can we say "repent!". Boy, this is hard.

I have tried to type this post a few different times but still the message is so "not together" yet.

We are all learning.

These are mostly just thoughts right about now. :-)

In His love, Chanin


 2005/1/31 10:01Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2772
Phoenix, Arizona USA


The only true way to quit, is to do it out of purpose, and not out of guilt.

When God says 'quit' anything... you can and you must.

I can confirm these truths, and I can deny them. Let me explain.

Just a few weeks after I was born-again I met my Pastor in a Christian bookstore. I introdcued myself and shook his hand, he was polite but left rather abruptly. I had just smoked a cigarette before coming in and immediately when he left I sensed that it had something to do with the smell of smoke on me (I later learned that he indeed has a strong aversion to the smell of cigarettes). Immediately I felt that my smoking was a bad testimony, something I hadn't really thought of in the few wonderful weeks since becoming a Christian. It wasn't so much a feeling of guilt as it was a sense that this was hindering my newfound purpose in life, to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

I think it was the first thing in my life, following my conversion, that the Lord put His finger on and said, "this must go". But the way it was done was not in condemnation. It's difficult to explain but as Philo said, when God says "quit" you can and must. He provided the strength I needed to overcome.

I walked out of that bookstore and tossed the packof cigarettes I had in the trash and have not touched one since, that was 3 1/2 years ago, praise God! Some can quit in their own strength, but I never would have outside of Christ. I won't say it was easy, I was physically sick for several days as my body screamed out for the nictone I had been feeding it for over 20 years. But the lord strengthened me through it and the thought of just wanting to please Him gave me hope. After just a week I wasn't even thinking about smoking anymore. Every once in a while the urge still pops into my head, kind of a reminder of the addiction that once held me, but it is rare.

The Lord has given me great grace and delivered me from this addiction, I give Him the glory and I know that if He wanted me to remember what addiction was like I could just as easily fall right back into smoking.

What's odd though is that having overcome that powerful addiction, I struggle to overcome overeating. I'm about 25 pounds overweight, a 25 pounds that I've been trying to lose for a while now. Not sure how the whole purpose vs. guilt thing applies here though, I do feel that being overweight is also a hinderance to my testimony but obviously not so great a hinderance as smoking, not sure why. I guess victory comes more or less easily in different areas for each of us, all I know is that our struggles with the flesh won't end this side of heaven. But I know Him who saves from the lusts of the flesh, and sin, and death, and hell, and Satan. In Him will I trust.

In Christ,


Ron Halverson

 2005/1/31 10:10Profile

Joined: 2003/9/16
Posts: 474


True Chanin,

We surrender to the strongman when we seek comfort from that particular thing (or attitude) rather Jesus himself. (Our God is a jealous God.) There can be many areas and the Lord is specifically disciplining me in many of these areas now.

Once the Lord delivers us from this as we submit and believe for him to deliver us, the strongman is bound from harming us in this way as long as we abide in Jesus. We abide in Jesus by doing what he says and as we obey Him, the strongman is bound.

I can testify that the blood of Jesus can break the bondage of any sin because he has delivered me. I'm learning to abide in Jesus in specific ways and as he is teaching me to do that, than the strongman is bound and the fruit of the Spirit floods my soul (as I submit).

The Lord is working in me on a lot of the heart issues (i.e. the internal things that are just as deadly as those things we can see with our eyes). Learning to be a "disciplined one" (i.e. a disciple) is most times a rather humbling experience.

Ed Pugh

 2005/1/31 10:16Profile

Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632

 Re: hidden internal things

the internal things that are just as deadly as those things we can see with our eyes

Amen, Ed! I am also dealing with this as well. I think the internal, hidden hearts sins are much worse and harder to get rid of. Yet the Lord is so good to us to strip them away a little at a time. I am so grateful that He puts up with my "junk" for as long as He does. It must hurt Him terribly.

It just shows me how awful I really am and how in need of a savior I am- all the time!

In Him, Chanin


 2005/1/31 10:23Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Wow folks!

This is rich!

Too much to take in so briefly, but indeed these jumped up and grabbed me;

And for all those who bring the whole "you're the temple of the Holy Spirit", what about fornicating in the "holy place" of your mind? Which do you think is worse?

Have had similar musings about how that gets bandied about in certain circles, but that cuts to the heart brother, well said and amen!

My friend determined to [b]say nothing but to pray for[/b] the teenager. Some days later the teenager said "I've been praying about smoking and feel God is telling me to stop." She ceased from that moment.

Not to distract anything here, but this applies broadly as I am beginning to find out more and more, especially when a knee-jerk reaction is ready to launch...[i] the tongue is a...[/i]
What is the greatest moral in this story? That a teenager stopped smoking? Not at all, the greatest moral is that because an older Christian [b]was prepared to wait God's time[/b], a teenager [b]learned to hear the voice of God[/b].

That this truth would be dwelt on and applied.

When God says 'quit' anything... you can and you must.

Tis true...
And that cuts as well...

I thank you for it.
Pray that this stubbornness will die
I can feel my flesh sniveling already.

Mike Balog

 2005/1/31 10:27Profile

Joined: 2004/11/23
Posts: 91
San Pedro, California


Hi all,
Some great stuff here. Can see that much of this pertains to myself on other habits/sins that are binding, entangling. I think we all deal with something along these lines at one time or other.

It reminds me of a friend I had, that I had recently led to Christ. To my horror, I found out a few weeks later that she was still going out and clubbing and partying, but now with her "Christian" roommate. My first instinct was to tell her to stop immediately, but as I opened my mouth, I felt God stop me. It was like He put His hand over my mouth and said, "She loves me very much--just wait and let Me take care of it." And He did. Less than a week later, she came to me, confessing that God had showed her that HE disappoved of her behavior, and she had stopped it out of love for HIM.

I am not saying that this is the case for everything. Lord knows there is a time and a place for speaking out, but, especially when it pertains to private sin (that which harms ourselves and not others) I think we need to be very, very careful and examine the sin in our own hearts.

I have always been grateful that our church has been accepting of people who are not perfect. Every Sunday, we have people smoking outside the front door, putting out their cigarettes, and then going in to church. A seeming contradiction? I think not. Rather, a message, loud and clear that you do not have to be perfect to go to church--"Come just as you are". I think that is why our church is chock full of people that have been delivered from all sorts of things (drugs, alcohol, etc.). As far as I know, no one ever says anything to those who smoke. God sees us all. The secret sin that I walk in with that is less obvious to the eye is probably far worse than the more obvious smoker that I walk past at the front door. God is good to all of us, though. Many of the smokers get convicted and delivered and move on to be a quiet witness to the newer believers smoking outside the door. These men and women are a testimony to all of us that God takes us as we are and uses us, and in His own time He WILL deal with us and deliver us when we could not do it for ourselves.

Crsschk, thanks for sharing. Be open to God's conviction, but don't let other Christians do the convicting for you. That is useless in overcoming addictions. It must be God and not yourself. I'm sure you know that already.

Love you guys,



 2005/1/31 11:44Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy