Deuteronomy  7

Strongholds and Addictions

  Hi I’m Dave, I’m addicted to sugar. There I said it.  I am as addicted to sugar as an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol or a drug addict is to drugs. I have used sugar to give me energy so I can keep up my pace, comfort when I am emotionally drained, and pleasure just because, and to bring momentary relief to stress.  In short, sugar has become an idol or a little god in my life. Over the years I have come to realize there is a price to pay for being addicted to sugar.  It’s going to cost me my health and quite possibly my life. I know it is an addiction because it manages me, I don’t manage it.

 Over the years I have battled against my addiction and have achieved various levels of success and failure. Deep down I know what to do but struggle with doing it. Something inside me tells me sugar is really not a problem and I should be, and am even entitled to, consume goodies that are made of sugar.  After all, everyone is doing it.

 Deuteronomy 7 to me, reads like a battle plan for addressing addiction.  Let me give you a summary of a few verses and you can see if they hit where you live.

 Vs 1. God knows we addicts battle with something that is bigger and stronger than we are but to have victory these must be cleared away.

Vs 2.  Though we are not strong enough to defeat them, God with us is able. He will give the victory if I will surrender to Him and do it His                                 

 way.  That means I am not to sabotage the work by showing favor to or making a deal with my addiction.  I must turn my life over to God.

Vs 3.  I love chocolate. Years ago I entered into a love relationship with chocolate and sugar.  I can’t think of chocolate fondly anymore.  I                                     need  to realize my addiction is harming me and a love relationship with sugar must be broken.

Vs 4.  I need to realize my addiction is a witness to those who are observing me and following me. The people I love the most may well be the                             people who are most affected by my behavior and likely to fall into the same trap.

Vs.5.  Wherever there is an idol there is an altar. When it comes to addictions that     altar is likely within. It could be those old jokes I used to                               justify or glorify my addiction in order to hide it. Speaking of hiding it, there are the lies I tell  myself and others that keep me in denial   It                                     could be a fond memory that caused me to covet that which I am trying to give up. These must be identified and done away with.

Vs.6-10.  Up until now we have focused on the things we need to do, but in order to do them, we need the power.  The power to do what we                               cannot do ourselves is from our relationship with God.  Remember, the first thing we need to do is recognize our helplessness and                                       surrender our life to God.  As we focus our relationship on God, and off of our idols, we will realize  that God is for us.                                         

 Verse 7 tells us that God knows we do not have the power or the ability to overcome our addictions on our own. 

In verse 8 we read because of God’s love for us, He has lavished His love on us, even when we may not feel loveable, God loves                                              us and has redeemed us from slavery.

 Verses 9&10 tell us that God is faithful and wants to demonstrate His love and faithfulness in our lives, but we must face the truth and                                              confess our need.  If we will do this, God will do in us what we cannot do ourselves.  The key is to stay connected to our power source.

Over the years of dealing with addiction I have learned that one of the first things that we let go of in our lives is the truth. We lie to ourselves and others.  We divert the focus on the truth of our condition to someone or something else. Addiction begins when we believe our lies and deception.  There is hope however, in Jesus Christ.  Here is what He said in some verses about facing the truth.

John 3:17-21

1 John 1:6-10

John 8:31-36

 To make and follow a list of do’s and don’ts may be helpful but the power to do them is in the Spirit of Jesus living within us, by the Holy Spirit. Without surrender to the Holy Spirit, and spiritual renewal, rehab is often a revolving door. God is able to do in us what we cannot do ourselves. We cannot afford to miss this truth.  We need His power.

 May God grant eyes to see and ears to hear.

He wants to bless.