Matthew 12:43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Some hard core addicts read this and say – Now that I am clean I got to make sure I don’t screw this up. I probably had a demon and I don’t want it back and I really don’t want his friends to come along for the ride. But we all need to pay attention to this verse. Spirits harass everybody. They come screaming in and if we you not living right they stay for a while. If we are not doing something to fulfil our purpose or preparing to fulfil it they stick around.
We get free from sin and the Holy Spirit gives us strength to fight back. But if we start to fiddle around in sin they are back. If we sit around doing nothing they are back. We are in God’s army and we are fighting a war. Those who choose to sit out the war will be at war with spirits and they will lose. Those who fiddle around with sin will also be at war with spirits and they will often lose. Those who go to war for Almighty God will also have to battle spirits – but it is not a fair fight. The Holy Spirit is waiting to win the war for those people. Waiting to empower those Christians who plan to do what God wants them to do.
Some of you want to be neutral and not pick a side. But if you don’t pick a side you will end up on the wrong side. But bad spirits hate the Bible, so to get them to leave – read it a lot. They hate it when you pray, when you read a great Christian book, when you listen to a great pastor or priest. They hate being around people who are always praising and thanking God for everything. They especially hate it when you remind them that Jesus shed his blood so that you can be free from sin and addiction. And yes they harass me too, but when I am on point they don’t stay for long at all.
Whatever your addiction is, it is important to fully understand the pros and con’s of your addiction at all times. We all would love to live in a fantasy world where we could just magically stop any addiction at any time. But it doesn’t work that way because there is always something we like a lot that keeps pulling us back in.
One secret to success is to understand what your addiction trap is. An addiction trap is any activity you do which will lead you back into full blown addiction. So we need to be aware of and very afraid of any activity which will trap us and cause us to be enslaved by the addiction.
For example we have the sugar addict. Sugar addicts don’t necessarily eat large meals. But when they eat one thing with sugar on it, it leads to 2 things then 4 things with sugar in it and so on and so forth. So in this case the trap is baited with sugar. In this example let us look at how 2 different people’s plans might play out.
In situation #1 our dieter is determined not to overeat today at work. In situation #2 our 2nd dieter has a blueprint for success. The blueprint calls for a small bowl of bean soup for lunch along with some carrots. The question is, which person would you predict will give in to the always available cookies. Person #1 who is very determined or person #2 who is very determined and who also has a plan? Yes both people can raid the cookies, but your odds of resisting cookies double or triple when you have a full stomach.
In this case we have sprung the trap (which is the cookies) before we got in it by making a blueprint for our success. In this scenario the addict understands that if they don’t prepare a good lunch they will be in severe temptation. So when the cookies are available their hunger may start them down a slippery slope which they likely can’t handle.
It is a similar story with alcohol or chemical addiction. If person #1 is determined not to party on Friday night they may succeed. But if person #2 is determined not to party on Friday night and they have a fully scheduled course of action to get them through the night they have an advantage.
Here is a key point.
The more addicted you are the more you need to be prepared for your every move. Here are the things that you can do. In this example person #2 has a plan to play pool with non partying friends. Then they will hang out with Johnny who wants to support their dedication to change. Then they plan to go to bed at 1 am sharp.
In this scenario they now have some power and that power is their plan. And if they simply follow their plan they will spring the trap shut before they get caught in it.
Key point #2
U need clean people around you if you are going to stay clean.
In this last example our hero played pool with sober players. If they are a true addict they may not prefer to hang out with a sober crowd. We don’t really know these people as well as we know our normal crowd. Additionally they may be a little unsure about us.
So it is important to remember that it will take hanging out with these new people 5 to 8 different times before you can accurately know how well you fit in. It will also take 5 to 8 times for your head to clear up. What I mean by this is; even if your new friends are perfect for you and even if what they are doing is great fun you may not enjoy it at first. If your mind can only think about your habit it will be hard to make new friends. So since you have to make new friends to break your addiction you need to make it happen no matter what.
Learn how you can get rid of drugs or drinking by breaking away from the crowd you hang out with now.
#1 Be ultra aggressive in finding new sober friends. Always smile and try to be friendly. Be patient, it will not happen in one day but always be persistent. If you never give up on finding a new crowd you will find one.
#2 Be the person who suggests clean activities. If you don’t have something to do you will likely fall into an addiction trap.
#3 Always have a backup plan. If you can’t find something interesting to do, have a plan to do something. A hobby, sport, game, or spiritual activities etc.
#4 Although being busy is important try to not overdo it. When you are tired watch some TV or read or get some sleep. Having a good balance in your life is one key to success.
When trying to find a new crowd it is very important to go the extra mile to make it a good night. Make a great effort to treat these new people well. Even if you feel like crap, try to be a person who has love for people. Make an effort to always go around treating people with respect and with some genuine caring for them. If you do you will be surprised at how much better life can be.
Addiction is slavery. It tells you what to do, when to do it, where to go and how to act. Even if you love your addiction I want you to tell yourself 20 times a day that addiction is slavery. At its worst, addiction drives you to destruction and at the very least, it enslaves you into a habitual trap that will keep you from any chance of fulfilling your life given purpose.
Addiction is slavery just like all sin is slavery. The reason the Bible is so against sin is because sin always leads to destruction. For many people there are sin’s which are trigger points to your main addiction. Many secular programs want to solve your main addiction while leaving other sin in your life. The drawback to that method is it doesn’t often work all that well, plus you will never find your God given purpose that way. Having said that if you find any program that helps you, it is a good thing, as long as it is not against Christianity.
The solution to help with addiction and to overcome sin in general is to put a priority on daily Bible study. Read a chapter from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament each day. Then put a priority on doing what it says to do.
Every person who makes it a priority to follow God’s ways will find fullness of joy in their life to some extent. Every person who makes it a priority to follow Jesus ways in full (which is to obey his ways and to spread the Gospel) will always have fullness of joy.
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life.
For those of you who are now overcoming addiction, you now need to start helping others. If you are still too early in recovery to start helping others in a one on one situation you can start by praying for other addicts. Pray: “Father, bring people to this website and give them a chance to overcome addiction, find your love, start to find their purpose and starting to find joy again. You may be able to help others by advising them to go to a self help group like AA. Think about, pray about and plan how you can help others both now – as well as in the future.
Read John 21, 2nd Corinthians 5 and Provervbs 19
Thankyou for reading day 24: How to avoid relapse with drugs and drinking.
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Day one: How to overcome cravings
Day two: Would believing in a higher power be good for you?
Day three: Quitting addiction exercises
Day four: Does God answer pray?
Day five: Starting to understand that we can’t increase our pleasure for the whole month by going back to our addiction
Day six: Planning our day to keep addiction temptation to a minimum
Day seven: We find liberty (or start to find liberty) from addiction when we find Jesus
Day eight: First fruit of the Spirit
Day nine: Benefits of worshipping God
Day ten: Getting rid of negative emotions and overcoming cravings
Day 11: How to be blessed by God and self control
Day 12: Have a list of coping statements
Day 13: How to have living water so that you will never thirst again. How to become a christian.
Day 14: Adam and Eve show us what we do that causes things to go wrong
Day 15: Consequenses of doing wrong
Day 16: Self control
Day 17: What leads back to using and self control
Day 18: How to pray to fight addiction
Day 19: Can we get our prayers answered?
Day 20: Overcoming relationship problems
Day 21: Finding a church that can help you
Day 22: Overcoming addiction exercises
Day 23: Don’t worship pleasure – serve others instead to find real joy
Day 24 of our 40 day program