When David volunteered to fight Goliath, King Saul told him, “you are not able” (1 Samuel 17:33). He went on to explain that David was no match for the giant because he had “been a warrior from his youth.” When David failed to be persuaded not to fight, Saul attempted to cover him up with his own armor. He wanted David to suit up so he would look stronger and more protected than he really was.
We do the same in our own lives. We feel powerless in a broken world and wide open to attack, so we put on false armor and hide in addictions. The sad reality is that we are an addicted generation. We may not think of ourselves as addicted, but the truth of the matter is most of have something in our lives that we feel we can’t live without—whether it’s alcohol, relationships, shopping, accomplishments, drugs, adrenaline, or even social media. We’re enslaved to that thing and can’t break the habit of going to it when we feel vulnerabilities surface.
The giant of addiction can rob you of God’s best for you. It can lead you down a never-ending path to a never-fulfilled promise. In the end, it will stand over you, ridiculing you and dimming the fame and glory of God in your life. So, how can you realize Jesus’ victory over this giant?
The key is to look past the symptoms of the addiction and focus on the cause. Ask yourself questions such as, “What is the source of the chaos in my life? Why do I feel so inadequate? Why do I fear being known? Where is the pain coming from?” Unless you’re willing to look for what is causing your problems, the giant of addiction is not going to fall.
Most of us follow a pattern where, when we feel vulnerable to attack, it makes us feel weak. This weakness, in turn, compels us to cover up and cope. And when we try to cover up and cope, we run to an addiction. Fortunately, there is a solution. Instead of running to an addiction when you feel the need to cover up, run to Jesus. Know that whatever vulnerability you are feeling, Jesus won’t push you away. He accepts you in his love and infuses you with his life. He exchanges your weakness for his strength. When you are vulnerable, Jesus is ABLE.
Perhaps the greatest lie when facing your addictions is that you can wage the battle on your own, hidden from view. Always remember that freedom happens in the light. Jesus is the Light of the World, and he works most powerfully in you when you bring your brokenness and hurt into the light of his grace. You are free in Christ the instant you place your trust in him. But it may be that you need to call on those standing close by to help unravel the layers. Do whatever is necessary to weave your life into a system of openness, honesty, and accountability.
In the end, David refused to be covered in Saul’s armor. He put aside all the trappings that Saul tried to weigh him down with and chose instead to rely only on the Lord. He went out to fight the giant armed with only his sling, his rod, and his God—and he took Goliath down. This is the template for our living, and as we look only to God for strength in our vulnerabilities, the giant of addiction will fall in our lives.
What are some situations that tempt you to put on false armor to protect your vulnerability? Why is it so attractive to deal with pain and vulnerability through an addiction?
Why is it often so hard to turn to Jesus in our weakness rather than to an addiction?
Why is it essential to tell trusted individuals about your addiction and get their support in breaking free? How would you know if someone was a safe person to confide in about an addiction? What are the character qualities of a safe person?