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The Search for Satisfaction

It doesn’t seem hard for us to get addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, money, etc. It's easy to grab a beer (then another and another) without much thought, get wasted and end up making bad decisions.

So why is it so hard to be “addicted” to the word of God? Why do we find it so difficult to get drunk off the Spirit? It can seem nearly impossible to read page after page of the Bible, pray and crave a spiritual connection with God. And even if we do, it’s not the same feeling as addiction.

Why can’t we be addicted to the Bible? We find it so hard because addictions are of the flesh, not of the Spirit. (I will say I believe in infatuation or obsession with communion or relationship with God, but I am speaking solely about addictions.)

Addictions can cause disease and harm to the body; it can cause a downward spiral and stunted growth of the mind and body. Addictions kill, addictions murder, addictions hold back. Think of it: Sex addicts feed their flesh’s craving for sex. Drug addicts feed their flesh’s craving for drugs. It’s not their spirits that desire heroin; it’s their bodies. When they go to rehab break their addiction, their bodies have the repercussions from weaning off the drugs.

The majority of the things our spirit wants wage war with what our flesh wants—and sometimes it’s so much easier for us to hear and tend to the cry of our flesh.

Why do we find ourselves tending to the flesh more than the spirit? We, as humans, don’t take the time to think about what we are doing. This may be occasional, but that’s still far too often. We want something, so we go out and get it. ASAP. No stopping, no detours, no long way there or helping others along the way. We just go for what we want, and nothing can stop us. In those moments, we are driven by our selfish needs and those needs consume us. Our spirit is left high and dry.

Why?

Because the Spirit works in patience, seasons of trials and tests. It grows through ways that oppose our flesh. Our spirit grows in prayer and in commitment, in selflessness, in expressing and listening.

In stark contrast, our addictions are all temporary satisfactions. Drinking every day is not only a form of idolatry in your life, but it consumes and paves the pathway to alcoholism. Drinking and drugs imitate a life with glorious feelings, fun times and high emotions—but the aftermath is a hurting body, mind and spirit. Sex and porn are similar; in the moment, those emotions are overwhelming, yet the aftermath is devastating.

I look back at my life and see the addictions I had were chaining me down to the very ground I was trying to get up from. My addictions enabled me to continue an idolatrous lifestyle, temporarily filling the hole in my heart. At the time I thought my addictions were the way to love, that love was temporary and that you had to search for it again and again. I thought it came with an expiration date and had no stability—all things I came to find out were very untrue of love later on. My addiction detoured me from my path and from what truth is. Addictions are just fleeting satisfactions trying to fill the holes in an eternal heart.

The only way to fill hearts for the long term is with the love of God. This is what our spirits long for and why they will forever be opposed to the flesh.

Will your happiness be short-term or forever? It’s up to you.

Jacob Luhrs is a member of the band August Burns Red and heads up the online community Heartsupport.com.

9 Comments

85,079

John commented…

A thought-provoking article. However, I think you should take the time to specify that pleasure itself is okay, and addiction is, like all evils, the twisting of something good. The joys of coffee, of sex, of curling up by the fireplace, are all holy in the right context. Otherwise, this piece gives the impression of a Gnostic philosophy, wherein pleasure and anything "worldly" is deficient simply because it is not of the same substance as a spirit. Granted, you are specifically talking about addiction being deficient and wrong, which I agree with. Still, I thought the benefits of pleasure in its rightful place bear mentioning. Recall Francis Schaeffer's observation that Christ meant to redeem the whole man, in mind and soul and body as well. The body may be a fallen creation, but so are our spirits - that was the whole point of the cross, and of Jesus adopting the flesh of men.

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Chris commented…

Addictions are just mans feeble attempt to fill that "incomplete" feeling that ONLY Christ can fill. He is the only True cure. 2/3 man desiring to be 3/3. Alcohol, drugs, sex, food, white picket fence, stature, "success", fill in the _____. Extreme examples of self will, run riot. These are all just symptoms of what the core problem is. Spiritual disease. I am a recovered addict. Recovered from alcohol and drug addiction. Recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind. Recovered from incomplete. Used to be quite the junky before I met the Lord. Alcoholism runs in the family, however...incomplete stems ALL the way back to when sin entered the world.

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Krogestar commented…

Jacob. Thanks for writing this article. Great conversation piece as you can see. Love what you are doing w/ heartsupport.com as well brother. It's all for Him!

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FemmeFuel commented…

Great answer, Krogestar. I had the same question that Justin did, but the answer is obvious. Prayer and getting into the Word is initially a drudgery for those not used to it, but much like physical exercise, once you build the discipline, you crave more of it.

--JM
http://femmefuel.com/

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Steve C. commented…

Agree with John. God has wired us with an addictive, compulsive, obsessive nature, and God desires that each of us would become addicted to Jesus (as the article suggests). Our problem is that we put down one addiction just to pick up the next one on the table without really pursuing God. The power of sin is its promise of pleasure (at best it is fleeting; at worst it is a total lie), and God intends to defeat it with a superior promise of pleasure. If we actually believe that Christ is enough, that a day spent in His court is better than a thousand elsewhere, that you and I display God's glory most when we are satisfied in Him, when God is the end of our quest and not a means of anything greater, then we begin to see the treasure (see Matthew 13:44) that is in Jesus Christ. And in our pursuit of Christ, we see that everything else by comparison to Christ is mere rubbish.

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