Overcoming the Stronghold of Addiction

The following is from Chapter 7, “Overcoming Addiction,” from Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds.

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 Christian 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 a freedom that will only come in heaven. Satan, the accuser of the brethren, chides them constantly with his tally of failures, 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. You see, 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 forget, and we’d risk going back to our addiction. On the other hand, if God teaches us victory in Christ Jesus day by day, we live in the constant awareness of His greatness 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.

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?  David was not able to walk around in Saul’s armor, so he took it off. Then he took his own staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling, approached the giant Philistine. (See 1 Samuel 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. Use Scripture-prayers in conjunction with any plan He sets forth for you. Ask Him how He wants you to use Scriptures in your journey to freedom. How God chooses to apply His truth is His call. Becoming legalistic and reciting a bunch of prayers as penitence, or as a magic elixir, will not work. Without a doubt, some of the people respected most in the faith are those who have allowed God to set them free from the strangling stronghold of addiction. That’s the key: Allowing God to work within you.

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