Chapter 7 - Overcoming Addiction
(Praying God's Word - Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds -
Beth Moore - out of print)
Addiction is one of the cruelest of all yokes because it deceives us unmercifully and ruthlessly. It comes to us like a friend, promising to bring comfort. It kisses us on the cheek like Judas, stealing from our treasury, then rents us for a cheap fee to the opposition. Addiction is a yoke that convinces us we must wear it to survive. Nothing makes us feel more powerless. No ungodly master is a more unyielding dictator. Countless people, even those in the family of our faith, have concluded that they are hopeless to overcome this relentless beast. After more failures than they can bear to count, many believers accept earthly defeat as compulsory and await freedom that will only come in heaven. The accuser of the brethren chides them constantly with his tally of failurs and convinces them that they are unable to derail the miserable cycle of self-loathing.
No matter whether your addictions are to substances or behaviors, God can set you free. What He requires from you is time, trust, and cooperation. The immense power of an addiction is rarely broken in a day. God has as much to teach us as He has to show us. He could show us His power by instantaneously setting us free from all desire for our stronghold. Often, however, God chooses the process of teaching us to walk with Him and depend on Him daily. Few things beyond our salvation are "once and for all." If He delivered us instantly, we would see His greatness once, but we would soon forger....and we'd risk going back. On the other hand, if God teaches us victory in Christ Jesus day by day, we live in the constant awareness of His greatnes and His sufficiency. Hard lessons are often long-lasting lessons. Never forget that God is far more interested in our getting to know the Deliverer than simply being delivered.
Begin to see yourself like the young shepherd boy, David, when he dared to take a stand against his Goliath. David wasn't blind. He was realistically aware of the mammoth size of his foe. What was the key to his courage? David knew that Goliath was not only his enemy. Far more improtant--he was God's enemy! Long before the apostle Paul was inspired to write Romans 8:31, David dared to believe, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" When David saw the Philistine champion from Gath step out and shout "his usual defiance," he asked, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" No matter how long your addiction has shouted its usual defiance at your attempts to fight it, reaalize that your enemy is also God's enemy. It is a means by which Satan himself is seeking to defy the army of the living God. Call upon God to rise up in anger toward the enemy that binds you and fight him in your behalf with a holy vengeance.
God could fight this one all alone. He doesn't need your help; however, God reserves the right to involve us in our own victories. so get ready to fight. Overcoming addiction may be the battle of your life. But it will also be the most rewarding, liberating victory of your life. It will be your own Goliath story for the rest of your days.
Realize that God's unquestionable will is your freedom from this yoke, but also trust that He has written a personalized prescription for your release. Remember when King Saul offered young David his armor to wear as he opposed Goliath? "Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them...So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put thme in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine" (1 Sam. 17:38-40). God may have used a method to set someone else free that doesn't work as effectively for you. Perhaps the success of others has done little more than increase your discouragement and self-hatred. Don't let the enemy play mind games with you. God's strength is tailor-made for weakness. We are never stronger than the moment we admit we are weak. Seek God diligently and ask Him to show you the way to victory.
I confess to You that I am overwhelmed by the task ahead, but I am thankful that You have authority over all things. Heaven is Your throne and earth is Your footstool (Matt. 5:35); therefore, anything over my head is under Your feet.
Lord, I confess all the sin involved in my addiction to You, and I thank You that You are always faithful and just to forgive me of all my sin and purify me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Although God Himself is never rushed to perfor His will on earth, there is one thing He does rush to. He rushes to the aid of His children. Often He does not intervene, however, until that lost child cries out for help. He rushes to answer the appeals for mercy from those who have walked their own way and suddenly find themselves trapped in their own snares. He is not willing that any should perish, but He waits for us to use our wills to turn to him.
Shawn Craig, Between Sundays
If you say there's no hope, you're listening to the father of lies (John 8:44). You've encountered the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)--the one who's determined to keep you a failure, to defeat you on every front he can. The only way you'll bring him down, the only way you'll extinguish those fiery arrows that will impale you on the stake of continuous defeat until you're consumed in its flmes of destruction is through the Word. His Word is truth, and it alone can sanctify you--set you apart for victory. You may think there's no recovery from your failure. But if you have God, you have a future--and it's not a dismal one.
Kay Arhtur, As Silver Refined
Often God seems to place His children in positions of profound difficulty, leading them into a wedge fro which there is no escape; contriving a situation which no human judgement would have permitted, had it been previously consulted...The issue wil more than justify Him who has brought you hither. It is a platform for the display of His almighty grace and power. He will not only deliver you; but in doing so, He will give you a lesson that you will never forget, and to which, in many a psalm and song, in after days, you will revert. You will never be able to thank God enough for having done just as He has.
Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.
Mrs. Charles E. Cowrman, Streams in the Desert
When fitted with the armor of God, we will not be blindsided by the fiery darts of the Enemy. Past failures lose heir power, for they have been dealt with. Present thoughts wil not overrun me, for I am in command of my thoughts and I make the final decision on what I believe. The opinions of others do not bombard me, for I have decided to believe what God says about who I am--regardless of what I or anyone else thinks.
Dennis Jernigan, This Is My Destiny
1 Pet. 5:8
1 Pet. 5:6
1 Pet. 1:18-19