The world is full of self-help information on breaking addictions and easy ways to break a habit. A dictionary definition of "addiction" is:  "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, alcohol or food);  persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful."

So what is the problem?  We are educated, intelligent people. Why can't we break an addiction? The world is full of information, but only God's Word can bring transformation in a life.

For years, I fought the battle of the bulge, riding the roller coaster of emotions that accompany this battle. I did not understand the cravings for food that led me to poor eating habits, causing the relentless urges, short-term satisfaction and long-term guilt. The guilt brought shame, anxiety and weight gain. The consumption of a poor diet doesn't just affect our taste buds and waistline, but over time, it will rewire our brain. Pleasure and reward, entwined with our emotions, make a powerful force that is hard to break.

One day I saw five words that changed my life: "The devil wants you fat!"  Those five words brought reality to my life. This is a spiritual battle! The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). I was playing right into his hands. Life was being drained from me; spirit, soul and body, one bite at a time.

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The moment I saw those words, I had an immediate burning desire in my heart to change. It was a moment that brought repentance and an awareness that I was responsible and accountable for the care of my body. This was a divine interruption in my life that brought life and light. It was the moment I understood the treasure in my earthen vessel.

The Holy Spirit had convicted me so that I would see the light and repent. True repentance requires confessing your sin and asking for forgiveness. Conviction is good; without it, we would not repent. I hated the devil, and I wanted to please God. Before, I had sorrow, because I didn't like the way I looked. Worldly sorrow does not lead to repentance.

After I repented and asked the Lord for His help, He gave me a battle plan that took 90 pounds from my body. It didn't happen overnight, and I'm still walking day by day to please the Lord with my body. Nothing tastes as good as obedience. Romans 14:17 tells us, "For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. " Cast your addictions on God, and give Him the opportunity to lead you in the path of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.

The secret to deliverance from addiction is repentance. Focus your eyes on God; He desires that you be happy as you walk the runway of life. He gave us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to teach us and convict us of sin so that we can repent and change.

It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you that you can change your ways and please God. "And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).

What joy to realize that the power to change lies in the hand of the very one who created you! The battle is not yours, my  friend. It never was, so "... let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).

I haven't arrived, but I have left and God isn't finished with me! "But none of these things deter me. Nor do I count my life of value to myself, so that I may joyfully finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).

Joyce Tilney's testimony of His grace is in her book, Why Diets' Don't Work—Food Is Not the Problem. A workbook is also available, designed for personal or group study. Her new book, The Real Woman Grows Roses From the Thorns of Life releases in May.

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