Shattering the Stronghold of Addiction

No one ever starts doing something in the hopes of getting addicted. It just happens. To the addicted, addiction seems to be their life source, something which they cannot live without, but this extreme dependency is nothing less than a curse. If you are entangled in the webs of addiction, then let the Word of God shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

Addiction and the Soul

Your soul consists of your mind, will, and emotions. It is basically your human personality.

Psalm 94:18-19 World English Bible (WEB)
When I said, “My foot is slipping!”    Your loving kindness, Yahweh, held me up.19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me,    your comforts delight my soul.

This is why the Bible says to love God with all your soul, and as in the above verse, it says that God can comfort your soul. So, your soul is who you are as an emotional being.

1 Peter 2:11 World English Bible (WEB)
11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Now, addiction is a fleshly lust. It affects one’s body and is a deep, irresistible desire. The Bible says it is these types of desires which wage war against your soul.

You may be experiencing food addiction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or any other type of addiction, but they are all waging war against your soul! They are not for you, they are against you.

The Struggle With Addiction

Your mind may not want it; you may be saying to yourself, “Ah, how I wish I could stop this addiction, but I just can’t, it’s impossible.”

And so, it is clear that addiction does not care about your soul’s wishes it just strongly pulls a person to do something which is not good. This in part is because addiction is at heart, sin.

Romans 7:15-18 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good.

It is this inward struggle with sin that Paul is talking about. Although he was not addicted to a substance of any sort, he was struggling with the sinful nature that entices many people to fall into addiction’s grasp. He is writing through the Holy Spirit how even he, the apostle on fire for God, was not able to break apart from his sinful nature. But, he talks about the solution in the next chapter and that same solution applies to you if you struggle with addiction.

Shatter the Stronghold of Addiction

Romans 8:1 World English Bible (WEB)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

This is the start of Paul’s next chapter in the Letter of Romans. He says when you walk according to the Spirit, you will not be condemned.

If you believe you are condemned as a slave to whatever addiction there may be, let me tell you, there’s hope for you. Paul was just talking in the previous chapter about how he consistently failed in a certain area of his life. But, now he writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.

When you are in Jesus, you are not, “condemned,” to be an addict. No one can decide your fate except Jesus and He decided to free you. Therefore, accept what He has provided for you. Jesus already defeated the addiction that is trying to trick you into following it. Let God shatter the stronghold of addiction.

The King Who Conquered Temptation

You may say, “Andre, how would you know how addiction feels like, you don’t understand its grip on me!”

Yes, but, Jesus understands your situation. He was tempted for forty days! Yet, Jesus was tempted so that He could understand your pains. And even so, He never lost to temptation.

Matthew 4:2-4 World English Bible (WEB)
When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterwardThe tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth.’”Deuteronomy 8:3

Moreover, in those forty days, He fasted. He ate nothing. And it is in these moments that eating feels like an addiction. I am not saying that prior to this extreme temptation, Jesus was addicted to food. I am saying that He biologically like any other human being would desire to eat. But, the urges to eat must have been extremely difficult. So much so, that it is comparable to how an average person may struggle to abstain from substance addiction.

The devil tempted Him to eat, he reminded Jesus that He could turn a stone into a nice, puffy loaf of bread. Yet, Jesus resisted in obedience to the Father so you could experience the same victory over temptation!

Jesus said man shall live by every word that comes from God, so live based on what He says about you. Do not live based on the lies of the enemy. You can remind yourself that Jesus lives in you and He is the Word of God who is your source of Life.

Hebrews 4:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.

The Solution to Addiction

The moment you feel tempted, remind yourself, “Jesus already set me free, I am God’s dearly beloved child!” This is what you call resisting the devil. You are not giving up your identity to the lies of the enemy. No matter what tempts you, it cannot waver you from the solid identity you have in Jesus as the beloved child of God. As you submit to God, resisting the lies of the enemy, you allow God to shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

James 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Proverbs 3:34 Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

If you have not already accepted Jesus, know this: He wants you to be in a relationship with Him. When you believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross for you, there is no spiritual enemy or addiction which can condemn you. Rather, His Spirit will work in you.

