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Breaking Addictions/Strongholds

An addiction or a stronghold is a lie we believe in or something that has a “strong hold” on you.

If we want to break an addiction/stronghold (sexual impurity, alcohol, cutting, anger, worry, depression, overeating, gambling, etc) we must begin with the root. According to God’s Word an addiction/stronghold starts in the mind. The mind is where the battle takes place (Romans 7: 22-23) because it's the place where we entertain a thought. When you and I entertain a thought long enough then we fall into temptation and sin.

An addiction/stronghold also develops based on the people, the places, the home, the school, the neighborhoods we are exposed to. If you grew up in a home where finances were short, you can develop a stronghold in your mind thinking that you will always be financial unstable. If you were abused - sexually, physical, or emotionally in the home, this can cause strongholds like fear or anxiety to develop in your mind.

So if the mind is where the battle takes place, what is the mind battling? The mind is battling what is TRUE (God’s Word) versus what we think and do (stronghold/addiction). For example, God’s Word says not to worry (Matthew 6: 34), but by default we worry. We THINK it’s okay to worry, but God’s Word says not to worry. Another example is sexual impurity. We might fall into sexual temptation. Then we build our lifestyle based on what we think and do rather than what God calls us to- which is to be sexually pure (1 Thessalonians 4: 3 and 7). Hence, the battle starts in the mind. We are battling what God’s Word calls us to DO against what we think and how we behave (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5). The Bible also call this a battle between the flesh and Spirit.

We might fall for the lie and think "because my behavior does not match what God is calling me to do then God’s Word must be unreliable or not true." Actually, the opposite is true. ALL of God’s Word is true. So we use the Word to dictate our life and then we need to correct the wrong behavior we do. That is why it’s a battle. It’s a battle between the flesh (what I think and do) versus living by the Spirit of God (Romans 8: 6). So what mind battles are you having lately? Is it sexual impurity, lust, depression, angry, or alcoholism? The battle starts in the mind.

In order to break an addiction/stronghold we need to renew our mind (Romans 12:2). We need to overcome the battle in our minds. We do this by using our spiritual weapons - prayer, faith, hope, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit.

First, recognize that you can overcome your temptations. Jesus was human and overcame his temptations so can you! God will provide a way out for you (1 Corinthians 10: 13).

Secondly, God calls us to stop feeding the addiction/stronghold by taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5). If you can’t take God where your thoughts are going, then God wants us to stop thinking them. This is why we fall for our temptations. We let our thoughts go in the wrong direction and then we justify our sin because we let our feelings override the truth of God. We have to stop our thoughts right away.

In fact God calls us to think right thoughts - "Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise" - Philippians 4: 8.

Thirdly study God’s Word so that you will know the voice of God over the voice of Satan or the world. We won’t be able to tell if God is speaking to us if we don’t spend time with Him. If we don’t spend time with God, we will be convinced that our thoughts and the thoughts Satan put in our head are the truth and live by them. But they are lies and those lies keep us addicted or in our strongholds. Satan put a thought in King David's mind and it lead him to sin (1 Chronicles 12: 1).

Fourthly, the Holy Spirit lives in you! He enables to live a life that is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22).

God’s plan is for us to live free. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” - John 8: 32. We can be free from our addictions/strongholds!

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