Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

 SOURCE: Adapted from an article at:   Lighthouse Network/Stepping Stones

Addictions – the Stone Gods

As kids, none of us set out with the goal of feeling trapped in an addiction.

Sadly, after a slow and insidious beginning, that is the ultimate end for all addictive behaviors: enslavement.

Addictions make us slaves to that object. Some people can feel the enslavement very specifically. Others are fooled into thinking they aren’t enslaved, because the takeover is so subtle and usually occurs over a big chunk of time. The reality is, we easily become slaves to the objects that soothe us. Being “trapped” is exactly where Satan wants us. He cleverly disguises our addiction objects. Because we aren’t stupid, and really don’t want to be slaves, Satan has to be subtle and crafty to help us progress down the enslavement pathway.

People can find themselves obsessively and compulsively hooked on almost anything. The object of desire for an addict is always staring them right in the face.

For some it’s using food as a source of comfort. For others it can be substances, control, relationships, anger, spending, Facebook, the phone, sports, TV, anxiety, panic attacks, guilt, fear, hobbies, money, power (think parent tactics), a loud and intimidating voice, the silent treatment, avoidance … man, the list is endless. Just think of how many times these responses or objects got you into trouble, yet you still do them. That is enslavement.

People caught up in an addiction have replaced God with an idol.

They have found something that promises a good time, makes things better or easier to deal with, or makes the pain or struggle go away. What entered life as an understanding resource, tool, friend, or savior quickly became a cruel master.

The problem with idols is that they are chosen because we want what we think they can give us, not because of what they actually are. We believe that they will do something for us, so we give them our devotion. But they are actually stone gods … illusions and lies that give us a little, but then trap us by interfering with the full, long term relief that going to God will actually bring in-full.

Today, know and spread the news that for believers there is great hope. We are not alone in our addictions. No matter where we are, the Holy Spirit is within us and intercedes for us before God.

When you are uncomfortable emotionally, notice what you turn to for soothing. Today’s scripture tells us that we are “crucified with Christ, therefore we no longer live, but it is Christ who lives within us.”

This is the truth: we do not struggle alone. Christ is with us, and in Him we are free. When we are focused on Him, we can find the strength we need for freedom and victory over all our addictions. Your decision, so choose well.

Prayer

Dear Father God, Today more than ever I need You to live up to that divine title of Savior. I need You to save me from myself, my addictions, my fear, my burdens. I am so tired of trying to do it on my own. I am weary and exhausted, stressed out and alone. Come to me and save me. Free me from my fears and help me to hold onto You, so that my life, dreams, and hopes can be renewed. I pray this in the name of the One whom You sent to set me free from all enslavement, Jesus Christ;  – AMEN!

The Truth

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Isaiah 61:1

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

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Comments on: "Being “trapped” is exactly where Satan wants us" (2)

  1. Can you tell me what is meant by “panic attacks” and “anxiety” becoming idols? I have suffered with both of these but I don’t feel like I’m turning to them for comfort. They aren’t comforting. What do you suggest for dealing with anxiety & panic attacks?

    • thecounselingmoment said:

      Thanks for your question. I am sorry to be long in replying. I have been out of town quite a bit.

      You ask a very good question. Certainly there can be organic/brain chemistry issues involved in panic and anxiety that need to be assessed and, as warranted, treated with medication. I don’t believe the article you read is so much trying to state that the panic or anxiety itself is comforting. But, what we do to sometimes cope with or control the anxiety/panic (generally other than meds) might be the “dysfunctional” coping behavior that brings some measure of “comfort.” For example, if I turn to avoidance of people, places, and things or restructuring my life in a way that restricts the fullness of life God wants me to have (John 10:10) so I don’t have as much anxiety/panic, this might provide unhealthy “comfort.” And, in essence, these “counter-measures” are controlling me much like an idol ultimately controls me.

      As to what to do to deal with anxiety and panic, I would (1) learn more to seek God’s Word & His presence to deal with any lie-based/erroneous self-talk going on within me before I turn to any other coping strategy; (2) as God leads, I would aggressively seek medical and therapeutic help to confront my panic and anxiety issues head on; (3) I would take a “whatever it takes” attitude to prayerfully and practically move “into” the problem to deal with it and not try to skirt or move “around” the problem as ways of dealing with it — to do this, I would place myself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, trusted friends, support groups, well-trained pastor, etc.

      This was a quick answer, but I hope you find it helpful. Continue seeking God, listening for Him, being more aware of how He is leading you to take full advantage of all resources He has put in your life to deal with the panic and anxiety. I pray you find His genuine, lasting, true, and compassionate comfort to overcome what you are dealing with. Dr. Bill…..

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