This is the power of addiction. Whatever the object of our addiction is, it attaches itself to our intense desire for eternal and intimate communion with God and each other in the midst of Paradise-the desire that Jesus himself placed in us before the beginning of the world. Nothing less than this kind of unfallen communion will ever satisfy our desire or allow it to drink freely without imprisoning it and us. Once we allow our heart to drink water from these less-than-eternal wells with the goal of finding the life we were made for, it overpowers our will, and becomes, as Jonathan Edwards said, “like a viper, hissing and spitting at God” and us if we try to restrain it.
Our heart will carry us either to God or to addiction.
“Addiction is the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity’s desire for God,” says Gerald May in Addiction and Grace, which is no doubt why it is one of our adversary’s favorite ways to imprison us. Once taken captive, trying to free ourselves through willpower is futile. Only God’s Spirit himself can free us or even bring us to our senses. (133-34)
Underlying any addictive behavior is the intense desire to connect with God; with what is eternal and true and real.
This is why G.K. Chesterton said that every man who walks into a bordello is searching for God.
Our hearts were made to know pleasure, even ecstasy. We will get that pleasure either in God, or in our fleshly indulgences. And for many of us, those indulgences become addictions.