The Bible contains an interesting juxtaposition between two famous kings. The first was King David and the second being his son, King Solomon. King David is described in the Word as a man after God’s own heart. David started out as a shepherd boy, guarding his father’s sheep; he was the lowest of the low, the youngest of eight sons. Even from his meager beginnings, David walked with integrity and in relationship with God. God was his source for everything, for strength to defeat lions and bears, for strength to defeat the giant, Goliath, for protection from King Saul when he tried to kill him out of jealousy and for wisdom to govern God’s people. God was even his source when his own family and friends turned on him and he felt all alone with nowhere to turn.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Psalm 27:7-10 KJV
Because of his steadfastness, God blessed him for the integrity of his heart and gave him the throne of Israel and delivered him from all of his enemies.
He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands. Psalm 78:70-72 KJV
Solomon was blessed with riches and wisdom without measure. He had anything and everything that a man could ever ask for. His kingdom was blessed with peace and he faced very little adversity in comparison to his father, David. The queen of Sheba describes him and his kingdom this way:
And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. 1 Kings 10:6-9 KJV
One would think that in his abundance of all things good, King Solomon would have thrived in the blessings of the Lord all the days of his life, but not so. There was something in his heart that had a need to seek out female company in excess. The Word says that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 1 Kings 11:1-3 KJV
It’s safe to conclude that he had an addictive problem and that it led him away from God. At the end of his life he fell into idolatry, he built high places and worshiped the idols of his wives.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 1 Kings 11:4 KJV
Based on these two examples we can conclude that an addiction is not merely the result of adversity but rather it is the source that a person chooses to run to in order to receive the love and satisfaction that they need.
Be in Health is excited to present a full, one-day conference, Ending the Addiction Cycle, on September 29th, 2018. Dr. Henry Wright will discuss the physiology, psychology, and most importantly the spirituality behind all addictions and the pathway to freedom to end the terrible cycle of addictions.
All addiction is rooted in the need to be loved. It is an inordinate affection towards someone or something based on a need that demands to be fulfilled. It is a form of idolatry because it replaces the need for God in our lives and makes that thing our source instead. It controls us and becomes our master. God designed us with a need for love specifically so that He could be our source, because He is love, so that we could walk in relationship with Him.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16 KJV
We can identify an addiction in our life if there is something that we can’t lay down simply by choosing to. It can be an escape mechanism or something that we use to comfort ourselves or to alter our mood in order to feel better about ourselves. Addictions encompass far more than just drugs, sex, and alcohol, they can be shopping, eating, people, video games, movies, social media; the list is limitless. To put this into proper perspective we must note that most of these things are not bad in or of themselves but if we pursue them in the wrong spirit in order to fill a need or a void, or to find comfort or peace this is where they cross over the line into false comforters and inordinate affections.
It is perfectly okay to have a hobby or something we enjoy doing in our spare time in order to wind down. It may become a problem if we use these same things as an escape so that we don’t have to deal with an emotional issue that occurs when a trigger, anxiety, or insecurity arises. When we try to escape from a problem or an issue in our lives and are not properly dealing with it, we are essentially brushing it under the rug hoping that we can circumvent its consequences. This will only result in a buildup of problems that will feel more and more impossible to navigate later on.
An addiction actually does provide some sort of positive effect for a person; otherwise, no one would turn to it. Yet the benefits also come with a consequence because they are not an actual solution. We may receive comfort or peace or good feelings from them temporarily but they are a counterfeit to God’s true and lasting comfort and peace and well being. They require a repetitive indulgence and only provide the benefits we are looking for when we are getting that ‘hit.’ The Word says that every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
Therefore, we can be assured that if God is our source, where we run to in order to properly process and deal with adversity, we will receive true and lasting benefits. Essentially, an addiction is a replacement for the Holy Spirit. An addiction will offer itself as a comforter yet the Holy Spirit was given to us as the true Comforter.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:26-27 KJV
A false comforter can only offer temporal benefits. It’s often self-seeking and self-gratifying. Its main goal is to cause a person to pursue things that can make them feel better without having to go to God and take responsibility for things in their lives that may be tormenting them. Many people who struggle with addictions don’t know how to properly deal with adversity, they feel like their only option is to disengage or find alternate forms of peace and love in order to satisfy their desperate need for love.
