The fight for sobriety is truly a spiritual war. Abuse of alcohol destroys health, families, relationships, careers and lives. Winning any war, in the spirit, or in the flesh, requires understanding the enemy, your weapons, and sound tactics.
Winning the War Against Alcohol -Understanding the Enemy (Lies and Truth)
I Peter 5:8 (NIV) warns us “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion looking someone to devour.” An occasional, or even daily drink, may not harm some people, Out of control drinking is destructive.
A common tactic in many wars is to spread false information to confuse or demoralize the opponent. Once a person’s drinking has spiraled out of control, Satan begins his lies. His lies will tell you that you can’t stop. His voice will say “all is hopeless… you might as well have another. One more can’t hurt. A bottle will halt the pain…” Satan is the father of lies.
Spiritual warfare and defeating alcoholism both start with knowing the truth. The fact is this; God loves you. No matter how far you have fallen, no matter how far gone you feel, God loves you.
God has made way for you to be in a relationship with him. He has made way for you to defeat alcoholism. He has made way for you to live a victorious life, John 3:16 is the most memorized verse in the Bible for a reason. It summarizes the truth that changes everything. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Spiritual warfare and winning the war against alcohol start with understanding and internalizing this truth. God loves us so much that he gave his son to die in atonement for your sins and mine. Every single one of them is forgiven, including the sins of our past and the ones we will commit when we stumble in the future. What do we have to do to receive this forgiveness? Repent and believe. God did the rest for us.
That is the miracle of grace, God’s amazing gift, his Son, our King, Jesus Christ, died for our sins. Sinners like all of us receive eternal life, even though we are utterly unworthy. That is only the beginning of the story. When we repent and believe, we become the sons and daughters of God. As we begin to walk a new path as believers, God begins to create a new life within us. God wants a relationship with us.
We communicate with God through prayer and praise. He communicates with us in two significant ways. He has given us the Bible, his word, to teach us. The Holy Spirit will also dwell in us and guide us.Understanding the real power behind these few facts is the key to winning any spiritual battle.
When Jesus died on the cross, his death was payment for our sin. God has forgiven us. When he rose from the dead, he proved that he was the victor over sin and death. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us in the form of the Holy Spirit! When you feel powerless in your struggle, know that the power of Christ in you is greater than the battle you face. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) tells us “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Three Weapons for the Battle
- One weapon is knowledge.
Know and believe the good news that Christ died for our sins and we are forgiven and loved. God loves us in a way that is unfathomable to the human mind. Think about the greatest love that you have ever seen or experienced. God loves you more than that. God will help you in your battle with alcohol. You have been forgiven.
The Spirit of God lives inside you and will help you build a new life. These are promises of God. He keeps his promises. Knowing these things is the first step to victory. As you internalize these truths, you will begin to be able to counter the lies Satan flings at you. When his voice says you are unloved, unlovable, too far gone, or out of hope, you will know that you are loved, and forgiven.
There is hope because God is on your side and helping you rebuild from the inside. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) promises us “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things become new.”
- A second weapon is prayer.
Pray often and pray hard. Confess your sins. Ask for help. Share your heart with God. People tell us not to complain because no one cares. God cares, and he wants our prayers. Pray when alcohol is tempting you. Pray when you are hurt or afraid or overwhelmed, Pray when you are concerned for others.
Praise him in prayer when you see the beautiful things he has done. In short “pray without ceasing.” Don’t worry about the words. Talk like you would to a close friend. As you pray, you will become more aware of the Holy Spirit. You will find strength and peace. One of my favorite promises about prayer is Psalms 50:15 “… call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Hebrews 4:16 is another favorite verse about prayer. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” As God’s forgiven children we can approach his very throne in prayer. He will listen, and He will help us.
- A third weapon is the Bible (AKA the Sword of the Spirit)
Get into the Bible. The bible, from the first book to the last, is the true story of God’s relationship with people since the beginning of recorded history to the end of days. Times change, but human nature does not, and the principles learned in the Bible are timeless. The Bible contains many powerful promises for believers. Learning these promises gives us ammo against the enemy.
The Bible is called the sword of the Spirit and the promises from the Bible become our best weapon when fighting any spiritual battle. Satan tries to tell us lies and demoralizes us. Knowing the promises of God allows us to shut those lies down with truth. Jesus himself set the example.
When he lived as a man, Satan tried to tempt Him. He shut Satan down simply by quoting scripture. Matthew 4:1-11 shares this account. Powerful promises are found all over the Bible. When Satan is tempting me, one of my favorites is James 4:7(NIV) “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Many scriptures tell us to flee sin. Put some distance between yourself and the things that tempt you. When alcohol is the temptation, get it out of your house.
Try not to be in the situations, or with the company that makes you likely to drink. Good Company is especially critical when you are new to sobriety and vulnerable. Enlist help. There are AA groups in almost every community. The majority of people who attend AA meetings, about twice monthly, for at least six months, are still sober fifteen years later.
Finding a sponsor or a close friend who can hold you accountable is a crucial step. A pastor might be able to recommend a Christian recovery group or help you find a brother or sister that has had victory over alcohol. Many addictions, including alcoholism, start from underlying issues. A good support group or counselor can often help someone get to the root of these problems and heal.
A victorious walk is about always deciding to live in faith and obey the things Scripture teaches us. Our salvation is secured the moment we repent and trust in Christ. Growing in Christ and experiencing victory is a process. We chose minute to minute, thought to thought and action to action, how we will live, and who or what we will serve.
Faith itself is a gift from God. I believe it is like a muscle. It gets intense when exercised. Specifically, I have observed that faith leads to obedience and obedience leads to belief in God's ability to deliver you. When I’m tempted but choose to obey God’s word, my faith grows. As my confidence grows, it becomes easier to follow. Seeing the blessings, that result from obedience, leads to more confidence.
God has been very merciful and patient with me. We all stumble. When you fail, confess your sin…get up and keep walking. Do not hear Satan’s lies. Christ did not die on the Cross only to have us wallow in guilt.
- Know the enemy when you fight the temptation of drinking.
- Know your weapons.
- Know who you are in Christ, and that Scripture is Transforming you.
- Pray and know your prayers are heard and will be answered.
- Pray without ceasing.
- Take up the Sword of Scripture and fight this battle to win.
- Learn the scriptures and promises of God.
- Store them in your heart and mind.
- Speak them directly against Satan and the lies and temptations.
- Take a serious attitude about sin.
- Distance yourself from temptation.
- Find friends to help.
You are a forgiven and beloved child of the highest King. The Spirit of Christ dwells in you and will allow you to live victoriously. Believe and repent.
Special Thanks to the Friend and Contributor to SpiritualAttack.com, “KristiV” for writing this.MOST EXCELLENT..article. If you would like to become a contributor to The Spiritual Attack Relief Foundation & Ministries, please eMail the Teddy Bear at [email protected]