During our trek to freedom from our addictions, we have discovered that we have an enemy who is constantly feeding us lies, forever holding onto us with the heavy burden called addiction. God wants to free us from those lies! “That they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:26 NIV)
The truth can only be found in God and His Word, the Bible, which we can claim by faith to lead us to total victory. Faith is just this: The belief that what God says is Truth! It is taking Him at His word, and it is renouncing the lies that the evil one envelopes us with!
But what if we are too weak to resist the evil one? These urgings that we are experiencing are coursing through our very veins, filling us with that insatiable hunger for what is impure. How can we resist? It seems impossible!
That’s the whole point; we cannot do this on our own!
Too often we underestimate the power and scope of the evil one’s influence. Jesus constantly prays for us: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15-16 NIV)
Did we notice in that text, that we can’t protect ourselves? It is God who protects us from the evil one.
Too often we forget that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NIV) and that He is the only One who can give us victory through faith – the belief that He can and will do what He says! “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:37-39 NIV)
But we need faith. Only then will we be able to exclaim: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10 NIV) and “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13 NIV)
We can be assured that God will come through for us. He guaranteed it in His Word: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” NIV
We can only do it, “through Him who gives us strength!”
We have to stand firm and follow Jesus’ example. When tempted, let us boldly declare: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” (Matt 4:10 NIV)
We need to sort out our thoughts and identify the ones unworthy of our attention. These we need to label as “lies”, and throw them out! Why should we waste our time with deceit? “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor 10:4-5 NIV)
The secret is simply to believe in Truth, and utterly reject what is not. It’s all a question of faith! “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Eph 6:16 NIV)
Faith in the Truth is our only weapon to ‘extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”, including addictions!
We are in a spiritual battle and only when we realize this will we experience freedom!
I had found an unbelievably beautiful picture online, taken from the top of Mont Erable in the Parc National des Hautes-Gorges de la Rivière Malbaie (Quebecers sure like long, extended names!). I knew that my wife, who must be part mountain goat, would love to climb this mountain, and for this reason I took her there. But before we could set out on our hike, we were confronted by a park ranger who, for some reason, thought it was her job to discourage us from our climbing expedition! Maybe it was our graying hair and glasses?
She urged us to take the “middle-of-the-road” approach (Weren’t they a music group from the seventies?) and follow the path through the valley. She was so convincing that she almost persuaded me! Then I remembered that the ultimate goal of this trip was to take in the view from the top of Mont Erable! I hadn’t come here for a relaxing stroll! I had come to fulfill my wife’s insatiable desire to climb! A leisurely walk down a road simply would NOT fit the bill!
On the way up the trail, the vistas only gave us a glimpse of what we would see from the very top: sheer beauty from above! I would have missed it if I had believed the park ranger and followed her advice. It’s true the trek was difficult. In fact I came down the mountain limping, and my wife’s left shin was bleeding. But if we had the opportunity to do it again, we wouldn’t hesitate to take this same steep path back to the top of Mont Erable!
Truly “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13 NIV)
Good-bye addictions. You are way too dull for me!
(To access the entire “How Can I Break Free From my Addictions?” devotional series, please click here.)