Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
Answer—Addiction Free Living
What is addiction? It is an out-of-control appetite. It can come very easily and quickly, or it can come slowly. With drugs or alcohol, addiction can take a hold from one single usage, but most addictions come by continuously overfeeding the appetites. With alcohol and drugs, the substance is so strong that the appetite for it often gets triggered and overpowered immediately.
We have seven natural appetites. All we do and want in life is related to feeding and seeking to satisfy these appetites. They are the cravings for: food, drink, sleep/rest, intimacy, dominion, security and survival.
Because the human nature is sin tainted, not only can appetites not be satisfied, they intensify as they are being fed. They will always want more than they presently are being fed, either in amount, strength or taste. They want more, stronger and more flavour, and never will they say, it is enough. It just goes until it turns into an addiction, and the addiction will get stronger and stronger as it is fed. It is a never-ending road, unless people take charge of their cravings. Overfeeding will always open the door for addiction to get a grip. The more the appetites are fed the more they want. When people overeat, their appetite for food grows, and when they stop eating it shrinks. Appetites will never disappear or die, but they will go dormant. People who starve to death don’t hunger to death; their hunger is already dormant. The senses no longer detect a desire for food.
An addiction is an appetite out of control, and the loss of control comes from either under feeding or over feeding, but what is very important to know is that it is not necessarily the appetite where the addiction got its stronghold that was misfed. The seven appetites are interconnected, and when one is suffering, it can cause another one to seek nourishment. They all come from one source, it is like one appetite expressed in seven ways. This is why when a person is lonely, he over eats. There is an inner longing that is starving.
People who get into addictions do not do so by choosing to give up control; they do so because they underestimated the strength of their own appetite.
Drug, alcohol, gluttony, pornography, sensuality, smoking, immorality, fantasy, slothfulness, fear, shopping, power, gambling to name some.
Abuse, conflict, sin, ill-health, religion, humanism death and many other issues.
It will cost
Mentally, emotionally, socially, morally, physically, economically and spiritually.
Providing supplies to feed addiction is the most profitable business in the world, without comparison. Addictions will drain any person, no matter how rich economically. No person can afford it.
There are two aspects to consider, when we seek to be freed from a stronghold or an addiction. Firstly, changing our nature; who we are. This happens when we repent and believe the gospel as Jesus proclaimed. We place our faith in Jesus Christ and receive Him into our life to be our Saviour. He redeems us and births us anew by the Holy Spirit and make us a new creature. Without that, we can change our ways, but we cannot be freed from our ways. That addict will always be there, until he is eliminated in Jesus Christ.
I mentioned the appetites, and said, because of our sin nature they are sin tainted. We cannot satisfy them. There are seven appetites, and those are the seven characteristics that Jesus is described to be. What we need, He is. We find our need, our satisfaction, our deliverance from our sinful nature in Him. He is the Bread of Life, the Living Water, The Sabbath, The Bridegroom, The Overcomer, The Saviour, and Life. We must start by receiving Him as our hope and deliverance from sin.
Secondly, there is the practical part. The Bible tells us that those who are born again still have this body of natural flesh with them until they will pass from this life into the presence of the Lord, but that old person no longer has to rule, but must be placed in subjection. This means we must in a practical way deal with this addiction that had gotten control over our life.
This is done in steps, and those steps must be followed in order, or the results will not be achieved.
First the sin must be confessed, forsaken and forgiven. There is sin behind every addition. Not just the addiction itself, but a sin that caused the addiction to gain its strong hold. It is like a person is in a covenant to sin until he received the Lord Jesus Christ and that covenant is broken. He can start doing right, but he is not free. It is always an act of undiscipline, some time a very small act and other time a noticeable act, but it is always an act of sin that opens the door to addiction to gain control, and until that act is sin is confessed, forsaken and forgiven there is no getting freed from the addiction. There is no medication, program, discipline that will free the person. It is always sin that has the power to keep a person in bondage.
Secondly, the malnourished appetite must be fed. Remember that all our appetites are interconnected, they are like one, but expressed in seven. There is always a malnourished appetite that has allowed the addiction to gain control. A person may be malnourished in love and get addicted to power, or malnourished in food and get addicted to drinking. The type of addiction does not tell us directly where we lack nourishment, but it tells us that we do. We must go through the seven appetites and discover where we lack, and then feed, or discipline that area. Remember, what you lack, you can find in Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, the addiction must be broken. Feeding the appetite does not break the addiction, it just makes the breaking of it possible. It is pulling out the root so that the plant can be destroyed. The destroying of the addiction must be done through discipline.
The final step, strength, must be regained. All addictions weaken people. A strong person can walk past alcohol, without being hindered, or even bothered, but a recovering alcoholic cannot. He is weak, especially in that area. He has to recover the strength the addiction stole from him. How? This comes through: prayer—asking God. Bible reading and studying—learning to live in truth. Grace—overcoming the way of nature and law. The church, fellowship with God’s people separated from the world. Following and submitting to the Holy Spirit.
This is a very quick overview of what addiction is and how to recover. If you want more indebt learning, please contact us.