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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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Pkpk February 5, 2019 at 4:27 am

During my Teenage I got into mastrubation. Even after choosing to become a born again taking water baptism, married n blessed with kids I struggle with this issue and addiction to porn. It’s 30 years plus now. I did all I could. Confessed , repented thousands of times. Now I have taken God for granted

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bre February 8, 2020 at 12:32 am

hey, its fine. I am a teen and I got baptized and taken God for granted so many times. I did things knowing he was watching me and would be angry. All I know is hat you shouldn’t beat yourself up abt it because he is just to forgive when you confess your sins. Just make sure that you are at least trying and have remorse for ur sins. David and Paul felt the same way. hope that helps, u should read the chapter of Psalms. I can really relate to it wen going through trials <3

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Lynnae Goodwin June 1, 2019 at 9:21 pm

Hi Jack,
Thank you for all you do. I look for specific topics, and yours, to me, are the best. This article is amazingly awesome!! You have helped me so much. And now I see your past addictions, prison time, etc., have night
Brought you here, and I couldn’t be more grateful for you and happy for you..God Bless you! Thank you, your friend, Lynnae Goodwin

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2019 at 9:28 pm

Thank you Lynnae. What encouragement. To be sure though, all glory is to God and to Him alone (Psalm115:1).

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Virginia robles August 29, 2019 at 6:37 pm

I need prayer for my daughter, Christine Hernandez who is struggling with alcohol and went back to drinking after she and her husband was laid-off. Her husband left her and I’m living with her at the time and I’m so tired and wore-out in her drinking everyday. I have no money now and on a fixed income and she is not working, so she except me to support her and drinking. I can’t and won’t. Please remember her and me in your prayers. In Jesus Name I pray, Virginia Robles

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm

I am praying now Virginia. Please anyone else reading this, please pray with us.

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Raz October 9, 2019 at 10:48 pm

Hi Jack. From my experience with addiction (gambling), prayer, fasting, scripture, nothing took my addiction away from me. I finally came to an end to myself and said Lord, I am finished with this god. I place you back on the throne of my heart. The power (Christ) was within me all along. I had to be obedient to finally break through.

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Jackie November 12, 2019 at 1:10 am

I need prayers for my drug addiction. I work fulltime, am my moms caretaker. But everyday, I use, late at night. Im anxious, physically sick, overweight, depressed. I hate this. I’ve been praying, begging God to help me overcome this, so I can become the person I was and know I can be again. Please please pray for me, I’m losing hope. I feel so alone.

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Jack Wellman November 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Hello Jackie. I am praying right now my friend. Please don’t give up. God has delievered many men and women from this. Ask your church to pray for you as “unspokne needs” as we need one another more and more, every day (Heb 10:24-25). You don’t have to be alone…you have brothers and sisters who care for and love you as I do.

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Theo December 1, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Jack, thanks for this write-up. I have had this addiction of porn and masturbation nearly for 15 years. I have prayed, wept, repented and confessed to God for countless times. I sometimes feel that if God should spare me another day, I will dishonor him. How I have wished that he will just end my life.

Please pray with me.

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Jack Wellman December 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm

I am praying even now Theo.

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Prince December 8, 2019 at 1:14 am

Heloo Friends I have been struggling with pornorgraphy for about 10 years,I need your help and support to overcome this addiction.
Am Prince From Ghana

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Tolu December 21, 2019 at 6:57 am

Please pray for me to overcome porn and masturbation.

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Bernice Richter January 15, 2020 at 3:30 am

Hi Jack,
I pray this finds you well and blessed.
Could you please help me with this.
I have late stage Lyme disease and chronic spine problems which keeps me in chronic pain. I take pain medicine and feel convicted to just live with it. Some times it’s just crippling and don’t sleep. I am having a hard time just wanting to stop taking anything.
I feel weak and insecure about my salvation because of it. Any advice and wisdom will be so much appreciated.
P.s. this disease has kept me from being able to attend church and I have very little contact with fellow believers.

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Jack Wellman January 15, 2020 at 9:43 am

Hello Bernice. I would say that your comment prompted me to pray right away. I wished I could give some wisdom, but I don’t know what to tell you. I pray that God will send you the comfort that only He can send and by His Spirit and through the means of others. I wrote an article for people who have these shadows of doubt about their salvation and so I pray you read this Bernice and you are in my prayers. https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/can-a-christian-lose-their-salvation-a-biblical-analysis/

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Ernest February 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Greater one is he thats working in us. Jesus our Lord and personal saviour.

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Ashley February 20, 2020 at 5:25 am

I am frustrated. I returned to God on Sunday but used again last night. I am weak and lost. Please pray for me that I don’t ruin my life and do what God wants me to do. This doesn’t feel good at all… I’m in hell. I really am sorry and I wasn’t lying when I asked for forgiveness and giving Him my life.

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Nana August 30, 2020 at 12:18 am

Nana
Please, I use to non sex addict, but I had sex with a guy and since then I’ve loved to watch porn and sometimes masturbate. Please I really want to stop cause I wasn’t really into sex

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Wade Youngblood September 2, 2020 at 11:29 am

The gospel is very simple. We don’t have to wonder what the gospel is. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15. That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

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