How To Spiritually Battle Addictions ~ By Eudora Olsen

Date: Friday, 5 May 2006 08:43:16 -0700

NOTE TO READER:  You may want to keep this handy for awhile until you get the thoughts down pat so that you know how to re-act when the force of darkness is set against you.

Addictions: How do we understand the serious nature of the extent of the battle that rages on inside of us?

Maybe we know of a man and a woman who live under the same roof as husband and wife, and yet they can’t seem to get along. They have different perspectives on things and separate ambitions, separate attitudes and clashing outlooks of opinion. So the tension in their house is constant and the sparks often fly.

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is what it is like with the Spirit and the flesh. Both dwell in the same house (our body) but they can not stand each other, so there’s unceasing warfare between them. The flesh has it’s purpose and sharpens it’s weapons to fight the Spirit. The Spirit has His purposes and takes aim against the flesh. Paul makes the conflict clear: Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (lust’s or desires)

We know what it’s like: We want to follow Christ, and when we let the Spirit lead us, we are ready to do just that. But our flesh is like the defensive line of an opposing football team, lined up against us to block us from moving forward. The Holy Spirit has to lead us forward for He is our offensive guard. He crashes the defensive line and breaks open a path, which allows us to sprint to the goal line.  (Special thanks to my son Michael for showing how this is done)

We must use active resistance. Every time our flesh seeks to gain control over our actions, the Spirit will actively oppose the flesh .

That’s why sometimes when we are in the thought process of trying to second guess our thoughts and try to persuade our selves to partake of that which we are struggling against, we loose our goal every time because we place our selves right in front of the goal line. We must actively seek our Spirit and redirect our attention back to The Holy Spirit who will find us a path of escape. God does offer us an escape. 1st Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken us except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape., that we may be able to bear it.

That way of escape comes through the power of the Holy Spirit, not from ourselves.

Even when we fail to take the way of escape, the Holy Spirit will be actively at work to make sure we don’t feel good about it. A Christian is capable of committing any sin a non-Christian commits. A Christian just can’t do it with out tension and conflict, and without initially feeling guilt as a result, so we know that the Holy Spirit is working when we feel this guilt. If we then realize that The Holy Spirit is working, then we know that we are on the right path because our Holy Spirit seeks righteousness in our lives.

Meanwhile the flesh is just as active in resisting the Spirit. That’s why after we have an encounter with God in His Word or in prayer or in worship, and we feel our self rising to a spiritual high, suddenly we find ourselves getting ticked off at something somebody say’s to us. Or our flesh will resurrect some disgusting thought or shameful memory that we buried long ago.

What the flesh really wants to do is actively and above all else, stifle or stunt our spiritual progress. It wants to keep us from experiencing the life of God in our day to day living and keep us hostage to our old patterns of living. If we face difficulties and obstacles in our life, our flesh will get us to look for solutions that we are still in control of, (issues the Holy Spirit has not yet convicted us of) instead of engaging in our identity in Christ Jesus and our dependence on the Holy Spirit’s guidance through every challenge in our lives. Our flesh wants us to feel trapped inside by it’s desires, so we relate more with those cravings that we do with our new identity in Christ Jesus.

All we need is the power to say “No” “Get thee behind me satan” He serves no justice in our lives because he is already dammed. He wants as many as he can take with him into the lake of fire. All we have to do is say “No” “I will not partake of that addiction.  Galatians 5:16 “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh”

Now don’t mistake that verse. It doesn’t say that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not have the desires of the flesh – but only that we won’t gratify them, or that we will not fulfill them.

Sometimes we think , If I was really a spiritual Christian, I wouldn’t even want to sin. But don’t get upset or frustrated because our flesh keeps wanting to do what’s wrong, that’s simply what the flesh does by nature, and always will. The flesh is extremely experienced and proficient at it. So our flesh keeps telling us, “We’ve got to have it!” With the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to say “No” We can tell our flesh what to do instead of our flesh telling us what to do.

It’s very important that we don’t try to put the flesh to death so that we can walk in the Spirit, but rather we walk in the Spirit, which gives us the power and victory over the desires of the flesh.

Deliver the final blow. If we rely on our feelings as we enter this arena of continual wrestling between our flesh and our Spirit, be assured that the flesh will win every time. But if we want to strike the critical blow in fighting the flesh, then we must fully engage our mind in an active response that relies on the Spirit …..

And then we can actually step out in faith by acting in accordance with God’s Word.

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalms 55:16-18 ¶ As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee

We must learn to take all evil thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3 -6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds😉 {through God: or, to God}  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; {imaginations: or, reasoning’s}  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

It’s all easy to memorize and even quote these scriptures, but to actively apply it is where the rubber meets the road is the difference it makes in our life.

When we have a thought come across our mind, it is prepared to take root and begin it’s growing process if we do not cut it off right there at the root.  We need to stop and read the word, quote scripture, think on something that is pleasant and that abides in truth and deny that thought any chance to carry it’s self to the next level. In other words, we need to carry that thought to the Lordship of Jesus.  We can even say the name of JESUS out loud and that thought begins to shrink at the mere mention of His name.  the more we keep our mind focused on things that are pure those thoughts will decrease and we begin to re-align our thoughts and tare down that stronghold that is trying to take our thoughts captive to the force of darkness or evil inclinations.  These truths and scriptures are the weapons of our warfare. And by doing this we will pull down the strongholds in our thought lives.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

“Lord God, I don’t have the ability to pull this off what I truly want to do right now in obedience to You. I can think about the right reaction, I can see it in my mind; but that’s not my problem. My problem is stepping into it and walking in and living it. Lord, you tell me that I don’t have to indulge in what my flesh is craving. You tell me that I don’t have to go there. You tell me that I have a new identity in You and that my desire is actually to turn to You and find the help I need. I believe You’re telling me the truth about that. And because I believe in You, I’m therefore going to take this step of obedience and move away from what my lying flesh is pressuring me to do. Since I do not have the power on my own to keep walking in the right direction, you have pointed out to me, I am trusting in Your Holy Spirit to give me the ability to accomplish this goal. Your Holy Spirit is the gift that You gave me to help me live out the obedience and the victory that You have created me for. So I embrace the gift of the Holy Spirit and I am stepping out in faith, based on Your word.” Amen

Pray that and you will discover the ability to keep taking steps into a level of victory that you could not even imagine before. The cravings will rear their ugly head, but those feelings will loose their controlling edge. By the Spirit’s promise and presence and by reading the word daily, (not just a sip or a bite but in big gulps and large portions), you will not carry out the desires of the flesh because your flesh will become less and less of importance to you and the desires of God in your life will override that of the flesh.

Romans 8:13 For if we live according to the flesh, we will die, but if we live by the Spirit, we put to death the deeds of the body, and we will live.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:Proverbs 23:7

About eudoranachand

A Spirit filled disciple who continually seeks His kingdom and His righteousness.
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