by Eric Dunbar
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
What are you addicted to, is it alcohol, cigarettes, crack, meth, pain killers, gambling? Whatever your dilemma, or however long it has kept you bound — three years, four years, eighteen years — God can set you free.
There is a story written in the Bible about a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. This spirit kept her bent over for eighteen years, and no matter how she tried she could not straighten up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and laid His hands on her, and she immediately stood up straight. Note that the Bible says this woman could not stand up straight because she had a “spirit” of infirmity or “sickness.” It is important that you understand that nothing in the Bible should is insignificant. God wanted us to know about this woman. He wanted us to know that this woman’s sickness was the result of a “spirit.”
I was once bound by a spirit of infirmity that kept me bound to crack cocaine for twelve years. You might say that I too, was bent over, and could in no way raise myself up. But it only took a word, and a touch from God to change her life forever. In the case of this woman that one word was “loosed.” Jesus told the woman that she was “loosed” from her sickness.
For eighteen years this woman went about her daily life looking down at the ground. She had looked down so long until she probably believed that she had no reason to look up. But when Jesus touched her she was able to straighten herself up. Now she had a reason to look up because now she knew that God loved her. Once she had been loosed from her sickness, this woman was no longer subject to the power of the spirit that had kept her bound for the last eighteen years of her life.
I especially took notice of how when Jesus touched the woman, she was made straight. When God loosed me from crack, I was no longer subject to the power of addiction. Although I was no longer a slave to the drug, I was not able to straighten myself up until Jesus touched me. His touch made me feel loved again; His touch made me want to lift my head and my hands toward heaven; His touch made me straighten up and pursue life with my head held high.
Whatever has you bound, know that God set you free. But there is something that you must do to be set free from you bondage. When God calls out to you, you must go to Him. Jesus called the woman to Him and she responded. So when God calls out to you, answer His call and you will be set free from the bondage of addiction. If you answer, He will touch you, like He touched this woman, and me. If Jesus breaks your chains of bondage, you will be free forever.