Break the Chains of Addictions
The noise of chains can remind us and exhaust us of the weight of addictions. Addictions are any “inordinate appetite” that robs us of true satisfaction. These idols can be acceptable things but they take the place of God in our lives. We can be full of excuses; at all costs, we want to preserve ourselves and our pleasures and protect our works of darkness. We all are addicted to something, unfortunately, few take it seriously.
In Hebrews 11:25 we see there is pleasure in sin for a season but the end is guilt, shame, and fear. Evil attachments have such a price associated with them. Galatians 5:17 tells us that the flesh “wars” against the spirit. It is seeking to suffocate and dominate the heart.
Satan is no fool, he goes after a believer who is making an impact. He wants to neutralize any kingdom opposed to his. This is why he wants to disrupt our relationship with Jesus and reduces our effectiveness of the gospel. We all have a target on our back. This is why we can flirt with sin or become proud and say “this could never happen to me”.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:12;
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
We are no match for the devil, but in Christ, we have the victory. We may do a few face-plants, but we keep getting up in Proverbs 24:16.
There is Hope
The picture in Proverbs 26:11 of a dog returning to its vomit causes us to consider. The puff, the sip, the glance, the imagination, the word, the pill can hold us hostage, but that doesn’t have to be the whole story!
Read: Learning How to Follow
Often we feel powerless, or even worse, we may feel entitled to do what we are doing because of some lack in life. We trade our time, strength, and soul for fleeting pleasures that don’t satisfy – the real person losing – is us.
Here is a way through:
- It starts with identifying our Triggers. These vulnerable environments of hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness, or stress don’t need to have the same destructive result.
- Secondly, enter an Agapic relationship. Reaching out to someone that will show you, agape love, in acceptance without judgment. This accountability will empower you. We cannot do it alone,
- Thirdly, intentionally rebuild your soul by saturating yourself in the Bible and a spiritual community. Often recovering addicts will trade one addictive lifestyle for another by latching onto people and promises that distract them from a relationship with God. We need to be a student of the Word and not jump into another “works” program.
- Lastly and most importantly is to fellowship with grace through this whole process. In Titus 2:12 grace empowers us to not justify or be enabled to live according to this world. We must learn not to submit to our foe but to flee and pursue righteousness.
We want to intentionally invest all the time, power, and resources in the answer to our addictions, to a greater extent than how we invested in creating our addictions. We may say – this is how it will always be, or I was born this way or this is my lot in life that is crap! Jesus has promised quality of life free of guilt and shame. Choose it!
Take back your life today and replace these destructive habits with something or someone who will ADD to your life. Now is the time, you’re not alone. Your addiction doesn’t only affect you but it affects your loved ones as well. We don’t hide it well, people see the insecurity that invades every area of your life. Be honest, take ownership, fight back! Is it hard? yes, but it is worth it!
The Apostle Paul encourages us in 2 Corinthians 2:14,
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
Triumph happens by:
- Reaching out for help now
- Speaking out honestly to the right people
- Stepping out of darkness into the light
Small actions can release great power. As we share our hearts honestly, light invades our darkness with deliverance. Jesus is waiting with open arms to welcome you home. Take the first step today!
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped the church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (www.InnerRevolution.us)
Definitely enjoyed this. I, personally, would not say that a sense of entitlement is appropriate when it comes to using substances, or engaged in maladaptive behaviors, as a means to fulfill something that is lacking. True, in my service as a substance use disorder professional, patients I’ve worked with had issues with entitlement. What is also true is much of this had to do with false beliefs, irrational thought processing, and how active substance use had become a learned behavior over time. What is also troublesome is that many people suffering from active substance use disorder already feel worthless, judged, condemn (much of it from their own lack of sense of self and confidence). And unfortunately many within faith-based and Christian communities are prone to subtle and overt judgment and condemnation.
I also agree that it definitely requires immersion into a sober support group, men’s fellowship, women’s fellowship and other such programs. Whether it is 12-step based or not. However, another underlying issue is dealing with Trauma and this is the reason the field has moved more toward Trauma informed care with regard to managing and working with individuals who are suffering from not only substance use, but also mental health related issues.
One such group of people are those who grew up in homes with family dysfunction and active substance use. I have had numerous patients painfully discuss with me how their start into active using began because of their mother, father, or other relatives. Parents using with their kids, or introducing their kids to using. Not only the behavior itself – the whole ritual involved around using.
Sadly, I have heard many well-intended Christians minister to people suffering substance use related issues, mental health issues, and even history of trauma where greater harm and spiritual abuse was caused. Sometimes in condemnation, fear-mongering, and judgments.