The Lie of Addiction
Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1
There I was again the other night, in the kitchen, with a handful of M&Ms. You’re going to exercise in the morning. You deserve this. You know you want it. Just one handful. Eat it.
Though it’s funny with M&Ms, that same voice has talked me into much worse behavior. In my addiction, I never blamed the devil though. I’ve always felt that the appetites of my flesh were destructive enough.
Today’s passage has me rethinking this though. In it, Satan was credited with inciting King David to take a census of the Israelites. Counting his people probably seemed like a harmless enough thing, but God opposed the idea, as it must have been born out of David’s pride.
I don’t imagine that Satan appeared before David as a snake, as he did in the garden with Eve. I do think he whispered the same lies though. You know you want it. God won’t mind. It isn’t a big deal. Do it. This is actually a good thing. The subtle voice was probably not even recognizable as the devil. Rather, it was his own voice that David heard, convincing him to pursue himself.
This is what we must realize. Anything that leads us away from God, is an evil lie, no matter where it originates. The false belief that we can find fulfillment in the destructive and immediate gratification of the flesh, began with Satan in the garden and persists today. Anything leading away from God is evil, worldly, fleshly, and of the devil.
I must learn to interrogate every voice and every desire. Is this from God? Does this push me towards Him or towards myself? One of the greatest accomplishments of Satan must be to convince me to follow something that is not that bad, at the expense of following God. He doesn’t have to kill me with drugs – though he may want that too. He just has to distract me enough, that I never get around to following Christ.
If I want to truly live, I must make a daily effort to listen to God’s truth instead of Satan’s lies.