“Addicts Victorious in Christ”
The first and often-times the most important fact for victory over addictions is the attitude of the addict concerning their addiction. Unless a Biblical understanding of their addiction is acknowledged there can be no real victory over an addiction for the Bible clearly states: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust has conceived it brings forth sin, and sin when it is finished, brings forth death.”(James 1:13-15)
The present-day thinking among many who deal with addicts creates a victim mentality, telling the addict that he had no choice in the matter because his environment, his childhood, or his inability to have access to adequate medical or psychological help is the root cause of his problem. In addition, the so-called victim is also told that his addiction is in reality a disease and they had no actual choice in the matter, therefore, it must be treated as any other disease such as cancer, diabetes etc. If the addict adopts this modern-day mentality there can be no real success in applying God’s power!
However, if they take responsibility for their condition by recognizing the obvious principles found in God’s Holy Word and apply God’s cure found in Christ, the calamity of any addiction can be eliminated and the addict can be victorious through the power of God in Christ. Although the passage above (James 1:13-15) is normally applied to born-again Christians, the truths/principles can be applied to an addict whether they are in Christ or in Adam:
1. The first step is the temptation occurs: “When they are drawn away of their own lust and enticed”
2. Then: “When lust has conceived it brings forth sin”
3. Then: “Sin when it is finished brings forth death [spiritual]”
The starting point is the person’s desire/lust to commit the single sinful act whether it be to drink, smoke, gamble, abuse drugs, pornography, etc. all of which occur through the lust of the flesh. Then by allowing lust to continue through repeatedly entertaining the enticement they commit that first sinful act and this first act of sin eventually turns into a habit.
Then the habit turns into an addiction controlling the addict’s life which is aptly described as “Sin when it is finished brings forth death” for the death spoken of here is spiritual. The addict’s life is no longer controlled by the Holy Spirit [believer] neither is it controlled by their own will [believer/unbeliever] but instead they are now controlled by another spirit that is in charge of the mind, will and emotions of the addict.
Every addiction must be viewed though the filter of the spiritual realm [not the physical] as described in the Bible in order to have complete victory in Christ. Therefore, the real enemy that is being fought must be recognized as the devil and his demonic powers for: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand [against the wiles of the devil] in the evil day and having done all to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12, 13)
And, in the case of the one who is still in Adam, it must be acknowledged that they are without Christ and are“Children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38) who can only be cured by: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which lives and abides forever.” (I Peter 1:23) “Ye must be born again…that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3, 6)
The second step for complete victory over an addiction is the application of the Word of God in the life of the addict for as one preacher has rightly said: “The Word of God does the Work of God!” for the Word of God is in fact the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! Yes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
(John 1:1). No amount of physical effort, or self help programs, nor psychology/psychiatry etc. can bring complete victory to those who are struggling with an addiction, for the efforts of man will only bring fruitless frustration. But, the simple application of God’s Word can and will bring complete and lasting victory every single time it is applied in faithful obedience for we have God’s promise:“Therefore, if any man be in Christ [born-again], he is a new creature: old things [Satanic controlled addictions] are passed away; behold, all things [Christ-like addictions] are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
1. Being born again places the addict “in Christ”
2. Being born again causes the addict “in Christ” to become a new creature/creation
3. Being born again causes old things [Satanic addictions] to pass away
4. Being born again causes all things [Christ-like addictions] to become new
The old, dark, ugly controlling and self-centered addictions must immediately be replaced by “New Addictions” of Christ-likeness which are focused upon ministry to others as described in this Scripture:“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they HAVE ADDICTED themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helps with us, and labors.”
(I Corinthians 16:15, 16) That means: Get busy meeting the needs of others and “Cast your cares upon the Lord”.
This one single passage contains the underlying truth for complete victory over addictions: Replace the self-centered addictions immediately with saint-centered addictions that begin with the simple, but most important act of ministering to others through “prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4)! The key to ministry success is found in the two words “in Christ” which occurs by first of all being born again which supplies the believing addict “With all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3) This phrase “in Christ” is found (35) times in Ephesians which is rightly described as: “The Book for the Battle.” This most essential book for the saint is divided into three sections:
I. The Believers Wealth (Ephesians 1-3) Key word: Faith: Gives victory over the World-Know your Position
II. The Believers Walk (Ephesians 4:1-6:9) Key word: Follow/Flee:Gives victory over the Flesh-Know your Power
III. The Believers Warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18) Key word: Fight: Gives victory over the Devil-Know your Plan
The (24) “Spiritual blessings” or The Believer’s Wealth is described in Ephesians 1-3 which must be digested and understood in order to build a secure foundation for the believer to perform their ministry to the saints. Then the saint is prepared to Walk “in the Spirit” performing their ministry to the saints “in love” [(5) times in Chapter 4:1-6:9] through participating in the ongoing Holy Spirit-led Warfare (6:10-18) which takes place in heaven. The ministry of prayer and the Word in the life of the addict/believer is accomplished by the following faith-building disciplines:
1. Daily Disciplined Reading (See “Bible Reading Schedule”)
2. Memory of Key Verses (See “Scripture Memory Partner Plan”)
3. Prayer(Plan:“ThePracticingPriestuntoGod” booklet) All three are available at www.btmi.org/discipleship.html
These ongoing activities are vital for the addict/believer to continue abiding “In Christ” (John 15:1-16) maintaining fellowship with Him as He “The Captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10) becomes the addict’s/believer’s:
1. Life (Colossians 3:1)
2. Leader (Psalm 32:8)
3. Lord (I Timothy 6:14)
**The information written above is not merely a theory or an idea because these Bible truths have been tried and tested for the writer of this message is a former 15-year drug-abuser/alcoholic/addict/two pack a day smoker who has been ‘clean’ for over thirty years...since the day that God delivered me: ‘From the power of darkness[Control by the devil] and translated me into the kingdom of His dear Son!’ (Colossians 1:13) making me a new creation in Christ by His Holy Spirit Who gave me His new birth which supplied me with a supernatural hunger for His Word and fellowship with His people! This transforming power from God is what every addict needs in order to give them new life in Christ!! And, although this might seem complicated to some, all it took was me recognizing my sins and turning from them unto Jesus, He did the rest, and He will do the same for you if you turn from your sin and your own efforts and put your trust in Jesus!
The world’s medical expert’s attempts to cure my addictions had no real lasting results. Counseling with a psychiatrist, his drug therapy, eventually being admitted to a ‘mental institution’ where different forms of therapy were given to me, and eventually I received electro-shock therapy in attempts to cure my ‘mental problems’ which in fact were sin-caused spiritual problems, but all of these attempts by man could not cure my sin-sick soul. Only Jesus has the real cure for man’s ills, and rightly so, for He created us and who better than the Creator to bring rest to His child: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-30) My addictions were replaced by digesting the Word of God and ministering to others through prayer addicting myself to the Lord’s Word and His work were the keys to the sustained healing of my soul. I allowed the Creator to minister to my spiritual needs through His supernatural Word.
By: Chaplain/Evangelist L.E. Wolfe www.btmi.org [Read and see my testimony pics at our website]