OVERCOMING ADDICTION

FROM: Praying God’s Word, Beth Moore, Ch 7 

 

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 a freedom that will only come in heaven. 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. 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.

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Father, Your Word promises me that the one who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Prov. 28:13) Your Word also says that if we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John1:8) Help me, Lord! I need Your truth in me!

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) 

Oh, Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely. You hem me in—behind and before; You have laid your hand upon me. I do not need to feel shame or fear in Your intimate knowledge of every detail of my life because Your Word says that Your knowledge of me is wonderful! Thank You, Father. (Ps. 139:1–6)

Father, Your Word says that a person who lacks self-control is like a city whose walls are broken down. (Prov. 25:28) Sometimes I feel like there is so much rubble, I can’t rebuild the wall. (Neh. 4:10) Your Word claims that You are the Repairer of Broken Walls, and the Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. (Isa. 58:12) Please introduce Yourself to me by these wonderful names and rebuild the rubble in my life.

Father God, please help me to forgive and release anyone who had to confront or wound my heart in an effort to help me find wholeness. Your Word says that open rebuke is better than hidden love. It also says that wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Prov. 27:5–6)

Lord, Your Word says that he who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. (Prov. 28:26) I’ve come to realize that I cannot trust in myself. My safety is in learning to trust in You. Please help me!

O, Lord, cause my soul to yearn for You in the night and long for You in the morning. (Isa. 26:9) Please transfer my yearning and longing to You because I can have You to my fill! You will never be a detriment to me! 

O Lord, our God, other lords besides You have ruled over me, but Your name alone is the one I want to honor. (Isa. 26:13) Please help me to understand that this addiction has been a terrible and destructive ruler in my life. Help me to cease to honor it.

Lord, Your Word says that when I offer myself to someone or something to obey as a slave, I am a slave to the one whom I obey, whether I am a slave to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness. (Rom. 6:16) O, Father, I deeply desire to be a slave to righteousness! 

My Lord and my Creator, I confess to you that I, like everyone else in the human condition, am weak in my natural self. I used to offer the parts of my body in slavery to impurities. I have also personally experienced the ever-increasing nature of wickedness. (Rom. 6:19) No matter what I’ve tried to tell myself, my addictions will only grow worse without Your absolute intervention. Thank You, Father, that no matter how I’ve been enslaved, You can set me free!

My merciful God, I have learned the hard way that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Rom. 7:18) But in You I have the power I need! You’ve given me the treasure of the Holy Spirit who lives in this weak jar of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from me! (2 Cor. 4:7)

Father, Your Word promises that we can know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28) My addictions are not exempt from this list! As hard as it may be for me to comprehend, You can and will work this terrible challenge for good if I will cooperate with You and see myself as one called according to Your purpose.

Father, You urge me in Your absolute mercy toward me to offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is my spiritual act of worship. You call on me not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to test and approve what Your will is. Your good, pleasing, and perfect will! (Rom. 12:1–2)

Victorious God, I thank You and boldly claim that the weapons with which I fight this addiction are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. I demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and I choose to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ! (2 Cor. 10:4–5) 

My Lord and Redeemer, formerly, when I did not know You, I was a slave to those who by nature are not gods. But now that I know You—or rather am known by You—I desperately do not want to turn back once again to those weak and miserable principles. Help me not to be enslaved by them all over again. (Gal. 4:8–9) 

Father, Your Word says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. With all my heart I desire to stand firm, then, and not let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1) Lord, I am helpless on my own. Empower me with the strength of Your Holy Spirit. Please help me, Lord!