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Why Do Christians Struggle With Addictions?

Last week in Health Tip #661: The Root of Addiction, I wrote: “Five of the six substances we have dealt with are addictive: refined sugar, refined grains, caffeine, Nicotine and alcohol. Only one of them is not addictive: animal flesh (including Dairy).”

I WAS WRONG – ANIMAL FLESH IS ADDICTIVE

 

For the past month and a half on this blogI have posted the following question to our readers: “Which of these was the hardest thing to give up on The Hallelujah Diet?”

 

Nearly 400 have responded to that question.  Approximately 50% answered with refined sugar. That result did not surprise me as it was in keeping with what I have known for years. Sugar is the single most addictive thing in the Standard American Diet, some saying it is as addictive as heroin.

But in second place, with almost 25% of the votes, was Animal Flesh. This came as a big surprise to me because when I adopted The Hallelujah Diet over 34 years ago, animal products were the easiest thing for me to eliminate from my diet and many through the years have agreed with me.

That new revelation gives me direction for this Health Tip. But before dealing with animal flesh I am going to share a few letters I have received from readers regarding addictions.

“I read your article on addictions with great interest. I have a strong addiction to sweets and over 400 pounds in weight speaks to how indulgent I am… I can’t seem to break my habits and cravings… please pray for me!”

“I have not had a cigarette in over 5 years. However I use low dosages of nicotine in gum and nicotine lozenges. My doctor suggested the nicotine gum and lozenges as an aid to help me stop smoking 5 years ago. Now, 5 years after I stopped smoking cigarettes, I find myself addicted to the nicotine in the gum and lozenges. I would like to abandon the crutch, however, it is not easy to do. Thanks in advance for any information you can shed on this to assist me.”

The above letters are just a small sampling of the types of letters I have received through the years. Most of these letters have come from Christians who want to and have been trying to stop their addiction. Many of them have been praying for victory over their addictions for a long time without experiencing the victory they say they so desire.

There is a real problem of misunderstanding regarding the cause of addictions by many Christians. If a person is going to obtain victory over their addiction, there are several things they must understand.

I will try and address the problem and the solution under the following headings which may take several Health Tips.

  1. Why do Christians (as well as non-Christians) struggle with addictions?
  2. Why is God not answering prayers for help in overcoming addictions?
  3. How can victory over addictions be achieved?

WHY DO CHRISTIANS STRUGGLE WITH ADDICTIONS?

After God had created Adam and placed him in a garden (See Genesis 2:7-9), God told Adam what he was to eat to nourish the physical body that had been given him. What was it he was told to eat?

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (food).” Genesis 1:29

Clearly, God was telling Adam here that all the nutrients necessary to support his physical body were to be found in the living plants God had placed in the Garden before Adam was ever created. Adam’s diet was to consist simply and exclusively of the raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts God had created and placed there.

Following Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden, the Bible indicates this Genesis 1:29 diet continued to be the exclusive diet of mankind for the next 1,700 years, right up until the flood. During this time, man lives to an average age of 912 (age of patriarchs at death) without a single recorded instance of sickness.

But then came a flood that covered the entire earth. The flood-waters covered all of the plant foods God had told mankind he was to eat for the nourishment of the physical bodies God had created.

 

“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.” Genesis 7:19

Because the flood had destroyed all garden foods, it becomes obvious that if man was to continue to sustain life on planet earth, God had to provide something else for man to eat. In response to that need, God allows man to deviate from the exclusive Garden food diet He had originally given Adam in Genesis 1:29, and that had sustained man for the previous 1,700 years for the very first time, for what appears to be survival purposes.

And what was that deviation? Animal flesh!

“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Genesis 9:3

Prior to man being allowed for the first time to consume animal flesh, a non-garden food, there is no indication from Scripture that man had ever experienced an addiction to any of the garden foods. Nor during those 1,700 years, while man was on that exclusive garden diet, will you find the words ‘glutton’ or ‘gluttonous’ used even one time.

