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.

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 King Who Overcame Anxiety!

There are many types of anxiety. This post will be tackling the topic of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Basically, GAD is a disorder that causes people to worry abnormally and frequently throughout their life.

Now, what does the Bible say about anxiety in general?

Matthew 6:27-30 World English Bible (WEB)
2
“Which of you by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? 28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, 29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?

The general topic of this bible verse is anxiety. This is when Jesus tells the people that you should not worry about anything because God is in control.

He says that He will provide. If you are worried about anything, just lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Doesn’t Jesus say in verse 30, that if He put so much effort into the design of flowers, then how much more, will He care for you!

No Longer in Bondage

Romans 8:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Paul, influenced by the Holy Spirit, wrote this passage straight from Heaven so that you can truly understand the solution to General Anxiety Disorder. He says we have not received the spirit of bondage to fear. But, what is bondage to fear?

Bondage to fear is when someone is always scared of what’s happening next or what has already happened. It can be seen as constant anxiety, which perfectly matches GAD’s description. So, God tells us through this passage, that if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He will put in you, His Spirit of adoption.

It means that as soon as you believe in Him, He considers you His own child. When you were young, your parents would tell you not to be worried. They would always take care of everything to the best of their ability. I mean, I’ve never seen a child worry about paying the bills or providing food on the table in a functional family.

In the same way, Holy Spirit tells you in this scripture that you have not received a spirit of bondage to fear, but the Spirit of adoption from God, meaning that He see you through the lens of love, as His dear, beloved child, just rely on Him.

God’s Primary Calling to You

Therefore, God calls you to believe in Him and to place your trust in Jesus Christ because He loves you; He wants to do something great in your life, He wants you to be set free from all anxiety as He calls the whole world to Him!

John 3:16 World English Bible (WEB)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Moreover, Jesus leaves you with His peace which is not dependant on your situation but on your relationship with Jesus.

John 14:27 World English Bible (WEB)
27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made a promise that He would give us peace. So, accept His promise, He put His Spirit in you and there is nothing that should worry you if the Almighty God is on your side.

You may be saying, “But, Andre, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness, it is beyond my control!”

Yet, my response remains the same because it’s supported by scripture, Jesus made that promise of peace for everyone; it is not supposed to be under your control, you just need to surrender it to Jesus. He did not say that His promise of peace is reserved only for healthy Christians, His promise is for everyone and anyone so as long as you decide to trust Him.

Philippians 4:7 World English Bible (WEB)
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

His peace transcends human comprehension; if you suffer from GAD, just ask God for that peace which He promised, GAD should have no place in your life.

You do not need to be anxious about the future, your situation or anything for that matter, but you should remind yourself that Jesus promised you peace. There may be challenges here and there but Jesus will turn your challenges into testimonies.

Therefore, accept His love and enjoy His perfect, wonderful peace.

Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, it is totally not what God wants for you.

Suicide is something people seek as a way out of their situation, but it never is the solution and Jesus never brought an exit route, He brought a solution!

The Prophet (Elijah) Who Did Not Want to Live

Now, do you know what the prophet who called down fire from the Heavens thought to himself?

1 Kings 19:4 New Century Version (NCV)
Then Elijah walked for a whole day into the desert. He sat down under a bush and asked to die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he prayed. “Let me die. I am no better than my ancestors.”

He was experiencing suicidal thoughts! Elijah, the great prophet of the Old Testament in the Bible came to such a low point in life that he wished he was dead.

Suicidal thoughts are founded by hopelessness, but Jesus is our hope, He provides the way, He knows everyone’s weaknesses, including your weakness, but He will bring out a solution, a way to success even in your moments of hopelessness!

The context of this passage was when Elijah had just exercised such faith for fire to come from the sky and burn up a sacrifice to prove that Yahweh is the true God of Israel to the pagan people of that time.

But, now, Israel’s King’s wife, Jezebel, wanted Elijah dead, and even though Elijah knew that God was still there for him, Elijah was fed up of all the challenges he was facing.

