A few weeks ago – after an IG Live session with a dear friend- I became overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to write this. Prior to this discussion, I had a couple of friends with whom I’d been working with over the years with regards overcoming different sorts of addictions. Interestingly, many more people reached out to me after the IG Live session.

Truth is, many Christians are struggling with various addictions. A number of them are overcoming it, while others, though willing and working to get out, just keep sinking deeper- synonymous to getting stuck in miry clay.

With my own share of fighting and overcoming sexual related addictions, I present seven things I believe you should take note of in fighting addictions- irrespective of what type of addiction it might be.

1. Define the addiction(s) in light of God’s word.

There seem to be so many grey areas and middle grounds when it relates to popular addictions, but God’s word is pretty clear on being under the control of the flesh. It’s amazing how we can almost find articles online that supports and gives healthy benefits to things the bible implores us to give up.

The Bible also clearly states that we are dead to sin, so we are no more a slave to our fleshly desires. This means we can put off/to death those deeds of the flesh just like Paul said in  Romans 8:13-15.

Let the word be the final authority on everything.

2. You are not your addiction(s).

If you a believer, you are not a masturbator, you are not a sex addict. You are holy and righteous. You are saved. You are a child of God. You might say, I know all that, but I still masturbate, I still watch porn. I’ll reply you by saying that God doesn’t see you or relate with you by your addictions- but based on what Jesus did on the cross. When God looks at you, all He sees is someone He chose before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless. Someone whose sin has been paid for, forgiven and washed away.  It is important you stop defining yourself by your addictions, define yourself by God’s word instead. 

If you a believer, you are not a masturbator, you are not a sex addict. You are holy and righteous. You are saved. You are a child of God. Click To Tweet You might say, but I still masturbate, I still watch porn. I’ll reply you by saying that God doesn’t see you or relate with you by your addictions- but based on what Jesus did on the cross. Click To Tweet When God looks at you, all He sees is someone whose sin has been paid for, forgiven and washed away. It is important you stop defining yourself by your addictions, define yourself by God’s word instead. Click To Tweet

Take a cue from Paul,

Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:9-11‬‬). 

Notice in the verse above, Paul didn’t say they have stopped doing those things, but He said that is not who they are anymore- based on what Christ has done for them. He told them later in that chapter to Flee sexual immorality, which infers that some were still in the habit.

3. Get to the root of the addiction.

Try to investigate the source of the addiction. How did it start? How did it grow? What are its trigger points?

For many, their addictions are merely a surface reflection or coping mechanisms for another issue that eats them deep down: abuse, low self esteem, poor self acceptance, loneliness and so on. If such underlying issues are not fixed, the addiction will keep recurring- even if the person wants to get over it. Look deep within and ask many questions as you possibly can. Listen to your thoughts and the emotions behind the answers you find. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you see beyond the surface.

For many, their addictions are mere surface reflections of other underlying issues. And if such issues are not fixed, the addiction will keep recurring- even if the person wants to get over it. Click To Tweet

4. Work on your faith walk.

What I’ve found that has intensified the influence of a lot of addictions, is a poor faith walk, the absence of a consistent devotion to the study of God’s word and to prayer.

“I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.” (‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:16-17‬‬).

The power of the flesh and it’s rule over your action weakens when the spirit is healthy. Feeding the spirit, by praying, word study and active fellowship with God strengthens you to resist temptations.

Do you remember Peter? Do you know that it wasn’t a surprised he fell into the temptation of denying Jesus 3 times? Not because Jesus had predicted it, but because he failed to do what could have prevented it.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon , that your faith will not fail…”  – Luke 22:31-32

The above text was where Jesus told Peter he was going to be tempted. Now, in the next verses, Jesus met Peter sleeping when he asked that they pray together before his arrest.

Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – Matt 26:41-42

Here we see Jesus prescribe a straight plain solution to overcoming temptation, watch and pray.

“for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:13‬‬). 

On this note, I suggest you join a local assembly that partners with you for your progress and joy of faith. Change your close association to those who actively and consistently push your love and walk with God; people who spur your devotion to God in the word and in prayer; people with whom you can study and pray. Submit yourself to be discipled. 

Join a local assembly that partners with you for your progress and joy of faith. Change your close association to those who actively and consistently spur your devotion to God. Click To Tweet

5. Focus less on fighting/overcoming the addiction.

A lot of times, trying to fight addictions  is counterproductive- because anything you give attention to grows. Give attention to God, to the word and prayer (like in the previous point).  When your walk with God grows, the addiction shrinks.

Also, focus more on building a healthy/counter habit. Read, invest and be intentional about acquiring healthy habits. It is easier acquiring new habits that it is stopping old one. So, focus less on stopping the old habit such that you feel defeated every time you relapse and focus on building new, healthy and counter habits as the ones you want to stop.

Focus less on stopping the old habit such that you feel defeated every time you relapse and focus on building new, healthy and counter habits as the ones you want to stop. Click To Tweet

6. Give it time.

Overcoming addiction takes time and lots of repetition, falling and getting back up. Addictions aren’t built overnight, so don’t expect it to disappear overnight. What you need is the resolve to fight to the end, to your last breath.

Overcoming addiction takes time and lots of repetition, falling and getting back up. Addictions aren’t built overnight, so don’t expect it to disappear overnight. What you need is the resolve to fight to the end. Click To Tweet

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews‬ ‭12:3-4‬‬). 

“Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:3-4‬‬, NLT). 

7. When you fall, remember God’s undying love for you. 

What will help with fighting addiction is the firm understanding of God’s love. God’s love is independent of our action. He loved us while we were still sinners, so He doesn’t stop loving us when we fall. He has made a provision for us to live above sin- by putting the sin nature to death and giving us His spirit; so now, we can put off the fleshly nature.

“For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:6-8‬‬).

What will help with fighting addiction is the firm understanding of God’s love. God’s love is independent of our action. He loved us while we were still sinners, so He doesn’t stop loving us when we fall. Click To Tweet

I really hope these points will bring help and healing to someone. Please share this articles and the click to tweets to help someone in your network who might need this.

I’ll highly recommend you read some of the other articles on this blog that covers this subject. Here are a few;

Struggling With ADDICTIONS – A Way Out

7 Things That Make Sin Stronger

Diary of a Dark Horse: My 10 Years Struggle with Pornography

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