Therefore, when you believe in Jesus, God’s Spirit is in you and if you think it is fate for you to fall into addiction, reject that mindset. Jesus already decided your fate and He says that your future is nothing but good, a future devoid of addiction. It is in your hands to yield yourself to His love as you submit to Him, and to stand firmly in the truth which Jesus called you to follow.

Wisdom’s Blessing on the Righteous

It is such a wonderful thing to be wise. At some point in every person’s life, life-changing decisions must be made. And it is in these moments that wisdom plays a role.

Is Wisdom Needed?

Wisdom is needed because how we act is dependant on how we think. If one lives with a foolish mindset, it will lead to that person’s eventual destruction.

Proverbs 1:7 World English Bible (WEB)
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
    but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

No one wants to be foolish, so develop that desire for wisdom, to do what God wants you to do. The Bible says it is better to be wise than to be rich. That does not mean you should be poor, it just means that you should prioritize being wise.

Proverbs 3:13-14 World English Bible (WEB)
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
    the man who gets understanding.
14 For her good profit is better than getting silver,
    and her return is better than fine gold.

King Solomon prioritized wisdom and because of that God rewarded him with riches. So, in the same way, God wants you to seek His wisdom, and then prosperity will follow you.

God’s Answer to Wisdom Sought

Now that you want wisdom, how do you actually get wisdom?

Well, it’s pretty simple. Wisdom is attainable as a privilege of being a believer in Christ Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh, and God knows EVERYTHING! There is no being to ever exist who can be smarter or wiser than God! This is why He is known as omniscient (all-knowing).

But, when you believe in Jesus, you are given the mind of Christ. It’s God’s mind in your spirit!

1 Corinthians 2:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Remember, this is not to say you will be all-knowing, because God knows you cannot handle such wisdom, only God can handle that. But for the wisdom which you need, God will give it to you.

Jesus is generous, He gives you wisdom if you ask Him for it. If you want to know what’s the right thing to do in any situation, ask God for wisdom. If you are struggling with how to improve a certain area in your life, ask God for wisdom. Whenever you need wisdom, whether it be for school, your workplace, or anywhere else, ask God for the wisdom because He paid the price for it.

James 1:5 World English Bible (WEB)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

The Redemption Work Behind the Wisdom

Not only does God give you wisdom when you ask Him for it, but He actually paid the price for you to have wisdom! It may be hard for you to wrap your mind around it but just look at what the Bible has to say.

Proverbs 9:4-5 World English Bible (WEB)
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,
“Come, eat some of my bread,
    Drink some of the wine which I have mixed!

If you look at the entirety of the passage, you can see from the beginning of this chapter that the person of wisdom is talking. Wisdom is the one who says in verse 5 to eat the bread and drink of the wine.

Doesn’t that sound familiar to the Holy Communion. Jesus told us to eat bread which is His flesh and to drink wine which is His blood as the communion that reminds us of His sacrifice for us.

Matthew 26:26-28 World English Bible (WEB)
26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it, 28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Why does the Spirit of Wisdom tell us to take the communion? It is because in order for you to attain wisdom, you must remember what Jesus did for you on that cross. He bore your diseases, your punishments and all the consequences which you deserved because He dearly loves you.

He preferred that He suffer what you deserved instead of you, no matter the hell it would bring. This is the heart of your Heavenly Father. And when you remember that, when you take the communion, asking God for wisdom, He will definitely answer your heart’s desire.

Cost of Foolishness Paid in Full

Moreover, there are times when we get angry with ourselves for the dumbest things we’ve done. If you regret past foolish mistakes or dumb decisions that have led to heavy consequences, I’m telling you today, that Jesus even paid the price for that!

You may be shocked, maybe even offended, but it’s the truth! Just because you didn’t use God-given wisdom in the past, doesn’t mean you are defined by those mistakes.