There may be times where things seem drastically impossible for anything good to happen; but, our God is the God who said He is the truth, the life, and the way; He does not lie, He wants you alive! Now, look at what God does in response to Elijah’s prayer.

1 Kings 19:5 New Century Version (NCV)
Then he lay down under the tree and slept. Suddenly an angel came to him and touched him. “Get up and eat,” the angel said. Elijah saw near his head a loaf baked over coals and a jar of water, so he ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep.

God showed His concern for Elijah. Instead of answering Elijah’s silly prayer, He gave bread and water for Elijah to eat.

The God Who Cares For You

When Elijah wanted to die, God gave Him bread to eat and water to drink, this is symbolic of how Jesus provided us life though His broken body for us and how He gave us His life-giving blood.

Matthew 26:26-27 New Century Version (NCV)
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread and thanked God for it and broke it. Then he gave it to his followers and said, “Take this bread and eat it; this is my body.”

27 Then Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it and gave it to the followers. He said, “Every one of you drink this.

Suicide is not God’s will; and, why cut short God’s plan for you? There is still so much God wants do with your life. Jesus did many great things with Elijah even though Elijah wanted to die, and this is the same for you, God cares for you. His heart is for your good. He even says that in His Word.

Jeremiah 29:11 New Century Version (NCV)
1
I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.

No matter what situation you are in, Jesus paid a price for you to be set onto a good path even on Earth. He does not want anyone to end their life, He wants you to live in relationship with Him on this Earth, so remind those suicidal thoughts that Jesus loves you way too much for you to take your life.

Psalm 118:17 New Century Version (NCV)
17 I will not die, but live,
    and I will tell what the Lord has done.

If thoughts of suicide try to entertain your mind, declare that “Jesus died in my place, already, I am a new creation full of His life and I shall live to testify of His goodness!”

It turns out, the very prophet in the Bible who wanted to die, never actually died!

2 Kings 2:11 New Century Version (NCV)
11 As they were walking and talking, a chariot and horses of fire appeared and separated Elijah from Elisha. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

Later on, in Elijah’s life, God sent a chariot to pick up Elijah and take him to Heaven, he didn’t even need to die to see the splendour of Heaven.

God has a sense of humor, He chose the prophet who wanted to die as the prophet who would not die; so, for you, God will make your life a testimony, there is no need for suicide, obey Him and He will make your life a story for His glory!

The God Who Delivers You

God provides, He is concerned for you, He wants you to be blessed and to be prosperous! There may be challenges, but, He will provide the solution, suicide is a lie straight from hell, and it best be silenced; so, never give in to such thoughts, instead, declare how much Jesus paid for you because He loves you!

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

What does the Bible say about depression?

Many people suffer from clinical depression. It is a mental disorder that latches onto one’s mood and tries to put one down for a consistently long time. It is not like any other sense of emotional sadness or sorrow.

Unlike other emotions of sorrow, depression lingers, it makes one sad for a long time, and tries to get one to be consistently sad so that they neglect all of the joys of life.

So, now that we know what depression is, does the Bible say anything about it?

First, what is associated with depression? Depression is often associated with constant thoughts of self worthlessness. A person struggling with depression usually believes or battles thoughts that their life is purposeless.

Romans 5:8 Good News Translation (GNT)
But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

However, the Bible says while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. That means whether you have accepted Jesus Christ or not, God loves you very much. Furthermore, you are worth the price He paid.

And because He loves us so much, He wants us to accept Him so He can hold a relationship with us!

To God, you hold a worth, and if that meant He paid a price where Jesus Christ died to save your soul, you must be worth very much to Him!

So, if you are suffering from depression and battling thoughts that tell you that you’re worthless, speak audibly to yourself so that your whole being understands that you are priceless! Just say to yourself…

“I am worth the price Jesus paid for me; He loves me very much!”

Now, depression is characterized by a constant gloomy mood.

 But, according to the Bible, if we know how much God loves us, we can be glad no matter what. Challenges and issues may come our way, but He will give us the peace of mind and the strength to overcome challenges.

John 14:27 New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

And God showed mercy to us. What was God’s mercy? His mercy was when Jesus came to take away our sin so that He would endure the hell experience we deserved by living contrary to Him. So, when we know His mercy, His kindness, His tender love, we will by nature, rejoice and be glad all of our days!

