Daily Devotional for Tuesday March 4, 2003
The Bondage of Addictions
(John 10:10, Psalms 91:3, 2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Peter 2:9)
The bondage of addictions. While we most commonly think of addiction in relationship to drugs and alcohol, the fact is, people are addicted to many things that can put them in bondage. Not only drugs and alcohol. but food, smoking, gambling, sex, shopping, work, are just a few. ALMOST ANYTHING CAN BECOME AN ADDICTION, WHICH PUTS YOU IN BONDAGE, AND WILL SEPARATE YOU FROM GOD. Many years ago when I was living in rebellion to God's call on my life, I drank too much, I dabbled with illegal drugs, and gambled. I understand what it is to be an addict. I understand the bondage you are put in from your addiction. What better way to destroy a persons life then by getting them addicted to something.
At first it is seemingly harmless. It isn't a big deal. All addictions start out that way. Addictions are actually nothing more then a way to escape the reality of your life. And EVERYONE, listen to me please, EVERYONE has a different way of escaping. While you may never ever consider buying and using illegal drugs, YOUR escape is found at the grocery store. Someone else has no problem with food, but THEIR avenue of escape is sex. Each person is different, but EVERYONE can fall into some form of addiction.
The sad part about addiction, it ultimately becomes a bondage. It affects every part of your life. Your relationships with family and friends. It affects your performance at work and school. Every addiction has health consequences. It eats away at the precious gift of life God has given us. The hours upon hours you spend involved with your addiction is precious time God has given you that you have wasted. Worst of all, it separates you from God and drives you to run from Him. You then become an easy target for the enemy to drive even deeper into your addiction, driving you even further from God. My friend, being away from God is the WORST place anyone can be!!!
One of the common bonds we have seen throughout the course of human history, is the dependence people developed to escape the reality of life. The incredible drug problem we face in this country is not a new phenomenon. The use of alcohol has been common by people through the ages. Man learned how to escape the reality of life using drugs and alcohol early on in his existence, and the world we live in, in 2003, is no different than at any other time in human history.
To understand why so many people during their life have turned to ways to escape life, we must first look at WHY. The basic human experience has not changed at all since the Garden of Eden. As children we are affected by those who raise us and our environment. Our lives are shaped in those early years by where we live, where we learn, and where we play, as well as by all of the people in each area of our life. As we become young adults we begin making our own decisions, decisions based largely on that foundation laid in our life as children. We begin to experience life on our own, we are old enough to understand more of what life is all about, and we begin exploring all of the new feelings and experiences that come with being a young adult.
As we hit our 20's, 30's, and 40's, we become focused on working, earning a living, getting married, and having a family. From 50 and up we start to look at life from a different perspective since our life is now winding down. We tend to focus on health issues, retirement, and ultimately our own death. Along this journey everyone deals with the death of loved ones and friends, financial problems, where to live, health issues, school and work problems, and relationship conflicts. These are common problems we all face during the course of our life. How we handle these problems becomes the challenge we all have to deal with.
Finding avenues of escape is not complicated. Most start out experimenting early in life to see what they like. The fact is, the result of escaping is that "high" feeling. That period of time when you seem to escape reality. Actually, you have escaped nothing. You have simply found a way to escape reality for a while and during that time, the problems you were facing seem to be gone. That too of course is not true since your problems didn't go away, you simply found a way to block them out. What has actually happened is you have added to them since any addiction has harmful consequences. After finding a way to escape that you enjoy, it then becomes an option, or choice you can make during times in your life when things are not going well. Unfortunately, it becomes a bondage that is part of your daily life.
The problems with addictions are found at every stage of life. The experimentation usually starts out when you are younger. What you are doing, is opening the front door of your life and asking the enemy to come inside. You are asking the enemy if he is thirsty or hungry. You are telling him to take his shoes off and relax. You have done to your life the same as if you went and had keys made to your home and passed them out on the street to total strangers. Addiction mostly occurs in adults. When we think of addiction, we get the mental image of the junkie in the alley, or wino. ***The fact is, most people are functioning addicts!!! They go to school, they work, they have families, they go to church, yet their addiction is a part of their life. They can not live without it. When you welcomed the enemy into your life by experimenting, you didn't know how difficult it would be to make him leave.
I love you, and care about you so much. I want this word today to accomplish two things. First, for young adults, even older adults, DON'T OPEN YOUR LIFE TO THE ENEMY BY EXPERIMENTING WITH THINGS THAT CAN PUT YOU IN BONDAGE! The consequences can literally cost you your life!!! Secondly, for those who are in an addiction today, STOP. I realize that it is not easy. Many of you have found out how to use you addiction to ease the pain of life's trials and tribulations. The fact is, you are just compounding them. The only answer to the day to day issues we all have to deal with in life is a personal relationship with Christ. Only though Christ does it all make sense. Only through Christ do we have the hope and strength to carry on through those difficult times in life.
Whatever temporary relief you may get from you addiction is just that..temporary. You have not solved the problem, just compounded it. For those who are addicted, get help. Only the power of God can kick the enemy out of your life. But there are many fine Christian based programs to help you overcome your addiction. Meet with your pastor. Call a local pastor if you don't have a home church. God is still in the deliverance business, but you first have to want to be delivered. THAT is the key. YOU have to make the first step. God will strengthen you and help you each step after. But YOU have to choose to break whatever bondage you are in.
I will be spending 6 hours, from 6pm through midnight Friday March 7th in prayer for those who are battling with addictions in their life. Maybe this is not an issue in your life, but is in the life of someone you know. I will be fasting all day, and praying that night, believing God for you to find freedom from the bondage that you are in. I will be praying that you have the courage to finally tell the devil, "enough is enough", and cry out to God to help set you free!!! Expect a miracle, because the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than any addiction there is. Know that my Bible proclaims, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper"!!!!!! I am believing for deliverance and victory in the lives of those who are in bondage!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller