Let’s go there.
If we are being honest with ourselves we’ve all had an addiction. Whether it was our inability to keep our mouths shut, controlling our appetites, or managing our sexual desires — we have all been there.
The questions is, how do we get out?
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”
This verse is actually a revelation into the secret of living in freedom. Many addictions that seem physical are actually rooted in the soul and spirit. Meaning if we are to find our way to freedom, we need to take a triune approach. But first, let me define our triune nature.
- Body — our physical being
- Soul — our mind, will, emotions
- Spirit — our connection with God
When breaking an addiction many people resort to the “starve” approach. This is where they deprive their body of whatever addiction they have. You have probably found that this is ineffective or short lived. Others try the “church” approach. This is where they go to the altar and beg God to remove their addiction. While God does deliver, many times the ecosystem of our lives doesn’t support sustained freedom.
That’s why we must approach freedom is relation to our body, soul, and spirit. And while there is no right answer or magic formula for breaking an addiction this is what I’ve seen work in my life and what I’ve used to counsel many others into freedom.
Here Are 3 Steps To Breaking An Addiction
1. REPENT FOR YOUR SINS (SPIRIT)
The word repent has a bad rap but it literally means, “to change your mind.” While that sounds like a soul approach it’s actually very spiritual. This is where we come to God, honestly confess our sins, and make a bold declaration that we don’t want to live in bondage anymore. This should be followed by seeking His divine strength.
I can remember years ago when I had eaten entirely too much Mexican food — I’m sure you can relate. It actually hurt so bad that I had a deep repentance experience where I vowed to never feel like that again. Consequently I woke up the next day and my desire for food had changed. I noticed I was easily eating less and it began a season of health that I had never known.
I realized that repentance had broken a chain of gluttony that I had been fighting for years.
For more on my weight loss journey you can read this blog!
2. REMIND YOURSELF DAILY (SOUL)
We like repentance because many times it is a one hit wonder to freedom, but more often then not we have to fight. One of the most powerful ways to win the battle against an addiction is the remind your soul.
The word remind can be broken down to “re mind” meaning we’re creating new thoughts about an old situation. When we can change our thinking, we can change our life.
I remind myself of many things:
- Promises that God has spoken to me
- Truths that are found in the Word of God
- Past victories God helped me win
- Who I am in Christ
It’s when I start reminding myself of these things that I begin to feel powerful again. It’s important to daily remind yourself that you don’t have to be a victim to an addiction but that you are created to walk in freedom.
3. RESTART YOUR ROUTINE (BODY)
This is in relation to the externals of your life. Now that we’ve dealt with (and continue to deal with) our spirit and soul, we’ve got to create an environment that will help sustain freedom.
Many times this looks like practical things we can change:
- Who we hang out with
- How late we stay up
- What food we can buy
- What websites we can go to
Once we begin to alter our ecosystem we find that change comes easier and lasts longer.
When I lived in America, finding time to read by Bible seemed so difficult. Now almost every time I ride the train I read — I’ve nearly finished a third of the Bible in a little over a month. It used to be hard for me to eat healthy, but in Sweden the meals are smaller and healthy food is more available.
So now I’m reading more and am healthier, what changed? Not my desire — my ecosystem. Take a look at your life and ask yourself, “what can I change that would help support my pursuit of freedom?”
Inevitably, in the process to finding freedom we will stumble and fall. Don’t be discouraged. Get back up and try again. The enemy can never win against a man or woman of God who is not willing to quit in their pursuit of freedom.
You’re almost free, don’t quit now.
What are some things that have helped you walk in freedom? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!