The true comforter was sent to us to teach us, to bring us peace, to give us the power to be overcomers and to help us to grow up as children of God to be more like our Heavenly Father. God did not leave us on our own to figure these things out by ourselves, His Holy Spirit is there continually to connect us with Father God’s heart. Yet we have to choose in each situation whether or not we will reach out to our Father and allow Him to work on our hearts in order to recover ourselves and to overcome the things that are tormenting us.
Whatever we don’t choose to deal with today will still be our problem tomorrow, it will not go away. So we get to choose how we are going to deal with it and in what spirit we will deal with it. We can check ourselves and begin to walk out of addictive tendencies by recognizing when we are trying to shut down, shut out, or comfort ourselves falsely. In that moment we can go straight to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to show us what we are avoiding or what is bothering us so that He can begin to help us to sift through it and process it properly.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 KJV
There is so much grace and mercy that He offers us in this. If we fall back into an old addictive pattern, God is not going to condemn us. The enemy is the one who will bring guilt, shame, and accusation. We need to recognize how he tries to use these things to separate us from God and to keep us from running to Him. The Word does not say that we are to do everything perfectly, but it does speak repeatedly about having a perfect heart towards God.
That word “perfect” from the original Hebrew translation means: full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfect(-ed), quiet, whole.
God looks at our heart’s desire to do what is right and to walk in relationship with Him and in His ways. He’s given us an allowance for falling and failure, we need to give ourselves that same allowance. It’s not all or nothing, when we fall down we simply get back up again, dust ourselves off, and try again. Eventually, as we keep on practicing and maturing, we’ll fall less and less in an area until we have received the victory over it. The Word does not say that the righteous man never falls it says that a righteous (or just) man falls repeatedly but gets up again.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16 KJV
We all get to make a choice when we fall or are struggling, will we recover ourselves or will we stay down and wallow in that junk? If we stay down, we will need to find something to comfort us other than God in order to feel better about ourselves. But if we choose to walk as children of God we can get back up again, repent, receive our healing and forgiveness which is offered freely every time without fail, and move on again.
Isn’t it a relief to know that God doesn’t hold our failures over our heads? The Word says that as far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed them from us.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalm 103:8-14 KJV
Sometimes, perhaps we have set way too high of expectations for ourselves, even beyond the ones that Father God has put on us. His greatest commandment is simply to love God, love ourselves and to love others. So if we seek His love with all of our hearts, all of His goodness will be fulfilled in our lives. Addictions will keep us from being able to give or receive that love, it dead ends at whatever we are putting our affections into that are not of God. In order to keep love flowing in our lives, we need to stay plugged into the source of love and life, which is God Himself.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4 KJV
According to Dr. Henry Wright’s book, Insights into Addictions, a person who struggles with addictions is missing the simplicity of the gospel; they are not mixing their new birth with faith by accepting God, themselves and others in love.
We cannot let anything separate us from the love of God and our identity as His accepted and beloved children. That is where we can find completeness and wholeness in our spirit, soul, and body. In that state of being and belonging, we will find all the comfort and peace and love that we ever needed.
We can examine our hearts before God and ask Him to show us any hidden places that we’ve kept from Him or even shut down in ourselves. He wants to bring true and lasting healing and recovery, not a temporary bandage. He is gentle and compassionate and will not chide us or make us feel bad about ourselves. He can see us separate from the sin that is operating in us and knows us inside and out for who He created us to be, not for who the enemy has tried to form us into.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:11-16 KJV
The question now is, will we choose to submit ourselves to God again as the Lord of our life or will we continue to submit ourselves to these things that were designed for our destruction that mercilessly rule us? It is our choice.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 KJV
The Be in Health® Team