Five Biblical Helps for Overcoming Addictions

Five Biblical Helps for Overcoming Addictions

Proverbs 23:35 reads, “They have struck
me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it; When shall I awake,
that I may seek another drink?” Just about any word could be substituted for
“drink” in this passage since this lesson is about overcoming addictions. We are talking about a thing that has control
over you, controls your thoughts, which leads to destructive actions. Drugs, lust, anger, vengeance, pornography;
anything that blocks you from your primary love to the Lord. We will discuss the topic of overcoming addictions
from a spiritual perspective, not a medical one. It is my hope that you will take advantage
of any good medical help you need, any good counseling or support groups that are available. We understand that there are physical reasons
some have a greater inclination to drugs/alcohol, but on a spiritual level, every addict bears
personal responsibility for his/her decisions. In this lesson we will assume you are ready
to take responsibility. There are five important points we will discuss
in this lesson that will help one who is struggling with addiction. The first, obvious point we want to make is
that the best way to overcome addiction is to never begin something sinful that can lead
to addiction. 1 Timothy 6:11 reads, “But you, O man of
God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” The best way to avoid addiction is to avoid
sin. If there is a support group to help you stop
something, you should probably never start it. I was at a lectureship about eight years ago,
and I listened to a gospel preacher, who is also a recovering alcoholic, talk about how
he started drinking. He began drinking with his friends in his
youth. He then began drinking every weekend, and
over the years that followed the pattern was set. He went from drinking socially to not being
able to make it through the day without alcohol in his system. I listened to him describe the pain that drinking
brought into his life, and listened to him describe how difficult it has been for him
to overcome this addiction. He made the statement, “Oh how I wish I
had never taken that first drink.” Solomon gives us great inspired advice when
he tells us to “Remember the Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). We will battle things in our adulthood that
we thought were harmless in our youth. Run from these things. However, what can we do if we have already
developed a habit that is controlling us? The place where we must begin, and brings
us to our second point, is to get into a right relationship with God so He can help you. “He who covers his sins will not prosper,
but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). I don’t have to tell you that it is difficult
to leave the past behind; you already know that it is not. Many make the mistake of trying to wait until
they have everything right before they come to Christ for help. I can respect that thinking to a degree. However, you must come to understand that
you cannot get everything right without Christ, or else He never would have had to come. It’s kind of like a skydiver waiting until
he hits the ground to open his parachute. That parachute is there to help you on the
way down to the ground. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us about the help we
gain from Christ: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through
the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot
sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without
sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne
of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” James 4:7 shows us the importance of soliciting
God’s help: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Paul wrote to the Corinthians and told them
that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation
will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is a significant statement all by itself,
but when one considers the audience to whom Paul was writing, it makes it all the more
powerful. Listen to the background of these Corinthian
Christians: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,
nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified,
but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11). They were able to overcome these sinful habits
with the help of God. The third thing that will help us overcome
addiction is the ability to forgive ourselves. You need to understand the great biblical
truth taught in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Do not let your addiction define who you are. In other words don’t have the attitude:
“Well, I am an addict first and foremost.” No, you are a child of God who is working
to overcome the evils of this world! I have known so many people who cannot overcome
sin, because they cannot get past the fact that they have been forgiven and that is not
who they are anymore! Do not lose heart if you slip up as you work
with God’s help to overcome an addiction in your life. Overcoming is a process. A good friend of mine, who is also a preacher,
used to have a bad habit of using swear words before he was a Christian. He worked hard to overcome it, and he did. We were together one time and a driver almost
hit us, and a swear word came out of his mouth. He had not used that type of language in years,
but something that he thought had been buried resurfaced. He couldn’t believe it, but it happened. Thankfully, he did not allow it to develop
into a pattern. He asked God’s forgiveness, forgave himself
and went on. Life is about getting up one more time than
you fall. “For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity” (Proverbs 24:16). A fourth thing that will help overcome addiction
is to replace the addiction with good things. When we give up something we enjoy, a hole
remains. That friend I described earlier overcame swearing
by praying each time he slipped up. Initially he would have to pray for forgiveness
several times a day until eventually swearing was no longer a part of his life. He told me, however, that because he was praying
so many times a day he developed a habit of talking to God in prayer. Other things that will help are Bible study,
assembling with the saints, helping others that are battling the same thing you are fighting. Along these lines we must avoid the places,
and sometimes even the people where the temptation is the strongest. Rather than going to the place where you participated
in the activity you are trying to overcome, go to places where you can be a help to others. Last, one of the most important things that
can be done to overcome addiction is to have someone you can confide in for help; someone
who can be an encouragement to you. Someone you can call when the temptation is
strong. With God’s help you can overcome addiction. I remember that preacher I mentioned earlier
who is a recovering alcoholic making this statement; in fact he has written these same
words: “As I stood there drinking, I became disgusted with myself and what I had become. Fifteen years earlier, I had a drink. That day, the drink had me. In my youth, I drank for pleasure’s sake. I remember thinking highly of those who abstained
on the grounds that God would not approve. I also remember thinking that they were being
overly cautious and bound by law. Yet, fifteen years later, I realized they
had been freed by God’s law.” There is never a command given by God that
is anything but for my own good. Rather than fighting the words of God, submit
to them and you will find true freedom.


  1. I am three minutes into this video. I am way past the sin of deciding to use. That was long, long ago. I am in deep. I have been searching for inspirational videos on encouragement in Scripture. What the hell? My general interpretation is simply that being a " drunkard" is simply a disgusting sin. Okay, I'm going to listen to the rest of this video. As I am desperate.

  2. Thank you Jesus!!! I believe that I will be able to overcome addiction with your help Daddy God!!! I believe that you will also help every person watching this video who are undergoing temptations in each day of your life. Cover them with your Holy precious blood and shield them with your Shechina Grace… Help us to inherit your kingdom.. In Jesus most mighty precious name I pray Amen

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