(See the 4 Hebrew words in Proverbs 31:6-7: Perishing, Anguish, Poverty and Misery)
It is not for kings, O Lemuel — not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. (Prov. 31:4-7)
Here are the four Strongholds of Addiction that are the root causes of addiction that most programs never address and why so few people are finding freedom.
1. Perishing – to lose oneself, fail, be undone, be destroyed, to be undone, to be forgotten, have no way to flee:
The Stronghold of Hopelessness and Low self-esteem
The Lie – I am the same old, sin-loving sinner who is helpless and hopeless and will never change. I cannot do what I should do and keep doing the things I should not do. I am unable to do what I should and get free from addiction.
The Truth – The old person I used to be was crucified with Christ (Rom 6:4). I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), who is dead to sin (Rom 6:2) and freed from it (Rom. 6:6, 7). I am a righteous saint (2 Cor. 5:21).
2. Anguish– bitter, provoked, grieved, vexed & discontented:
The Stronghold of Shame and Guilt
The Lie – I keep doing wrong and I deserve to be punished and condemned and I can’t face the truth about myself. I am a prisoner of my past.
The Truth – There is no more guilt and condemnation in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Sin has been taken care of and is no more. IT IS FINISHED! God has taken care of my past in the cross and I am now a product of the cross.
3. Poverty – to be destitute, have lack, needy, poor :
The Stronghold of Insecurity and Rejection
The Lie – I am unloved and unaccepted because I have sinned and messed up so much and have been forsaken and and am without support. I am at the mercy of Satan who jerks me around.
The Truth – God loves me and accepts me and will never leave me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5,6) and has given me everything I need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3), every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3) and victory (1 Cor 15:57). I am a child of God and the evil one cannot harm me (1 John 5:18).
4. Misery – to toil severely with irksome, wearying effort:
The Stronghold of Legalism (Self-help) See Galatians 3:1-5
The Lie – It is up to me and I cannot do it. I have tried and tried and failed and I am giving out. I can’t live the Christian life, do what I am supposed to do and and get free from addiction.
The Truth – God will do it all for me (1 Thess 5:24) and has called me to give up (2 Cor 1:8,9) and rest in Him (Heb 4:10). Christ has set me free (Gal. 5:1) and I am dead to sin (Rom. 6:2) and freed from it (Rom. 6:7) Christ is in me and I am in Him (John 14:20) and I can trust Him because He is my life (Col. 3:4).
Most people have one or more of these strongholds and many addicts have all of them. It will not make any difference what you do or don’t do or what steps you take or program you follow if you are believing any of these lies. Of course the answer is spiritual and is found in a relationship with Christ. God’s answer is the truth. As Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) and “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). The Good News is that freedom is your birthright as a child of God. It is your inheritance. Freedom is part of the package. It belongs to every believer in Christ.