February 12, 2018 by maryruwe
Addictions are rampant today; a day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear about one or several different kinds. Over the years we’ve heard a lot about the addictions alcohol and drugs and now other addiction-types are coming to the fore front; like sugar addiction and yes even sexual addictions. Most families have dealt with some area of addictions from lesser to greater degrees of a stronghold. I do believe that when we look at these from a Biblical perspective God gives us the answer to all of them.
Have you ever struggled to be free of a stronghold? A simple illustration of trying to get your foot free from seaweed when swimming in a lake can become a stronghold if one can’t get free from it in time to swim away safely. Or maybe the stronghold is – or was – more serious, like an addiction to drugs, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, or even pornography. Most people know the harmful effects and consequences of these forms of additions. I’m sure you can think of more to add to the list but we’ll stop here.
The dictionary defines an addiction as being in a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance that is characterized by physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. An addict is described as a person who devotes or surrenders themselves to something, habitually or excessively. However, rather than talk about the substances themselves that cause problems, I want to talk about individuals – you and me – who struggle with problems within ourselves and how our decisions begin the process to being free.
My personal testimony was revealed to me in a dream I had over forty years ago. My husband and I were just learning about what the Bible said about Salvation – who we are in Christ, about healing and prosperity, forgiving others, walking in kindness and love. One night I dreamed someone was attacking me. The scene was at the top of a flight of stairs. This intruder was trying to push me down the stairs. It seemed a long and intense fight and then suddenly – the one I thought was the intruder fell down the staircase and for the first time I saw her face – it was me! But I was still at the top of the stairs. This dream was not about an actual fight but about the struggle within me. Was I going to believe the Bible and what God said or what the traditions of man said? Was I going to lay down my thoughts that I had developed over the years based on what others said or was I going to believe God. My choice, my decision to believe the Bible, God’s Word, was the beginning of my deliverance from shyness, fear, anger, depression and yes, even jealously. Was any deliverance manifested immediately? No. All were a work of progress of God revealing His love and faithfulness to me, proving to me that I could trust Him.
Ephesians 2:10 says it this way, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
As I said my deliverance began with a choice – my decision – my choosing God’s Word to reign in my heart and my life. My ability to receive the deliverance God had for me began with the choice to believe and know His Word. My continuance to maintain that deliverance is the same, continuing to choose to believe and walk in the truths of His Word.
James 1:25 tells us that if we continue in His Word and not be a forgetful hearer but a doer (of the Word), then we will be blessed in what we do.
First John 5:13 instructs us to continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
I remember an Old Cherokee Legend I heard years ago.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me. It’s a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. It’s a terrible fight because both spirits want to dominate me. The same fight is going on inside every person.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The grandfather simple replied, “The one you feed.”
We must make choices regarding what we listen to, read, and watch on TV and movies etc. The choices of what we feed our spirit and mind determines how quickly we are able to receive our deliverance from the power of darkness, and how quickly we are able to walk in victory according to God’s Word.
Deliverance begins with the desire to be free. I’ve never smoked but I can tell you that I have never met a person to be delivered from that addiction UNLESS they first desired to be free from it. Their choice to be free starts the process. This is true of any addiction or stronghold: anger, greed, envy, jealously, inferiority, sorrow, regret, hatred, and even an unruly tongue. Only God has the power to deliver us, but it is our desire to be free and our choices to submit to Him that starts the process and ultimately set us free.
We must know that God not only wants us free from evil addictions and strongholds, but we also must know that He has set us free. Any work of the devil is referred to as darkness. Colossians 1:13 tells us that God has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Jesus is the Light of the world. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life”.
Now I should state here that when many strongholds begin we may not even be aware of them. Thoughts and feelings may seem very insignificant and harmless at first, but left unchecked they will grow stronger and stronger until they dominate our thinking, words, and behavior. Please know that no matter how subtle the beginning is the purpose of a stronghold – or addiction – is the work of the devil who wants to eventually steal, kill, and destroy us. But Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly. And in case you missed it; living under the bondage of the power of darkness – addictions and strongholds – would not be considered abundant living. (John 10:10)
Deliverance begins with the desire and choice to be free. To maintain that deliverance is continually making right choices and decisions. Trusting God is where the power comes from for our deliverance – no matter what the problem might be.
I pray that this message is a help to you. Don’t give up or become weary of the process of God’s workmanship in you; for if you continue trusting God you will reap your harvest of deliverance from the power of darkness and be translated (changed) into the power of Light of God’s Kingdom in Christ Jesus.