How Can I Overcome Addiction And Sin In My Life?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Every Christian that is not in heaven still struggles with sin.  Many struggle with addictions.  Addictions to marijuana, to alcohol, to pornography, to gambling, to overeating, to shopping, and so many other sins.  Is there any hope in breaking the chains of addictions?  Since many Christians struggle with the sins of addiction they begin to doubt their own salvation. What can a believer do to escape…to overcome their sin?

The Apostle Paul Struggles with Sin

If anyone could overcome sin, surely it was the great apostle Paul.  He wrote more books in the New Testament and founded more churches than any other apostle.  Even though this great man of faith was a spiritual giant, he struggled with sin too.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you will not struggle with overcoming sin in this life after you are saved.

Romans 7:15-24:

15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  And all of God’s people said, “Amen!”  What Christian has not battled with the flesh?  We end up doing just what we don’t want to do…but we do it anyway.  You are not alone.  You are in good company – with Paul.

16 “And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.”  Paul is saying that I agree with the Law of God…that it is good.  The Ten Commandments say we should not bear false witness, but Christians are still not fully sanctified…..it is a lifelong work of sanctification and we are still prone to lie.

17 “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” What Paul is saying is that it’s not really him anymore, but the old man or woman rearing its ugly head.  Even though we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), we are still not without sin (1 John 1:8).

18  “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”  It’s like Paul said that he knows better, yet he falls into sin.  The only thing is that he doesn’t stay there. He acknowledges it and gets back up.  He has the desire to do the right thing but guess what:  He still can not carry it out…in his own strength that is.  This takes the very power of God:  God the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2).

19 “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” That is me in a nutshell.  A train wreck, a sinner, a wretch but the good news is that Paul realizes that the good he wants to do is what he is not doing…and he keeps on doing it!  The good news here is the fact that he understands that it’s wrong.  This is strong evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in him, convicting him of his sin.  A person who is not born-again has no true desire to do what is right nor are they convicted when they do evil things.

20 “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”  Paul is cutting himself some slack. He understands that he is battling the old nature.  The pre-conversion person.  The Saul is still in there but Paul is not settling for it now, neither is he allowing to let is slide.

21 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”  This “although I want to do good” is because God has given him His Spirit to show him his sin and even though evil is there with him…he recognizes that he wants “to do good.”  That is hopeful because he understands that the law is at work.  The Law is a mirror, showing us our sins and he recognizes the evil being there with him (James 1:23). He wants to do good and that is a sentence full of hope, not despair.

22-23 “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.There is a battle for the mind…the battle is ultimately through Jesus Christ but it is a war nonetheless.  We might lose battles but the war has truly been won already.  The law was made clear to Paul by his conscience (Rom 2:15).

24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Paul finally admits defeat in his own frail, feeble, human strength.  He needs rescuing.  He is subject to eternal death without a rescuer.  What can this wretched man do?!  What can we do!?

25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Paul falls on his face, being a wretched man and admits defeat (Rom 7:24) and gives thanks to God Almighty, our Mighty Savior, Who delivered him and Who will also deliver us.

How To Overcome Addiction

I prayed hard, “Lord, please help me, I am weak.” You know what? It worked.

Victory in Defeat

You can not overcome sin on your own…you can not conquer your marijuana addiction on your own…you can’t overcome the addiction to pornography by your own strength…you can’t defeat the enemy of alcohol, gambling, overeating, depression…just name it:  You just can’t do it…..but God can!  He wants to help you overcome the powerful sins of your life and your strong addictions, the mighty fortress where we have no chance at all.  God desires to help us and He is more than able and He is absolutely willing to.  Imagine the God of the universe.  He created the entire universe, all the stars, the galaxies, the sun…everything!  He knows the 100 trillion times 100 trillion number of stars all by name.  Now is anything really to hard for God?!  No!  We have no power in ourselves but the Holy Spirit is God and the very power of God working in you.   The first thing you need to do is to acknowledge to God that you can not overcome this by your own power.  That is exactly what He has been waiting to hear.   Victory will only come in defeat.  You are in over your head but God is over all things.  When we tell God “I just can’t beat this thing God”, He must say, “Finally…now, maybe I can send my power to help them.“  He will be your strong tower.

