When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the toy ads which ran in between cartoons. As an only child, coming from a dysfunctional, abusive home, I learned early on to look outward for answers to personal happiness. And toys seemed like a great option.
So, you could find me, plopped in front of the television, every commercial break, declaring, “I want that!”
I had no idea at the time I was fully engaging my unhealthy and self-destructive addictive tendencies. I just wanted a certain doll or game.
It has been, however, years later that I see how subtle the coveting issue starts the addictive process. Spiritually, we can believe the distortion if we get a certain fix, then we’ll finally be happy.
And so we obsess; we covet. And spiritually that’s a dangerous practice.
The objection of our affection/obsession grows larger and larger until it’s all consuming. Before long, we do anything and everything to possess it.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We lie. We steal. We sink to all manner of depravity. The only thing, we determine, to be of importance is “our thing.”
And God is supposed to fulfil that role.
“‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.’”
Unfortunately, our addictive tendencies lie to us, convincing us that, in the context of our chosen desires and obsessions, God won’t come through. We have found our answer and only that answer will satisfy, comfort and help us.
Yet scripture again gives us a wakeup call about our idols (addictions):
“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.”
Part of what is so dangerous about idolatry when it comes to addiction, is that we look to something which never had any power to help us in the first place. In fact, it has incredible potential to harm us if we continue chasing and partaking in it. Drug addiction, alcoholism and eating disorders can destroy, among countless things, our health and can literally kill us. Gambling, shopping and sex addictions can also damage our health, as well as our relationships, finances, careers and identities.
And spiritually, the damage is rampant as, believing the lies more and more of what is important in our lives, we become more distant from God.
And He wants connection with us...
“...How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
He wants to satisfy us, beyond anything temporary or imperfect...
“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
That’s what’s going on here. Our longing souls are misdirected: our minds, our wills and our emotions. Our longing souls are created by God; only He, therefore, can meet those needs and desires.
So, when you and I say, “I want that,” what does that really cry out for? It’s time we turned our attention and direction, however flawed and ravaged, to the true Source of every longing ever created.
Let’s take a tiny step closer to stating and living, “I want GOD!!!”
Copyright © 2015 by Sheryle Cruse