Galatians 5:1 gives us the promise that "For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." It is not God's design for man to be in chains and bondage, but it is His will that we experience Him freely.
One of the things that can enslave man is addiction. It comes in many forms and relies on different substances, ideas or people. People can be addicted to anything that takes the place of God in their lives for significance, identity, security or satisfaction.
Addiction is idolatry, and idolatry is sin. So many Christians today are sold under the yoke of this slavery, and God wants to liberate us from the yoke of addiction. But liberty and freedom come only through the truth, and that truth is Jesus, who brings revelations that redeem us and remove us from our sinful flesh.
Here are 5 realities about addiction that we must embrace to further understand addiction and how to be free from it.
1. We can be addicted to good things
People don't have to be addicted to harmful things such as drugs, alcohol and pornography to be sold to sin as a slave. We can also be addicted to good things such as ministry, work and family. Anything that takes God's place in our hearts as number one becomes an idol and we become addicted to it.
2. Addiction is destructive
We all know that "the wages of sin is death" and that we are redeemed from the power and consequence of sin through Christ. However, God doesn't just want us to be free from the punishment of sin but the grip of addiction as well. That's because addiction will always be destructive to our lives, our marriages, our careers and to our relationship with God.
3. Addiction is false freedom
2 Peter 2:19 says "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved." We may think that being workaholic gives financial freedom, but it actually binds us up to the thinking that only our jobs can provide provision and security for us. Addiction makes you believe you are free when in fact we're very much in chains.
4. We are all addicted to something
Whether you're a pastor, a church volunteer or a Christian of thirty years, we are all addicted to something. It may be as subtle as being addicted to doctrine, to your property or even to a small hobby, but we all need to be freed from bondage to something. We will always need Jesus's redemptive power over our lives to say no to sin.
5. Addiction can be overcome
Isaiah 61:1 promises "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."
Addiction cannot be overcome by our own will power. There are no five ways to being free from addiction because there is only one way and that is Jesus Christ.