Proverbs 19:29 World English Bible (WEB)
2Penalties are prepared for scoffers,
    and beatings for the backs of fools.

Furthermore, the Bible says that beatings should be prepared for the backs of fools, this is the punishment for foolishness. And yet… Jesus being the very wisdom of God, chose that punishment instead.

John 19:1 World English Bible (WEB)
19 So Pilate then took Jesus, and flogged him.

Jesus was scourged for your sake. If you believe you must go through the consequences of whatever dumb choice you made, think again, because that is not the will of God. Whether you failed miserably in a school test, or made a bad investment decision, God will make it all turn out for your good because He loves you.

As I said in the previous section, not only did Jesus, the wisest being to ever exist, suffer the beating which is reserved for fools, He bled and gave His body to be broken for you! He suffered the consequences of foolishness despite being innocent and wise as ever so you could be made wise and be freed from the guilt of your past foolishness.

The Wisest Choice You Could Ever Make

Furthermore, the wisest thing you could ever do, is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. He is kind, He is loving, and when you make a commitment to Him, you will have inner peace.

The Bible does not talk about good or bad people in terms of salvation. Rather, it talks about wise and foolish people. Since you are a wise person, do the wise thing and accept Jesus as the lover of your soul. Don’t let anything hold you back from accepting Jesus. He is gentle and He eagerly wants you to enter into a relationship with Him.

1 Corinthians 1:24 World English Bible (WEB)
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God;

Therefore, Jesus is the wisdom of God and He is more precious than silver or gold. So, enjoy a relationship with Him; taste and see that the Lord is good. If you lack wisdom in anything, recognize what Jesus paid for, and receive His divine wisdom!

Hope for the Hopeless

“Miqveh.” That is the Hebrew which often translates as “hope” in English translations of the Old Testament. Hope is very important because without hope, it is very hard to continue life.

Hope in God

First of all, the Hebrew word for, “hope” in verses such as Ezra 10:12, where there is hope for Israel, or in verses such as the below verse, Jeremiah 17:13, is “Miqveh.”

Jeremiah 17:13 World English Bible (WEB)
13 Yahweh, the hope of Israel,
    all who forsake you will be disappointed.
Those who depart from me will be written in the earth,
    because they have forsaken Yahweh,
    the spring of living waters.

So, in Jeremiah 17:13, Yahweh, the miqveh of Israel would be how, “Miqveh,” is used in the verse.

In the context of these verses, hope is basically how God provides a future for Israel. For us, in the New Testament, hope is constant expectation of seeing God’s promises in your life.

Romans 4:18 World English Bible (WEB)
18 Besides hope, Abraham in hope believed, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your offspring be.”Genesis 15:5

Abraham was in a state of hope, which the New Testament believers should also rest in. He held to his constant expectation of what God promised Him, and that is what hope is. Whatever God says in your life, you have to hold onto, no matter how impossible it seems.

The Bible makes it clear that God promises healing, so hold onto that expectation of perfect health. God promises you in the Bible that you will not be in poverty, so stick to that expectation until you see your financial situation change for the good. If God promises you peace from the Word of God, then believe that He has put His unwavering peace in you.

Whatever God promises whether it is written or spoken, just expect it to happen, rest in the hope which Jesus attained for us.

Double Meaning

Now, why am I so keen on showing you the Hebrew word for hope in the Old Testament of the Bible?

It is because while I was investigating this Hebrew word for hope, Holy Spirit struck me with a fascinating revelation. “Miqveh,” not only means hope, it also means, “a collection of waters.”

Genesis 1:10 World English Bible (WEB)
10 God called the dry land “earth”, and the gathering together of the waters he called “seas”. God saw that it was good.

This Hebrew word is used in the first chapter of the Bible as is shown above. So, in the context of that verse, it would translate as “God called the dry land, ‘earth”, and the miqveh he called ‘seas.”

Why does God make the Hebrew word for hope the same word for a collection of waters?

It is because when God is your hope, you will never be left thirsty! If you root yourself in God, who is your hope, you will not wither away, you will be refreshed by His life. He will make sure that your thirst is quenched!

