Battling addiction can be one of the hardest things we’ll ever face. But do you even know what you’re up against? There are 3 enemies that stand in your way daily, but the Lord has also provided us with 3 powerful weapons to defeat them. In this article we’ll explore how to overcome your addiction + be prepared to fight.
Need more help? Be sure to listen to the Broken to Blessed Addiction Podcast.
Why battling addiction is hard
When you become dependent on drugs or alcohol, getting clean can seem like a mountain of a task. After all, we start self-medicating for a reason– maybe to ease the pain and suffering, or deal with stress. But recovering addicts understand that what was a method of coping has now created a whole mess of problems.
Battling an addiction is hard because it’s not just about abstinence. You can’t simply take the addiction out of the equation.
This simply leads to swapping addictions or relapsing back into the addiction.
Nope, what needs to happen is a full on heart change. Our intentions, our desires, our thinking patterns all need to change. But how do you change when it’s just so dang hard?
Did you know that you are in a spiritual battle, and you are fighting 3 enemies every day?
Thankfully, God has also provided us with 3 weapons to combat these enemies. But more on that later.
You have 3 Enemies when battling addiction
I think it’s important for the recovering addict to understand that this is more than meets the eye– this is a spiritual battle. Below are 3 enemies that ALL people face, not just addicts. But it’s key that we understand what we’re up against, so we can be prepared for combat.
Let’s get one thing straight: Satan is real. I know that many people struggle with this truth, even new Christians struggle with this. That’s because the best lie Satan ever told the world was that he didn’t exist. And we’re living in a reality where most people don’t think there really is a Satan.
Yet we can see him everywhere, celebrated even, in today’s world. Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious, other times it’s joked about, or subtly mentioned.
Make no mistake: Satan is real, and he’s disguised as a being of light. He’s always going to present himself as working for your best interest, but he’s not.
The Bible tells us this in 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinithians 11:14-15 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Satan wants to get in your head, and he wants you to believe a lie. So he’s going to twist the truth and convince you that you’re a “good person”, you’re a “victim”, and you’re “doing your best.” He’s going to take advantage of our weaknesses, and present sin as a logical/justifiable choice.
That’s because Satan’s goal is to destroy the good plan for your life.
And when he gets into our heads, that’s when we can fall into our addictions. We can also feel anxiety take over or depression hit us in the face. Because he has convinced us to believe lies. Whatever the lie is.
- “No one loves me.”
- “My life is like this because I grew up without a mom/dad.”
- “When I was 14 (blank) happened, and so I deserve this drink.”
- “This world is just too hard, so why even try.”
And so on and so forth.
Listen, give me 20 minutes and I can become the biggest victim you’ve ever met. That’s because we all have hardships and sorrows from our past. We all have a “fill in the blank” story that Satan will absolutely use to make us feel bad about ourselves, and justified to sin or continue to sin.
Here’s the thing though: Satan doesn’t have any spiritual authority over the Christian– it’s only when Christians allow Satan authority that he gets into our heads.
2. The World
When we’re talking about the world, I mean the world’s thinking, our culture, and the mainstream mindset on life. The world is constantly bombarding your brain with lies on a daily basis in the following ways:
- Social media
- Movies and television
Along with Satan, the world is telling you these lies:
- You’re a victim
- You’re justified in your actions
- You deserve this (especially if you have an addiction)
- It’s okay to want the better things in life
- Live your truth
- Empower yourself
- Just do it
- Life is about pleasure
Again this is a mindset issue. Satan gets into your mind, and the world gets into your mind. And when you spend too much time in the world, it starts to shape your opinions and your thinking in a negative way.
Spending time in the world can even have an impact on your faith– one day your faith will be 1000% and the next day 10%. This is why we have to be careful of how much time we are dedicating to things such as social media or even reading the news.
3. Our Flesh
This is our thinking, speaking, and actions. What we desire everyday, our thought process, how we communicate to others around us, and how we live our lives.
Remember, we are all sinners. Romans 3:10 says:
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
This is why our flesh is so hard to combat, because we mess up. We make mistakes. We think we’re doing good, and we fall again. But, scripture also says the righteous will fall 7 times but rise again (Proverbs 24:16).
The struggle is real, and daily.
It’s a battle between what we want (our flesh), and what God wants. But the crazy thing is that if we just would be obedient to the Lord, he would give us so much better than we could ever imagine. The Lord’s plan is always going to be better than mine. His outcome is always going to be better, because he sees things I don’t see.
We often look at overcoming addiction as a punishment. As if we “won’t be able to have fun anymore” or “loosen up.” This comes from a poor mindset that believes that this is as good as it gets.
No, my friend. The Lord has SO much better for you. Better than you or I could dream up.
So what do we do?
First and foremost, we have to combat Satan’s lies with Biblical truths.
We have to 1. Recognize the lie, and then 2. Take action with scripture to replace the lie with a Biblical truth. It’s not enough to rebuke (not today Satan). No, we have to use scripture as ammo on the battlefield that is our minds.
Even Jesus used scripture to combat Satan in Matthew 4:
3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’
This is why it’s important to read our Bible. To prepare and be prepared.
We also have to avoid activities and things that are very worldly.
That means we don’t watch television programs or movies that we know are bad for our spirit or will trigger us in a certain way. We stop scrolling on social media, where we know worldly ideas are fostered and celebrated. Furthermore, we don’t go to bars or places that we know will get us into trouble.
Instead, we begin to approach life in a Biblical way— we begin to look at things through the lense of the Lord, and not of the world.
The Lord has given you 3 Weapons
So how do we deal with all these enemies?
God has given us 3 weapons to fight against them:
- Jesus Christ, our savior, who died for our sins on the cross.
- The Holy Spirit, which dwells within us when we are saved and helps us with discernment.
- The Word of God, which helps prepare us and is our sword for battle.
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [b]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
This means we have to put on the whole armor of God.
We have to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the gospel of peace. We need to take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, every day.
Battling addiction can be hard, but it is not impossible. Nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God.
Now that you know the 3 enemies that you face each day, I pray that you prepare yourself daily for battle. This ain’t no joke either! Put on the full armor of God so that you may stand firm.
I pray this blesses you.
Listen to this podcast episode
Any mental health information contained within this post is for general purposes only. It is not in any way a substitute for specific medical advice. You must therefore obtain the relevant professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the information in these webpages.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.