No one wants to view themselves as an addict. But choosing not to believe you are an addict doesn’t change the fact that you may be. How do I determine whether I am addicted to something?
The purpose for writing Finding Jesus was to help others determine whether they have an addiction. I was approached by a Christian counselor who had heard my testimony of how I overcame video game addiction. He had clients who were obviously dealing with similar addictions but didn’t want to admit the truth to themselves. He asked me, “How do I help someone realize they have an addiction?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer his question in that moment. But I knew God had helped me to recognize and overcome my addiction. I prayed and asked God to show me how to help others do the same. He took me through a process of working through what addiction was and reminding me how He helped me overcome my addiction. My personal testimony of how God helped me overcome my addiction is included in the introduction of Finding Jesus.
First, ask yourself some questions.
The answers to these questions help you start to recognize areas of your life that could potentially be an addiction.
The next step would be to stop doing the identified area you may be struggling with. This is called a fasting period. While fasting, ask yourself questions about how you are feeling during this time. In Finding Jesus, I have a list of self-reflection questions you can ask yourself to guide you into recognizing your feelings.
The last thing I would suggest doing is taking time to read the Bible during this period of fasting. Jesus will reveal to you the truth if you are seeking the truth. Why? Because Jesus is the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” While you are seeking Jesus, pray and ask Him to show you the truth about whether you have an addiction. Continue seeking Jesus and answering the self-reflection questions daily. This will help you search your heart to determine whether you have an addiction.
For more information on how to recognize and overcome addiction pick up a copy of Finding Jesus here.
Fasting is a Biblical tool given to us by God. This tool helps us to shift our focus from ourselves to God. Here are some tips that will help your fast be successful.
God created us to have relationship with Him first and then other people. Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” God knows that life isn’t easy, and we will need help.
While fasting, find someone to fast with you for support. The thing you are fasting from doesn’t matter. Each of you can choose to fast from something different. What matters is you are reading the devotional together, encouraging one another, and building a closer relationship with God together.
2. Focus on the “why”
Before you start to fast, you need a good reason you are doing it to be successful. This is the “why” behind your fast.
Maybe you have been eating too much sugary foods and have gained weight. The “why” behind your fast would be to lose weight, develop better eating habits, and to be healthier.
Maybe you are fasting from an active addiction like cigarettes, drugs, video games, or social media. These addictions could be physically harming you and your relationships. They “why” behind this fast would be to obtain sobriety and start rebuilding your relationships.
The goal of Finding Jesus is fasting Biblically to develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Paul addresses this issue in Philippians 4:11-13. He says, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Paul has learned contentment with all circumstances. He then tells the secret how. He relies on the power of God living in Him through the Holy Spirit to help him overcome. Jesus was Paul’s “why.” We need to let Jesus be our “why.”
3. Be realistic
If this is your first time fasting, it’s okay to start small. Pick something to fast from while using this devotional to learn to build your trust in Jesus. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust in in the Lord.”
After you complete a fast, you will gain confidence in the Lord and His ability to help you. He will then give you the faith you need to fast from something more difficult. Keep doing this process until you are able to successfully fast from the problem area in your life.