Addictions and Invading Spirits

Today’s world is fraught with activities which cause unintentional pain and suffering, and results from the negligence of not teaching our children and youth the meaning of one of the most important verses in the Bible. This verse is from Matthew 12:45 and warns: “Then goeth he, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first”.

Two of the spirits of which this verse warns, are those causing drug and alcohol addiction for which society puts forth two philosophies. One that claims that these originate from a pre-birth disposition and another claims that illness is their driving factor. Both remove the onus from the individual, implies that we need to offer greater tolerance, and also implies that all addictions be treated similarly. However, while society excuses some, there are others which it does not excuse such as kleptomania, pornography, anorexia, and pedophilia, to name a few.

Adam and Eve’s sin was the initial act which caused all men to sin. Scripture also tells us that we can inherit, and suffer from, the sins of our forefathers. Jeremiah 11:10 says, “They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words;…..”. Exodus 20:5 says “…..visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation….” And in Numbers 14:18, we are told “….and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” This indicates that what our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or even relatives further back in time, engaged in could impact us.

Accepting these passages at face value, the question that follows is: “At what point do we excuse a behavior on the basis that it only occurs because of the sins of an ancestor?” The answer must be: “At no point”. Each of us are and must remain responsible for what we do, for God teaches us that we must strive to overcome everything that He does not want and cannot allow in His new kingdom. Scripture teaches that we are to strive to escape the captivity Satan has over us in all these matters if we want to be found worthy. Further, being aware of what scripture tells us becomes an incentive and a comfort to those engaged in, yet saddened by their activities.

While the world accepts, condones, and sometimes encourages certain behaviors, our duty is to learn what God tells us, avoid what displeases Him, and help others escape from satanic captivity. While many know of Adam and Eve and the inherited sin Baptism addresses, few understand the sin of our ancestors. If these create a gene, pre-disposition, or illness which causes an addiction, we must learn what God says about how to overcome those things which will not be allowed into God’s kingdom.

Evidence shows that drug users and alcoholics have overcome these addictions through programs using a faith-based approach of abstinence. Why then should we succumb to the belief that we cannot overcome all addictions? If we can free ourselves of one destructive spirit, why should we not be able to free ourselves of any spirit through God’s instruction?

If, as some say, we inherit a kind of DNA change that allows a specific spirit to cause a thirst for something that is displeasing to God, and if we accept that the sin of Adam and Eve allowed Satan access to man, we should also accept that the sin of our forefather’s also allows a satanic spirit access to us. Matthew 8:16 explains that there were many possessed by evil spirits in Christ’s time and that when Christ cast these spirits out, the people were healed. “When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.”

Luke 8:29 says, “(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)” Therefore, it appears that these spirits can be made to leave just as they appear to leave when a drug addict or alcoholic finds success through a twelve-step abstinence program. The Bible clearly says that some spirits are more difficult to remove, but by prayer and fasting they can be made to leave. “Fasting” in this context means to “stay away” from, abstain from, the activities they require for their existence.

When the apostles complained that they were unable to cast out a certain spirit, Christ told them that only by prayer and ‘fasting’ could they be cast out. Matthew 17:21: “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” And Mark 9:29 says, “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.” These verses address the spirits, the authority by which they must leave those they invade, and how one can be rid of them.

We associate the word fasting with denying ourselves food, but here it means to deny the spirit what it needs to live whether it is drugs, alcohol, pornography, or any other lust (spirit) we wish to be free of. While some spirits are easily rebuked, others cling to those whom they have invaded with incredible tenacity. But, by not “feeding” them, by abstaining from what they want and need to live, they have no choice but to leave! This requires that we run from temptation when it presents itself, and stay away from that temptation. When that spirit finally starves because it cannot obtain what it wants, it will leave for a more satisfying experience through a more easily directed person.

The bottom line is that some must fight a very powerful and tenacious spirit to become all that God wants them to become. But, God is willing to help; He knows the power of those spirits and He knows the striving of the heart. Failure does not mean defeat; it means that we need to fight again and that each time we fight we become stronger. Therefore we should strive to overcome and believe that, in time, those spirits can be broken.

Failure doesn’t mean someone can’t be forgiven or loved, or nurtured through the process of change, but it does mean that they cannot keep believing that what they do is acceptable to God because of a predisposition, the sins of their forefather’s, an illness, a specific DNA, or even being wired a certain way. Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto your own understanding”,

God’s words will always tell us the truth and always work to bring us into freedom. As children of God we need to understand the incredible connection between original sin, generational sin, and the spirits that attack, and seek a home, in mankind. We need to talk about this subject and learn what scripture tells us. We need to explain this concept to others so we can all help those who desire to free themselves from those spirits which keep us from God. We must unite in the godly position, rather than fall into the complacency and acceptance of those things which may prevent us or someone we love from being one of the five wise virgins rather than one of the foolish, and lose their place in Heaven.

If we do not understand what position we must take, we can’t teach our children its importance and many may believe they can ‘dabble’ in what is potentially addictive. They need to understand that the spirits which enjoy that activity can enter them and cause them to want more. Eventually that spirit will control them and force them to feed that spirit. They need to be taught that with each encounter with any of these addictions, the spirit will garner a stronger hold over them and become increasingly difficult to remove… and could cost them their soul salvation.

God leaves no question unanswered. Sadly, when parents don’t have the answers, they can’t teach their children, and without this knowledge children will succumb to these spirits. Many children…and adults….are not aware of yhe dangers that their children face in today’s culture, the power of the spirits who seek to own them, and they don’t know how to protect their children from these perils. This is why God asks us to know His words and to remain in constant fellowship with one another. Talking with one another about God’s admonitions is crucial.

If we don’t know the power of Satan and his cohorts, or how easily we can become trapped, we cannot make an informed decision, understand the choices we have, nor the consequences of our actions. We must help our children and youth understand why they must say “NO” and flee from what has become acceptable in the eyes of the world despite being displeasing to God. The world is too dangerous to our spiritual well-being for us not to be armed with God’s warnings and have the courage to stand up and fight for those principles.

However, as we do this, we must continue to exercise unconditional love and compassion, patience, instruction, and prayer for those who are trapped. When we stand firm in rebuking these spirits yet act with love and patience, the spirits that have trapped so many begin to weaken. If we remember the words, “There but by the grace of God go I”, we will find that providing love, compassion, prayer, and exhortations about what God tells us in scripture will be the path to understanding where we stand and how to help. But most importantly we must understand and teach as Matthew 12:45 says, “Then goeth he, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first”.

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