Breaking Free from Addiction
Addictions, whether it's alcoholism, drug use, pornography, or any other vice, can make you feel trapped and out of control. In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, even things like smartphones, social media, and online games can become addictive. Addiction, in a broad sense, can afflict all of us to varying degrees. It's painful, causing embarrassment, guilt, shame, and a deep sense of inadequacy. People struggling with addiction often lose sight of their purpose and the meaning of life. Focusing on your spiritual health during recovery is crucial because it provides peace and hope. Jesus is the ultimate source of peace, as we are reminded in Isaiah 9:6, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God and Prince of Peace." Listening to His words can help those wrestling with addiction finds a new kind of love, an unconditional love that leads to true freedom and recovery.
How do we respond?
LOVE - Our first response to those struggling with addiction MUST be love. John 3:16 is one of the most well-known scriptures, stating, "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." In essence, Jesus is saying, "I love you so much that I died for you. I did not die for you to feel shame, condemnation, or guilt but to set you free!" Our Christian faith centers around this passage. The love of Christ goes beyond our comprehension, as it led Him to die for our sins. For those grappling with addiction, this is great news, as Jesus' love for them will never waver.
Guilt, Shame, and Unworthiness - Addiction often brings a sense of guilt, shame, and unworthiness. These burdens can make people hesitant to accept the help offered to them. They feel undeserving of love, compassion, and a fresh start. However, Jesus reminds us that, even in addiction and despite our past mistakes, our shortcomings cannot prevent Him from loving us. In Jeremiah 31:34, Jesus declares, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sin no more." In other words, no matter how many times you struggle, relapse, or fail, Jesus still loves you and always will.
Rest in Jesus - In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Recovering from addiction can be an exhausting journey, affecting you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. These challenges often lead to exhaustion and are precisely where Satan seeks to strike. Jesus promises to help you carry your burdens and strengthen you, even in your most challenging days.
How to Break Free from Addictions
- Confession – Confession is the first step to breaking free from addiction. Confession acknowledges that we have sinned against God and need His forgiveness. It's essential to be realistic about our sinful nature and face it honestly. As Psalm 51 and other scriptures show, confession allows us to seek God's forgiveness and cleansing.
- Renunciation/Repentance - Repentance follows confession, signifying a change of mind and a turning away from sin. Renunciation is a powerful prayer where you declare your separation from sinful thoughts, actions, or words, relying on the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to help you overcome temptation and become more Christ-like.
- Accountability - Community plays a vital role in overcoming addiction. Choose a trustworthy mentor or an accountability partner who has demonstrated surrender to Christ's discipleship, spiritual maturity, and genuine care for your growth.
- Healing - Healing is a process. Be actively engaged in your healing journey. Practice the prayer of Examen, which involves recalling the presence of God, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance, looking over your day with gratitude, reviewing your day, and reconciling with God. Healing is not about perfection but progress and growth. As you yield to God's transformational work through the Holy Spirit, you'll experience His grace and mercy.
We are in a spiritual battle, and our enemy seeks to exploit our weaknesses through addiction. But we have God's divine power to win these battles. Call upon Him, and He will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3). With God's love and guidance, you can break free from addiction and live a life of hope, purpose, and spiritual fulfillment.
Dear God, I humbly ask you to examine my heart. Please cleanse me of every fleshly desire that has taken hold of me. Your word clearly states that I am not a slave to sin, but rather a Child of God who operates under the guidance of the Spirit.
I confess that I've strayed from your presence, and I am in desperate need of your help and deliverance. I come before you today, seeking your divine intervention to free me from my addiction. Your word proclaims that you are a jealous God, and we should have no other gods before you. Regrettably, I've allowed this addiction to become my idol. I've sacrificed my happiness and the happiness of those around me to feed this destructive habit.
In the name of Jesus, I renounce this addiction and firmly say "no" to every temptation. I recognize that Satan's plan is to destroy me, but I hold fast to the promise that Jesus came to give me life and life more abundantly. Therefore, I declare life over myself today. I reclaim my happiness, health, and joy, and I speak positively about my future.
Lord, please assist me in renewing my mind through the diligent study and meditation of your word. Help me maintain discipline in seeking you through a life of spiritual growth and transformation. Restore my body and soul, enabling me to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ
I confess my sins before you, acknowledging my faults, and I implore your mercy. I turn away from my own desires and seek your divine will for my life. May your glory shine through me and be glorified in and through me, all in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Reflect on these truths from Scripture!
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
- “If we admit our sins ... he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to Himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing” (1 John 1:9).
- “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)
- “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
- “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).