Pray day and night for the help you need.  God can deliver you…He did me!  But it took time. Don’t lose heart. You will slip and fall but get back up, pray for forgiveness and ask God to cut off all the sources of your drug addiction, if you are addicted to pornography, get rid of the Internet.  Jesus said, speaking in hyperbole, If your hand offends you, cut it off“(Matt 5:30).   What He is saying is to cut off the source of your addiction or sin.  If you can’t get rid of the Internet, then have a friend put a password protected filter on it.  If you are addicted to drugs, turn in the illegal drug dealers.  Drastic yes, but this is what it must take.  God can do all things…He created the universe and He can help deliver you and He desires to help you overcome this addiction but you may have to make some painful decisions.  We can do nothing on our own…but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).  The converse of that is that we can do nothing in our own strength.

Victory in Christ

Please don’t lose heart if you are battling an addiction or some deeply entrenched sin.  Sometimes these demons are mighty strongholds of the mind. The very fact that you are grieved over your addiction or sin is evidence that the Holy Spirit is not only in you but working in you, for the Spirit convicts us of sin and sanctification is a lifelong process.  The very fact that you searched for this over the Internet is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in you.  Can’t you see that!?  This is no coincidence. God brought you to this article today for a very specific purpose, a reason, to be a path for your feet – a light for your life.  It starts with God and ends with God.  I am a pastor today but let me tell you that I was in prison, hooked on drugs, stole, and was headed down the broad path of hell. It took me years and years to finally get over this, yet God never, ever gives up on me and He will not give up on you.  Like the Prodigal Father, He kept looking down the road for me to come to Him.  He is looking down that road today, waiting, watching, for you.

What I finally did to break the addiction was to pray that all the sources or suppliers of my drugs were removed from me or that they would move…whatever it took.  I prayed hard, “Lord, please help me, I am weak.”  You know what?  It worked.  God heard my prayer and answered it.  It took me a very long time and today I am clean and sober but I am still a train wreck, a sinner and I will never overcome all sin in this life.   Jesus’ blood covers past, present, and future sins of ours….so the very fact that you have a sin or addiction weighing heavy on you should not, I pray, make you lose heart.  The fact that you are grieved over your sin is a great sign that the Holy Spirit is trying to show you your sin.   Once a believer repents, this does not mean that they will not fall back into sin.  No, we will sin again and again…but turning from our sin we will begin to loathe it all the more.  Yes, we need to repent, but we sin every day and every day we can begin and end the day by falling on our face, hands, and knees before God to ask for forgiveness.  You too can declare as Paul did, Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 7:25)!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith February 7, 2016 at 2:35 am

Im struggle with addiction of porn and mastubation I need help I keep doing it and I want to do good again..

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Jack Wellman February 7, 2016 at 8:18 am

Hello Faith. I suggest you follow the steps given and in this article is says you should find a Christian women who you trust to be your accountability partner. You must follow the steps give and not give us. Ask your church to pray for you for an “unspoken needs” so that you can have the saints of God praying for you too.

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Faith February 8, 2016 at 2:07 am

Greetings In the name of Jesus…I have a question when I pray to God about my addiction which is porn I dont know how to say it to God because I just feel so guilty that I dont even know where to start praying ..I usualy attend altercall at church when it something similar to my problem ..my worry is that I dont know if I will be a good wife to my fiance or a mother to my children to be if im still struggle with this addiction I love God and I want to do good nd live a life that is pleasing to Him

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ken February 27, 2016 at 10:01 am

I need prayer for addiction to sex and drinking.i have been in this battle for most of my life,i pray for Gods grace and deliverance and then go right back to it.i hate my sins but I can’t stop it.the guilt and depression is heavy,sometimes I feel God has given up on me and then sometimes I feel he is here with me in this struggle.its a rough cycle I don’t know what to do or were to go.i know I need help.i have not thought that much about suicide by once in awhile I do,but I would never do that.please help and pray for me.

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Misty April 26, 2016 at 4:41 am

Thank You so much. This article means alot to me. Gave me hope. and to know the Holy Spirit is working in me is an Amazing feeling of Joy.

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Aaron June 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Thank you so much for writing this article. it was really an uplifting thing to read. I am addicted to porn, and keep on doing it, but am growing up in a christian home, and became a believer last year. It was never like me to do these evil things. And i keep on doing them, even though i know this is very wrong. i pray to God, and ask for forgiveness, but he doesen’t seem to answer. i know he is there, and i know he loves me, and i want to love him. I can tell he is dong a great work in me, but i know i cant do so when addicted to porn. I am to imbaressed to talk about it to someone face to face, because i know its very wrong. Could you give me some advice?
Thanks again for this article. I can really see the power of God working in you, just from this.