Life Changing Waters

John 4:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Jesus says in the New Testament that whoever drinks of the water which He provides will never be thirsty. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, He puts fountains of living water in you! He puts His hope in you and He calls to you so that you may have a taste of this wonderful hope!

John 7:37-38 World English Bible (WEB)
37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! 38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”

He does not want you to be in despair or to have no hope! Jesus wants you to be joyful and blessed. God loves you and that is why He made it so easy to come to Him.

So, accept Jesus and if you’ve already put your faith in Him, remember that He is your hope. He is the reason why you keep going even when life gets tough. Your hope can never die. No one can kill your hope; this is because your hope is not something, it is someone. And that someone is the living God who reigns eternally.

He put this hope in you, so that through you, even others can come to know Him and be saved.

Finally, let me close on this point. Jesus said whoever believes in Him, from within him/her will flow rivers of living water. When you come to realize what He paid for you, remember, He is in you. Let God work through and in your life; He is your hope. Therefore, never despair, but keep your eyes on Jesus!

The Master Who Makes All Things New

Since the New Year started, much talk has been dedicated to resolutions and goals. It seems as if everyone wants a fresh start. And that’s good; we all desire a fresh start, whether it be with our goals, our relationships, or whatever else comes to mind. However, we also need a fresh start when it comes to our spiritual life.

Forgetting Your Mistakes

Now, I have good news for you; the moment you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He provides you with a clean slate. And the greatest fresh start you could ever make is with Jesus. When you give your life to Jesus, God chooses to forget your past as He leads you through the future!

You may say, “Andre! Where in the Bible does it say that?! How could God forget, I thought he was all-knowing!”

Hebrews 8:12 World English Bible (WEB)
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness.
    I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

It is not that the omniscient God of this universe has a light case of amnesia; it is that He chooses to not remember what you did wrong in the past. If you have struggled with anything in the past, in any moment prior to now, I am proclaiming to you that God wants to make a change in your life! The only one who will bring past mistakes to your mind is either you or the devil, but it’s never God who does that.

The Unstoppable Transformative Power of Grace

When Jesus died on the cross, He died as you. When Jesus rose again on the third day, He rose victorious and because of what He did, you are now seen by God as perfectly righteous, which I have written about in another post.

Romans 6:10-11 World English Bible (WEB)
10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you have disobeyed God before, that old you has died on the cross and now you are alive as an obedient child of God. You may not “feel” obedient, you may not “feel” transformed, but our God does not see what you feel, He sees what your believe.

Hebrews 11:6 World English Bible (WEB)
Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

Thus, put your faith in what Jesus did and see how He has made you a new creation and now, you do not need to “work” harder to be obedient to God; you just need to trust Him so that Jesus’ power of obedience works within you.

In God’s eyes, when you place your faith in Jesus, your old self dies. The part of you which was contrary to God no longer exists, but, the power which resurrected Jesus ensures that you live life to the fullest as a new creation in Christ Jesus.

New Creation in Christ Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:17 World English Bible (WEB)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.

When you are in Jesus, when you let Jesus hold your life in His hands, you are an abosultely never-before seen creation. You are not dirty, you are not dumb, you are not any lie which has attached itself to your thinking through past experiences, you are God’s beloved new creation.

He activated your Spirit and now, you can live a life with Him. That is why He says, “Behold,” in the above scripture. He is telling you not to look at your old self, but to look at the new creation which He has made you to be because of Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 King James Version (KJV)
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Even Paul, the one who was a persecutor in ancient times, the guy who killed and imprisoned Christians, made a fresh start with Jesus. He is the one who was speaking through the inspiration of Holy Spirit in the above verse. He made is clear that he decided to forget his past sins and to push on forward in his ministry appointed by God. God used him to do so many great things for His glory, to the point of Paul writing a lot of what we read in the New Testament.

Therefore, look at the mirror, and behold what a miracle God has done! You are no longer a thing of the past, but are a hope for the future and God will bless you so that you can be a blessing to others, as well.