Addictions and Spiritual Warfare -by Lois Macdonald

Addictions prey on our sinful nature, like fierce, ravenous lions. Skillfully isolating their targets; luring them further and further away from the safety and support of family, and friends. They appeal to the desires of the vulnerable, the depressed, oppressed, lonely, chronically ill, and broken-hearted. Baiting them with empty promises of happiness, and freedom from stress and pain. To overindulge in anything, will cause significant amounts of dopamine to be released into the brain, which temporarily mimics happiness or euphoria. Software developers count on this reaction to sell more and more video games, to our addicted children! Tragically, there is a point when these chemicals begin to interrupt logical thinking, sending the addict spiraling into a world of endless obsessions and possibly a crime. Any resemblance of joy is soon devoured, leaving a trail of destructive behavioral patterns behind. Broken relationships, lies, debt, shame, poor grades, and most often a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness.

The Master of Deception is Satan. The apostle Peter gave this warning in AD 62, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

Once an addiction gains enough momentum, it will take nothing short of a miracle to stop its insatiable appetite. Whether Christian or non-Christian, no one is safe from the lion’s attacks.  Adam and Eve were his first victims and look at the ripple effect from their choice.  “What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of a man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.” —C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity.

In conclusion, can we break the cycle of addictions in our own strength? The answer is no! Even the founders of addiction recovery programs have agreed on that. Their solution is to turn to a “Higher Power” for healing. While that bandages the wound and can help it feel a little better, it will never completely heal the wound, unless they have chosen Jesus as their “Higher Power.” Addictions are symptoms of being in spiritual warfare. The truth that brings us hope for recovery was given close to 2000 years ago.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 



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