Foundation 10 – Starve the Addiction

(Prov 5:22) “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” 

Satan knows humans very well!  If he can get us to sin, he knows that it will create an appetite within us that could grow stronger and stronger to bind us.  This is the reason we should never take the first drink, or smoke, etc.  BUT.. once we do, the appetite will always be there.  The devil is very tricky and sly in the way he enslaves people to addiction.

(2 Tim 2:26)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

He will promise freedom, but he will give bondage.  He will make it seem as if God’s way is restrictive and his way is freedom.  The truth is the opposite!  God’s way is freedom, and the devil’s way is restrictive – e.g. prison, probation, c.p.s. involvement, supervised visitation, etc…

(2 Pet 2:19)  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

This is what the devil did to Eve.  He made it seem as if God was limiting her from experiencing something good.

Genesis 3:1-6 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Not only did Satan make it seem as if God was limiting her, but  he also tried to convince Eve that he could open her up to new and exciting things.  Notice when Satan tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit he told her:  “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).  Satan was not totally deceiving her.  He deceived her into thinking that there was a benefit in disobeying God, but he was telling the truth about her eyes being opened.  Her eyes would be opened to evil.  Her sin would create an appetite in her that was not there before.  It is a lot easier for Satan to tempt someone to get drunk when they already tasted alcohol as opposed to someone who never tasted it. Once you have tasted alcohol you have created an appetite for it.  All addiction works the same way.  Someone experiences it and develops an appetite or craving.  They begin to crave the “high”, the excitement, the thrill.  The appetite only gets stronger and stronger the more we feed it.  The reason addiction is so hard to overcome is because the appetite we have developed becomes so great.  We think the only way to control it is to feed it, to give into it.  We develop cravings and appetites for things that are not good for us, and before you know it they control us.

(Prov 23:35)  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

The reason people will “seek it yet again” is because they are addicted.  They get beat up in life and they can lose everything that is important to them, but they will still “seek it yet again.”  Logic would tell you to stop, but the addiction overpowers all logic and common sense.  People seek addiction again and again because the appetite is stronger than any resistance they can muster up.

The appetite for addiction takes over their entire being.  They can physically, mentally, socially, financially and spiritually crave the addiction.  Without it they can feel empty, deprived, lost.  Unfortunately the cravings can be so strong that people will do anything to give into it.  They live their life to feed their appetite. Everything they do and think has to do with – “how can I indulge again?”

They will spend their hard earned money to indulge in their addictions.  They will even spend money that should be used for their family, or worst yet, they may steal, rob, cheat, gamble… anything to give into the appetite.  Many foolish and hurtful things have been done by people who are unable to control themselves because of the appetites and cravings that they have developed.

(Prov 5:22)  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

(James 1:15)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Appetites are constantly growing stronger and stronger.  Whether it is drugs, alcohol, lust or greed, the more we give into it the more our appetite increases.  The more we sin, the more of an appetite we develop.   The Bible teaches in Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”  The Bible is saying that a covetous person cannot be satisfied by getting more money or things.  It will be like someone trying to quench their thirst by drinking sea water.  The more you drink the thirstier you get.   The more you get the more you want – never being satisfied.

Finally some people hit rock bottom, and realize that they must quit.  They want to quit, but they cannot.  They continue to give in because of the strong cravings. When the cravings come, it is difficult to resist.  Sometimes they may feel overwhelmed or just too weak.  People will pray to God and ask Him to take away the cravings.  They will try many ways to keep themselves from giving into the cravings because the cravings are very strong.

Once someone develops an appetite for sin, the appetite will never be completely taken away, but it can be controlled.  What we have to do is starve the addiction.  When someone goes on a fast and determines not to eat food for a certain period of time, something interesting happens.  The first two days are very difficult.  The body cries out for food and the cravings are very difficult to resist.  On the third and fourth day the cravings are not quite as strong.  Then on the fifth day the cravings are hardly there at all.  They have been starved out.  This is what we must do to the addiction – starve it out.

The devil wants us to think that giving into an addiction will satisfy the appetite.  This is not true.  If it satisfied then why do we need to indulge again?  The satisfaction is short lived, and the appetite increases.  Sometimes we may fool ourselves into thinking, “just one more time, and then I will quit.”  The “one more time” just made the appetite stronger and quitting more difficult.  When someone says that they are not ready to give it up, do they honestly think it will be easier later when they continue to build up their appetite?  The truth is that addiction is not easy to quit, and sooner or later we must face the cravings.  If we keep resisting — the cravings will be less and less.  We must continue to starve the addiction, and eventually our appetite will not be very strong.

You cannot defeat addiction by feeding it!  You must starve it!  Addiction is not easy to overcome.  Appetites can grow strong over the years; they will not be taken away overnight.  God can miraculously take the addiction from any of us at anytime, but normally we must be willing to give it up to Him.  Why not begin starving out addictions from your life today?

Questions:

  1. When we sin for the first time we create an a_________________________
  1. Satan will promise us freedom, but he will actually give us what?b_________________________.
  1. What happens to our appetite the more we feed it?_______________________________________________________
  1. Why do people seek addiction again and again even when it is destroying their life?_____________________________________________________________________________
  1. Can an addiction be satisfied by giving into it? _______
  1. Once someone develops an appetite for sin, can the appetite ever be taken away? ______________Can it becontrolled? ______________.
  1. What must we do to lessen the appetite that we have for addiction? ____________________________________

Memory Verse:  (Prov 5:22)  “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.”

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