Addictions and Compulsions
Human beings are composed of spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). Some scholars believe that soul and spirit are one and the same; however the word of God indicates otherwise. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in what is known as The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-47), states that she has a soul and a spirit.
When someone becomes a born-again Christian, his/her spirit is cleansed and filled with the Spirit of God. The soul, however, remains in the same state it was before conversion. So does the body, except in rare circumstances where the act of conversion brings a miracle healing.
The soul is comprised of the mind, the will and the emotions. While the Christian’s spirit cannot be touched by the enemy, the soul and the body can be and often are subject to the enemy’s attack. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:7-8)
The mind, will and emotions can be manipulated by the enemy. The control of the enemy in one of these three areas could be greater than in the other two areas. In the case of addictions and compulsions, the area more heavily manipulated is the will. The will has been surrendered to the enemy. The enemy dictates what the person is going to will.
When we hear the word addiction, we think mainly of drugs or alcohol, possibly gambling. However, people can have other addictions and compulsions, some that are clearly sinful and some not: eating, smoking, sex, pornography, self- stimulation, sports, music, etc. I knew a young woman once who was addicted to aspirin. She was an employee of mine, and she would go through a large bottle of aspirin in a week. Another employee was addicted to soft drinks, and drank about eight or more a day. A Christian woman I knew was addicted to shopping. A “sweet tooth” is nothing more than an addiction to sugar.
People addicted might not realize that they are addicted until they try to stop the addiction. Then they realize that they are not in charge of themselves. They cannot do what they want to do. The strongman that manipulates their will is the one in charge.
To be delivered from the addiction, the person needs to realize that there is an evil entity controlling their will, and they need to believe that Jesus Christ can set them free from that evil entity. The person needs to submit their will to Jesus Christ and have the resolve to walk away from the addiction. Next, the strongman must be cast out. Thus deliverance will be accomplished. However, the enemy will try to come back, but the person must resist. (James 4:7)
And the very god of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior. (Luke 1: 46, 47)
And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10: 7, 8)
Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)