Tempted? 7 steps to beat addiction
Today, we continue our series on temptation. So far, we have said that being tempted is something to which we can all relate, and many people feel they can't overcome temptation, or that there's no way out. But God wants you to be an overcomer and we want to help you discover the ways that God provides to overcome temptation.
We defined 'temptation' as 'anything that entices one to step outside of God's will by the promise of pleasure or gain'. Addiction is one of the most prevalent temptations that we face. The Apostle Peter said that people who are addicted are "... slaves of destructive habits". 2 Peter 2:9 (GNT).
Addictions are life-controlling habits that slowly bind you. They are like comfortable beds - easy to get into, but hard to get out of. They also break your will. You don't resist them because you often feel it is futile to do so, but ultimately, they destroy your life.
The good news is that we can break free through Christ Jesus. Paul expresses it this way in Scripture: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (NIV).
God also lets us know that in every situation with every temptation He provides victory. "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure."
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT).
So let us explore some steps to victory:
1. Begin today.
There is no time like the present, and this is particularly true when it comes to breaking free from destructive habits. The very nature of a destructive habit is that it gets stronger the longer it goes on. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB) says: "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."
2. Admit that you have a problem.
Everything starts with confession - accepting the responsibility that you have a problem.
God says, "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
3. Ask Jesus to take over your life.
The key to getting free from your addiction is choosing to surrender your life to the right source; that is God. If you want God to work on your addiction, you have to give him your entire life. Romans 6:12-13 says, "Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires... Instead, give yourselves completely to God." (NLT)
4. Focus on something better.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7 (KJV). In order to change your behaviour, you first have to change what you focus on. Philippians 4:8 (NLT) tells us, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
5. Find support from others.
God says revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. The amazing thing is, when you risk honesty with a trustworthy person, all of a sudden, this feeling of freedom comes into your life. "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." James 5:16 NIV.
6. Take it one day at a time.
Why? Because God wants to give you enough strength to change for one day - not for the week, the month, or the rest of your life. He wants you to take it one day at a time so you trust in Him always. Matthew 6:11 (KJV) says: "Give us this day our daily bread."
7. Expect God to bring the victory.
Jesus can give you power over the addictions that control your life. These addictions hurt you, but there is power in the name of Jesus. The Apostle Paul says, "Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)
You see, none of us is strong enough to kick life-controlling habits on our own. You probably already know this because you've tried many times before and failed. But God is strong enough!
When you surrender your life to Jesus and you begin to walk these steps with God, His peace, presence, and power will come into your life, and He will strengthen you. He will help you get above these addictions. You will break free from your habits. Trust Him.