Addiction is powerful. It takes a person’s heart and makes it a slave. It spins a person in a cycle or failure, guilt, determination, effort, and more failure. At that point, the substance or action is often blamed for the addiction. Most assume it is the alcohol, the drug, the pornography, or the food. They make it their goal to rid themselves of the substance only to find the craving more intense and more difficult to resist.
Addiction however is not as much about the substance as it is belief that resides in heart.
Sin, habits, and addictions grow out of the impulses of the heart. They come from a void inside that has yet to be filled by the experience of knowing the wonder of God in Jesus Christ. Repetitive sins of the same kind have a unique power that isolated sins do not have. They increase doubt, guilt, and condemnation. They cause us to question ourselves and God. Once the heart in consumed with guilt, condemnation, and rejection, the sin begins to reign as the biggest power in our life. We are then enslaved.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Romans 6:12
Addiction starts in belief. Breaking free begins not with the substance, but with belief. The first step in being free is recognizing wrong belief. The voices the enemy uses to enslave us come with these messages:
1. “I’m such a failure.”
It’s one thing to admit we have failed. It is quite another to assume that the failure is who we are. Once we cross the bridge of this belief, the enemy has a foothold into our soul. When I conclude my failure is identity, my person, my life, my past, my future, my destiny, then I am enslaved. The enemy wants us to conclude: “I am an alcoholic.” “I am a loser.” “I am fat.” “I am messed up.” “I am a relationship disaster.” The core belief about who you are will determine your focus, your direction, and your strength.
The day we accept the grace of God in Jesus by faith, we are made new! We are no longer called sinners or unrighteous. By faith in Jesus, we are called by Him: beloved, accepted, forgiven, without fault, blameless and righteous! We are to no longer think of ourselves as who we were before. If we think our identity is in our failure and that we are unrighteous, we will find ourselves submitting ourselves to our sin, our habit, our addiction.
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin Romans 6:13a
2. “I must punish myself.”
There is a voice that naturally assumes that the way to overcoming is to punish ourselves more for our failures. We believe we should:
- put ourselves down
- regularly beat ourselves up for failing
- not allow ourselves to enjoy life
- not allow ourselves to enjoy God
- not allow ourselves to accept good
When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He did so to take away the punishment for sin. He took into His body the full force of our disobedience. He endured not only the physical torture of the Roman soldiers, but also the emotional, mental, and soul turmoil of separation from the Father. He did that so that you and I would not have to ever face it again. He was the once and for all sacrifice for sin. This frees His followers from ever having to punish themselves for their sin!
but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead Romans 6:13b
3. “I have to focus on stopping this sin.”
When the sin, habit, or addiction becomes our focus, we lose the very essence of the power that we need to overcome. We also awaken with us a greater desire for the sin! The apostle Paul said in Romans 7:7b-8a, “I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.”
Real victory happens when our focus is on the fact that in Jesus Christ, we have received the very righteousness of Christ as a gift! As I remind myself of this truth, I find a new power to overcome temptation, sin, habits, and addiction!
and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13c
4. “If I stop this sin, God will bless me.”
The logical conclusion of the natural man is that God cannot bless or love us while we are still sinners. We assume there is condemnation, rejection, separation, and shame. We assume it is our responsibility to overcome the sin so that God will bless us. The wonder of the Good News is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! He loved us and gave us the fullness of heaven while we were still enemies!
He gives us grace!
We had broken the Law, yet Jesus took our condemnation. We had done nothing righteous, yet He gives us His righteousness. This is what we are now under! We don’t live under the demands of the Law, we live under the supply of grace!
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
As one who has received the grace of God in Jesus Christ:
- You are not a failure! You are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ!
- You no longer have to punish yourself! Jesus took the full weight of punishment on the cross!
- Your goal is to receive the forgiveness for your sin and the gift of righteousness! This will give you the power to overcome sin!
- You have already been blessed by God, while you were still a sinner! He’s not waiting for you to overcome! He’s given you His Son already!
For related audio message: Sin Detox
For related blogs: