The Nail in the Coffin of Addiction

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, April 26, 2014 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

“It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

In previous weeks I touched on addictions and gave some key things to help you break free from addictions and addictive behavior. Once you taste the freedom from addiction, it is very easy to let your guard down, and fall back into the spiral downward. How do we put a nail in the coffin of addiction, once we have broken the physical and emotional hold it has over us?

The first key is to never assume that “sober” means we cannot be tempted. Although we know we can be tempted and feel the desire at times for those old behaviors, its easy to create an illusion of freedom where we fool ourselves into thinking those desires/temptations no longer exist. Usually, that is just before we find ourselves spiraling out of control again. It is foolish to ever let ourselves think we are invincible and untemptable. We should live our daily life vigilantly as if a temptation could come from any source – because it can. Living – not fearful, not defeated, but personally proactive to manage our focus, boundaries in relationships, and spiritual health to ensure we can trample any trigger/temptation with the power and authority of God through Jesus Christ.

That being said, then what is the nail in the coffin from the verse I shared at the beginning?

Paul is writing to early believers who are being manipulated and persuaded by a cult group of Jews. These “Judaisers” were telling non-Jewish early followers of Christ that they had to go through Jewish rituals (particularly circumcision) in order to be truly acceptable to God. Paul reminds them, that if they needed the religious rituals to be acceptable, there would be no point in following Jesus as Lord and Savior. It would be that something was lacking in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and His resurrection for us to live in relationship with God. What this cult was teaching was not only untrue, it made no sense when compared to the example of Jesus’ life and sacrifice. Jesus fulfilled the law, took the full brunt of the penalty for sin, and overcame death itself, so that we could live free from sin and death in Him and by His Holy Spirit.

So when Paul writes that it is for “freedom that we were set free,” that is significant, not just for our restoration of relationship with God, but also for us to remain free from addiction. We know addiction is bondage – slavery to desires and broken expectations, hurts and fears. Once the power and transforming work of Jesus begins to set us free, we are being FREED to live in FREEDOM – not expectation of law and judgment. His power can quench that inner turmoil and bring live to hurt and broken places, far better than any ritual or tactic we may try.

That final nail in the coffin where we lay our addiction to rest is in realizing God has no broken expectations over us, and neither should we have disappointment and shame for ourselves anymore. We were freed to be FREE and live FREE – and each step along the way the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will continue to remind us we are FREE – living in grace – and having compassion and grace for ourselves and others. Even if our addiction came from self-medicating a huge wound or past hurt that was inflicted on us, the freedom of no longer being a victim – but rather a survivor and overcomer – propels us into the uncertainty of freedom with excitement instead of fear.

Escaping the chaos of addiction can be terrifying at first, because for some it is all they have known. Freedom at first feels unhinged, unsafe, and we fear our own wildness and rebellion and brokenness in the new place. When we realize that God is not afraid of our wildness or ashamed of our brokenness, when we realize He wants to help us live away from the cycle of chaos and addiction, when we feel Him help us step over that first hurdle and then the next, we begin to remember our innocence as children and breathe the air of freedom again. And God takes our hand, and leads us once again with renewed innocence, confidence and trust in His power, and we find ourselves satisfied in Him – and FREE.