Psalm 90:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!

When we know that God loves us and His promise to us that we should have the mind of Christ, it is impossible for depression to linger, depression must leave.

So, in conclusion, if you struggle with depression, remind yourself that He loves you, remind yourself that He paid the price where His blood was shed and His body was broken so your mind can be healed.

If you realize how high He values you, then depression better stay away from you because the truth is that you are loved by God, you were chosen by Him, and you are healed by His endless grace.

Where did mental illnesses come from according to the Bible? How is God justified from allowing such miseries to exist?

Now, where did depression even come from? Does the Bible mention anything about it? The Bible says that when God first made humans, they were perfectly healthy, both mentally and physically because they were created in God’s very own image and likeness.

Genesis 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In God’s image, humanity was assured mental peace and emotional satisfaction! There wasn’t a tint of suffering that could haunt a soul! But, when God warned the first humans not to eat of a certain tree that offered both the knowledge of good and evil lest they invite death; Adam and Eve, the first humans disobeyed His instruction.

They obeyed a talking serpent’s temptation. Now, this serpent did not represent a literal snake which just so happened to have a magical ability to talk, but this strange figure represented an external evil that sought to harm God’s beloved children.

And the serpent made God to be a liar in front of Adam and Eve, he called God’s warning a lie. This being was not just a snake, he was primarily a liar.

Genesis 3:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

So, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they no longer reflected God, but reflected the image of this lying serpent. They became like the one they obeyed. God could no longer recognize them! And when God first asked Adam what had happened, Adam’s response gave evidence to a corrupt nature.

Genesis 3:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

When God asked Adam if he disobeyed Him, instead of humbly saying sorry to God, Adam blamed Him for making Eve as she was the one who encouraged Adam to eat of the forbidden tree.

This means that through that act of disobedience, Adam invited imperfection to the human nature. His mistake corrupted the human nature and thus, it became now possible for even mental illnesses to latch onto Adam’s descendants.

Yet, at the end of it all, God covered their nakedness with the skins of an animal. Blood had to be shed for God to cover them. This pointed to how one day God will provide, by shedding the blood of an innocent being who would bring restoration to what we lost, that innocent being is Jesus Christ, the God who sacrificed Himself for you.

Genesis 3:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

What does the Bible say about dealing with mental illness and does it provide a solution?

Back in the days of when the Holy Spirit was working in people to write the Bible, there was no such thing as categorized mental illnesses. People barely knew anything of such matters. Yet, the Holy Spirit still dealt with such topics by offering transformation because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

In 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV), Paul asks the Corinthians church, “Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” …

“But we have the mind of Christ.”

And that is what my blog is about! If we had the mind of Christ, the mind of Jesus, would depression have any room in our lives? Does the mind of God hold any vacant area for mental illness to rent a space in?

Of course not! God is perfect and He wants to share His mental peace with us. He wants us to be satisfied and at peace with our minds so we can live in joy because we’re His children! In fact, we should be confident of this as God wants your soul to prosper, and when our soul prospers, we can prosper in everything else!

3 John 1:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

We would call it absurd for a father or mother to wish that their children suffer emotionally or physically. Why then, would God want His children to suffer in any aspect whatsoever! That is the whole point of the cross.

Jesus suffered so that we not suffer! He was denied freedom so that we may inherit freedom.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So, God is bigger than mental illness and if we have His mind, we can live victoriously.

Isn’t Jesus just like any other religious historical figure? What does he have to do with mental health?

Jesus is unique from any other historical figure and here’s why.

His claims were totally different. He claimed to offer life, to offer healing, to bless people, to show what love looks like, and He fulfilled His words at the cost of His life. His actions pointed to His divinity and His words testified of truth.

Luke 4:18-19 Good News Translation (GNT)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed
19     and announce that the time has come
    when the Lord will save his people.”

Jesus never denied that people can suffer, mentally. But He always offered healing. He offered healing for people who were hurt, physically, and He offered healing for people who were hurt, emotionally.