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Jack Wellman June 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Hello Aaron. I hope it helps you but within the article are practical applications that you can take to help you overcome this sin. You must swallow your pride and talk to your pastor or find a Christian man, an older trusted Christian, who can be your accountability partner. Do you access pornography over the Internet? Then have a friend put a password protected filter on it. Please read this article which is full of steps you can take that addresses your sin very specifically at this link: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-overcome-an-addiction-to-pornography-help-for-struggling-christians/ but again, until you are willing to confess your faults to someone else, as James wrote, you cannot receive healing I don’t believe. I will pray for you my beloved brother in Christ.

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Jaldesa Doyo June 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I need prayer for addiction to Jealous, hate, doubt, fear and sever depression have been in this battle for most of my life,i pray for Gods grace and deliverance and then go right back to it.i hate my sins but I can’t stop it.the guilt and depression is heavy,sometimes I feel God has given up on me and then sometimes I feel he is here with me in this struggle.its a rough cycle I don’t know what to do or were to go.i know I need help.i have not thought that much about suicide by once in awhile I do,but I would never do that.please help and pray for me. how can I overcome these events through Jesus Christ?

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Jack Wellman June 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I would do as this article suggests. Talk to your pastor, find an accountability partner, and cut off all the sources of your anger. It’s a heart issue. What are you so angry about? Jesus died for us while we were still ungodly, wicked, and His natural enemies (Rom 5:6-10). Some churches have a group that meets for these things so connect with one, find a mentor, talk to your pastor, ask for the prayers of the saints in your church (as unspoken needs) and then trust God to work in you. It’s actually a good sign that there is a battle going on…at least you are on the right side…the side that strives to live a holy life.

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Austin July 26, 2016 at 1:01 am

Thank God for this article. Just moments before reading this I fell again to my lengthy addiction to pornography. I had gone about a week clean which is good for me as I usually need to watch it daily. They say it’s the only sin you commit against your own body so it’s kinda like a suicidal tendency in a weird way. Like cutting myself. I struggle believing that the Lord forgives me after such weakness and blatant disregard for his word. But I always ask for it anyways. I got ride of my smartphone and put covenant eyes on my computer but I still find ways around it. Please pray for me brothers and sisters. I will pray for those who requested as well.

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Betty August 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

I’m struggling with opiate addiction, I desperately want to stop, but can’t endure the withdrawls. To make things worse I’m a nurse and temptation is ever present causing me to steal and lie as well. I suffer from depression and PTSD, I feel like I’m an enemy of God and can’t ask for forgiveness because I know I will fail again. I don’t want to wake up in the morning to begin a new day because I know I will fail. I’ve attempted suicide twice because I can’t find the help I need. I don’t want to be a nurse because of the temptation, but I’m single, with no support systems or anyone I can trust to confess to. I feel hopeless and bound for hell because I backslid and got myself into this mess. I feel this is all reaping what I’ve sown and Jesus will tell me to depart from him in the judgment. I live in constant fear and panic attacks. I need to go to detox but can’t afford the cost of treatment. I want to die.

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Jack Wellman August 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Hello Betty. Have you tried contacting your pastor? Churches often have such programs where they can help. We have one near us called “Celebrate Recovery.” Have you told anyone? Do you have a trusted Christian woman? God can deliver anyone from these things by His power for all who are brought to repentance and trust in Christ? Do you believe this Betty? Please fall on your knees, confess this sin to God, put your trust in Christ, and then cry out for His strength (Phil 4:13) because we can do nothing without Christ (John 15:5). Don’t give up. That’s what Satan wants you to do. God forgives us of all of our sins (1 John 1:9) and we become new creations in Jesus Christ (2nd Cor 5:12). For now, I will pray for you Betty.

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David September 7, 2016 at 1:12 am

This article has been a blessing this evening after a very dark day. I was feeling extreme guilt and depression after falling into sin again. So deep was my darkness that I had thoughts of suicide. I had recently asked God to forgive me so after I had sinned I felt very shameful and dishonest to the lord. But merciful God allowed me to find this article. Reading this article has shown me that I really haven’t given my problems to the lord, I’m trying to do it on my own and it’s not working .

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mark September 12, 2016 at 9:22 am

I am a Christian who struggles with alcohol and have done for many years,I don’t get drunk but feel the need for a beer daily.The Lord has told me that” alcohol is not part of my future”.I truly believe that the Holy Spirit guided me to this article today which has helped so much and I will try to stop condemning myself all the time.God is so good and the bible tells us that we are “work in progress”. May God bless you all,you are in my prayers.

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rdmjone September 24, 2016 at 7:44 am

Good! A very simple, practical, helpful, and encouraging article. Thanks!

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