However, after the Israelites had gone down into the land of Egypt where they learned to eat a lot of animal flesh, we read:

“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died at the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat at the flesh pots…” Exodus 16:3

Scripture indicates that while in Egypt, flesh became a big part of their diet and when God was bringing them out of Egypt and these flesh foods were no longer available to them, they were so unhappy they wished they had died.

When God was again the dietitian, during the 40 years of wilderness wandering, what did He miraculously provide the Children of Israel for food and nourishment? Was it not a garden food?

“And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. . . . And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”
Exodus 16:15 & 31

Were they satisfied with God’s miraculous and life-sustaining provision during their wanderings? Listen to Moses as he speaks to God concerning Gods provision as they continued on their journey.

“Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? For they weep unto me, saying, give us flesh, that we may eat.” Numbers 11:13

Read the rest of Numbers 11 and learn how God responded to the Israelites murmuring and demand for flesh. Note especially verses 32 and 33.

“And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp… and the people gathered the quails… And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.”

 

It would appear from the above Scriptures, that animal flesh became the very first substance to which man became addicted! But for sure it would not be the last! As man continued through the years to turn ever further from the Garden foods, man become addicted to an increasing number of substances found only outside of the Garden.

Upon reading the above Scriptures regarding the struggle the children of Israel had with animal flesh, along with the results of the poll on my blog, obviously I was wrong when I said animal flesh is not addictive.

In any event, in today’s society we continue to stray ever further from the Garden foods God designed these glorious, God created, physical bodies to be nourished with.

Today, instead of eating exclusively the Garden foods God told us we should in Genesis 1:29, we have allowed our taste buds to be manipulated by and controlled by the world, the food industry!

Most of the so-called foods that comprise the Standard American Diet (SAD) of today are addictive substances, the very substances I shared with you earlier in this Health Tip. Refined sugar, refined grains, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and now I must add animal flesh to those addictive substances.

Interestingly, these addictive substances are the same substances Hallelujah Acres has been encouraging folks to remove from their diet for the past 18 plus years if they wanted to obtain the health God designed for His human creation. In the place of these addictive substances we have recommended people adopt a 100% plant based diet – a diet similar to the diet God gave to Adam in the garden.

We call this The Hallelujah Diet. Itis patterned after the very diet God gave Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1:29, with a few minor deviations as discussed in last week’s Health Tip #661.

But now comes the problem and the challenge. Most people are literally addicted to almost everything found in the SAD.

What can one do in order to obtain victory over these addictive substances?  Let’s start with prayer.

WHY IS GOD NOT ANSWERING MOST PRAYERS FOR HELP IN OVERCOMING ADDICTIONS?

I’ll begin by sharing a letter from a Christian lady who has been praying for God to help her overcome an ADDICTION for a long, long time, only without success:

“I am addicted to sugar, overweight, really desperate, and don’t know where to turn. I am saved and have asked God to help me with this problem, but keep failing over and over again. I am always exhausted in the middle of the day and the only thing that makes me feel better, temporarily, is to eat something sweet. I feel like I am getting weaker and weaker in the area of temptation day by day. I don’t know why it seems so impossible to get the victory over this problem, but with my track record of struggling with overeating and sugar addiction for 40 years, I feel like it is impossible. Please pray for me.”

Ooops! I am out of room for this week. Next week, Lord willing, in Health Tip #663, I will share why many Christians who are praying for victory over various addictions are not having their prayers answered. Then I will offer some suggestions as to how victory over addictions can be achieved.

Comments

  1. I will never forget something my pastor said “We will always have additions until we have something bigger in our lives to fulfill that need”. Since then, I have begun to pray not that the Lord would heal my addictions but that He would draw me so close to Him, to have such a deep love and faith, that He would be the One to fill my biggest need. And as I reach for that mid afternoon sugar snack, the Lord gently reminds me and it is at that point I must decide….fulfill a temporary need that is so strong or to honor that sweet and precious Savior who loves us dearly and wants only the best for me.
    It is a huge battle of the flesh and of the spirit. And only through God’s Grace and Mercy and Love can we conquer.
    “Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15

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