This God-Given Gift Can Quickly Become an Insidious Addiction

(Unsplash/Dan Gold)

"Addiction" is a word that is becoming more and more familiar in our society. According to the dictionary, addiction is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity. Synonyms are dependency, dependence and habit.

Addiction to drugs, alcohol and tobacco have been recognized in our society for years. We are hearing more and more about other addictions such as food, porn, shopping and gambling. We could also be addicted to video games, cell phones or sport activities. To me, an addiction is something that controls you. Your thoughts and behaviors are connected to this source. It is a lifestyle disease.

The world offers many programs and advice on how to overcome these addictions. I hear some people say, "Just stop!  Just say no!"  No one would like to stop more than the person addicted. When something is out of control in the natural, we need to recognize there is a spiritual root causing this addiction, and our only answer is Jesus. Information can show you the need to change, but only revelation from God's Word can bring transformation with lasting results. Deliverance begins when we admit we have no control and need help. Deliverance continues as we repent and seek God for His wisdom and help in our situation.

I found myself fighting the battle of food addiction. I was always "plump," and it seemed like I gained weight looking at food. My life was up and down the scale. I was always looking for the "magic cure" that would end this struggle.

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After living in Scotland for 12 ears, then returning to the United States, I found that circumstances in my life seemed overwhelming. I was continually fighting depression, and food became my comfort.

Food is a natural source for deception and dependency. We must have food to survive and thrive; we are physically dependent on food. God created us to need food and to enjoy the taste of food. Food becomes a trap when it is used as a substitute for comfort. It becomes a roller-coaster ride of emotions, a love-hate relationship. Its obsession fills your thoughts and actions and robs you of your self-esteem, holding you captive, and it has life-damaging consequences. Food addiction is fast overtaking smoking as the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States.

I finally came to an end. I made up my mind that I would never try the world's way again, and I cried out to God for help. Shortly after this, I saw the words, "The devil wants you fat!"  These words pierced my heart. I was convicted of not caring for my body and I repented!  I asked God for "a word" to give me the courage to face this giant in my life and overcome its bondage. It was spiritual warfare.

One day in my devotion time, I heard the words, "Break the habit."  I knew exactly what the Lord was talking about—my food habit. Once I submitted my weight problem to God, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 90 pounds from my body. Was it easy? No!

Most of my problem came from ignorance. I had never thought about what I put in my mouth in regard to the harm I was doing to my body. I just ate to stop the craving. Another word I heard from the Lord was, "Fasting is the gateway to the supernatural."  After studying fasting in the Bible and in several books, I went on my first fast of 10 days. During this time, God cleansed my soul, showing me areas of my life where I had been judgmental toward people with alcohol and drug addictions. After I repented (again), the Lord said, "You are addicted to food." That was a shock to me. I had no idea that over the years, the food I was eating was actually causing me to become addicted to food.

If you really want to be free, repentance is where it starts. Facing up to the truth, you have neglected this area of your life. True repentance brings change. Most of us are just "sorry" for the mess we are in, but not willing to change.

Change is never easy. It is easier to live in a rut than to break a habit! You get comfortable in your rut as you go around the mountain of strongholds in your mind leading you into harmful habits.

Deliverance can't be bought; it can only be received by simply asking the Lord for help. "Lord, I cannot do this on my own. I need You to give me understanding and wisdom in dealing with my lifestyle decisions every day."

We must allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the root cause of the addiction and lead us out of the wilderness and into the life of freedom.

How did Job persevere to find the end intended by the Lord? (James 5:11). "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12).

Job was addicted to "soul food." "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, even as your soul is well" (John 1:2).

"So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God's Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us (James 1:21, TPT).

As your soul (your mind, will and emotions) is nourished by the Word of God, you will prosper in all areas of your life and be in health. You need to become addicted to "soul food." I can guarantee you that soul food will add spice to your life, bring deliverance from bondage and health to your bones. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

For my testimony of God's faithfulness, read Why Diets Don't Work, Food Is Not the Problem, along with the workbook that goes with it. Both are available from Amazon.

Joyce Tilney is founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. ( She is an author and Bible teacher. Her book and workbook, both titled Why Diets Don't Work ( share her 90-pound weight-loss testimony. Her new book, The Real Woman Grows Roses From the Thorns of Life, will be available in March, 2018.

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