TO WIN THE BATTLE OVER ADDICTION WE NEED OUR SPIRITUAL ARMOR
It is so very vital that we understand that there is an unseen spiritual battle that has been taking place throughout the course of human history.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been waging war against mankind.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Our fight is not against human beings, but against the devil and his hierarchy of evil spirits. Satan is the god of this dark world who has blinded the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prince of the power of the air who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). We cannot fight this battle in our own strength but must be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians from a prison in Rome and used the physical armor of the Roman prison guards to illustrate the spiritual protection and weapons that are available to born-again believers in Christ. By learning how the natural armor was worn and utilized, we can better understand the spiritual weapons of our warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4)
“Spiritual Warfare” by Rebecca Brogan
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17
The Roman soldier wore a tunic or outer garment that served as his primary clothing. It was a large, square garment with holes cut out for the head and arms. It did not provide for body movement unless it was cinched up and tucked into a large belt that the soldier wore around his waist. This cinching was known as “girding up the loins” (or waist). A soldier who was preparing for battle would gird up his tunic into this belt. So that he would be ready to run or move quickly. The belt was also fitted with a scabbard or sheath to secure his sword to his side. In the front it had leather or metal straps attached to help protect the front of the soldier’s lower body.
The soldier’s belt protected his loins from harm. This lower area of the body serves in elimination of wastes and in reproduction. Our spiritual girdle or “belt of truth” protects us in a similar fashion. By knowing and loving the truth – the word of God (the Bible) and He who is the Truth (Jesus Christ), we can discern and eliminate false doctrines, lies and deception of the enemy. By spreading the truth of the gospel, we can reproduce spiritual offspring. People perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Therefore, the first piece of armor and our new life in Christ must begin with “the truth” – we are sinners who need a savior and can be justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:23-24). Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
The next piece of armor that needs to be fitted into place is the breastplate. This breastplate was attached to the belt by leather thongs that passed through rings on the bottom to keep it solidly attached. It protected the upper body and the vital organs including the heart and lungs. Our spiritual breastplate of righteousness is “the righteousness of God” which is imputed to the believer by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22).
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Once we have embraced the truth, repented of our sins and believe in Jesus, we are in right standing before God. We need to walk uprightly and guard our hearts because the heart is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). The heart is the seat of our emotions and our attitude. Our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus who humbled himself, came as a servant and was obedient to the Father (Philippians 2:5-8).
The Roman soldiers’ footwear was called the caligae or military boot often referred to as sandals. The upper is incorporated into the sole construction between two thick layers of leather. These layers are nailed together with iron nails which can be replaced as they wear down. The only stitching is in a position where it is not subject to wear and can easily be re-stitched. Their footwear was constructed to be long lasting and easily repaired. Our spiritual footwear is “our readiness and obedience to spread the gospel of peace.”
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
When we are obedient to be witnesses of Christ and fulfill the “Great Commission,” the enemy will certainly rise up against us. That is when we need to take up our “shield of faith.” The Roman shield that Paul referred to was called the scutum. It was a very large, slightly curved rectangular shield featuring at its center a large metal knob (called a boss). It was made of two planks glued together, the outer surface being then covered first with canvas and then with calf-skin. Its upper and lower rims are strengthened by an iron edging which protects it from descending blows and from injury when rested on the ground. The soldiers would oil their shield to keep the leather covering supple. In preparation against the flaming arrows of an enemy, the soldiers would soak their shields in water. When they came into range of being attacked, packed formations of legionaries would overlap their shields to provide an effective barrier and their water soaked shields would douse the fiery missiles. In a likewise manner we need to keep our shield of faith prepared for the battle with the “oil of the Holy Spirit” and soaked with the “water of the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Then we can stand in faith when the enemy attacks.
A soldier’s helmet protects another vital organ – the brain. The battle of the spirit takes place in the mind. The “helmet of salvation” is the spiritual piece of armor that will help guard our thoughts against the assault of the enemy. The adversary is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He will place negative thoughts in a believers mind in an attempt to make us doubt God’s love for us and our assurance of salvation. But we are saved to the uttermost because Jesus lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).
Finally, we have our offensive piece of armor – The Sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Chemical addiction is not just a biochemical problem, it is spiritual bondage. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses, crime and death.
In order to become victorious over drug addiction, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
How do we renew our minds? How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.
The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Fight the good fight of faith by putting on the full armor of God each day. Be sure to keep your sword sharpened!
Unleash the Power of Prayer and Fasting
There is great spiritual power in prayer and fasting. Addiction is a spiritual bondage that must be fought with spiritual weapons. Fasting and prayer will enable you to be empowered by the Holy Ghost and allow His anointing to break the yoke that binds you.
Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him…”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
The cost and consequences of alcoholism and drug dependence place an enormous burden on American society. According to the “National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,” Addiction is the nation’s number one health problem. Addiction strains the health care system, the economy, harms family life and threatens public safety.
There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
- About 18 million Americans have alcohol problems; about 5 to 6 million Americans have drug problems.
- More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
- More than nine million children live with a parent dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs.
- Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
- Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.
- Between 48% and 64% of people who die in fires have blood alcohol levels indicating intoxication.
- Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation.
- One-quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.
Alcoholism and drug dependence are not just social or medical issues, the outward manifestations of violent acts and lewdness associated with drunkenness and drug highs confirm that addiction is spiritual bondage that must be fought with spiritual weapons.
Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness.
Your mind is the battlefield of the spirit. Whether you’re bombed, blasted, whacked, wasted, drunk, stoned, or high, on alcohol or other drugs, you’ve given the thief the opportunity and the right to enter into your mind. Altered states of consciousness can also be accomplished through eastern mysticism, transcendental meditation and bio-feedback. Whether by means of distilled spirits or by occult practices that open the dark side of the spiritual realm, the result is still the same – spiritual bondage.
Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. Sin feels good for a season. By getting high on drugs or by the habitual drinking of beer or other alcoholic beverages many have surrendered themselves to the will of the evil one and have been enslaved by sin.
“How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him…” Mark 9:21-22
Usually when we think about suicide, we imagine one act of desperation. Someone jumps off a bridge or takes a loaded gun to their head. This demon possessed young man often was thrown into the fire to burn alive or into the water to drown since childhood. Yet, this biblical account is not quite as uncommon as you would suppose. There are millions of Americans and even some reading this teaching who since childhood have been choosing to slowly kill themselves.
More Americans are killed by cigarettes than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus and is a contributing cause in the development of cancers of the bladder, pancreas, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach, and some leukemias.
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke and contributes to the severity of colds and pneumonia. Tobacco has a damaging affect on women’s health and is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants. Furthermore, the secondhand smoke from cigarettes has a harmful health effect on those around the smoke.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
“… But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
It was not only the son that needed help, relief and deliverance but the father as well. How often have we found comfort in times of trouble when a friend was compassionate enough to listen to our problems? The father grew hopeless, not only as he endured through years of agony seeing his own son suffer; but unable to even offer some measure of comfort to his son who was mute and unable to speak to his father of his fears and pain.
Today, how many fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, suffer when they see the ones that the love bound up by addiction? How many have grown hopeless after years of enduring the broken promises and lies?
“… But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
The father, after many years of emotional pain and dwindling hope, again suffers the disappointment of finding the disciples of Jesus unable to help. Understandably, the father then questioned Jesus by saying, “If You can,” have compassion on us and help us. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, is full of compassion and unlimited in power. Instead of rebuking the father for questioning the Master’s ability or desire to help, Jesus challenges the father to step out in faith. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
The father was not only subject to the pain of his child’s suffering but also to the stigma of a child who evidenced demonic possession. Had he failed as a father? Was it his fault that his son no longer was in control of his life? If Jesus was unable to deliver his son, wasn’t the father going to suffer public disgrace once again?
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” This short, but sincere and honest prayer was immediately answered. Both the father and his son were free after years of physical pain, emotional suffering and spiritual bondage.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
Addiction is not limited to alcoholism, drug dependence or smoking. There are blood-bought Christians who are struggling with pornography, eating disorders, lust, anger, or jealousy.
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
1 John 3:8b
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus was anointed to proclaim release to the captives and to set free those who are oppressed…
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Before we can be made clean, we must first recognize our sinfulness.
Recently, I took a panhandler to breakfast and asked him his name. He called himself “Doc.” He had a PHD from Michigan State in English literature… He had been living on the streets since 1999. He had been a lecture in his church up north; meaning that he often read publicly from the Scriptures and assisted in serving communion. He even insisted that he had a relationship with Christ and was able to quote some verses. Why then, was he living in the streets pan-handling, filthy, diseased and undernourished? It wasn’t because he was a drug addict, he only had a couple of beers each day and he never got rip-roaring drunk.
I told him that he could not serve two masters, Christ and beer. His response was honest, although it brought me to tears. He said, “I guess I’ll have a couple of beers every day until I die.”
Many people seek Jesus as savior but they refuse to make Jesus Lord of their life.
Are you willing to make Jesus Lord of your life by submitting your will to His? Will you allow the Son of God to do a work in you so that you may be wholly sanctified spirit, soul and body? Will you cry out to Jesus, “I believe you can deliver me” “Help my unbelief!” Will you fast and pray in order to be empowered by the Holy Ghost and allow His anointing to break the yoke that binds you? Then pray this prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ,
I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again. Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN
Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.
Please contact us, we want to rejoice with you!
You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:
- Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
- Read your Bible every day.
- When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then will help you get one.)
- Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
Share with someone what God has done for you.