We were late, and I was determined to make up for lost time. Our best friends had bought a home with a spectacular view, and tonight was their housewarming. The directions sounded simple: “Take Red Fern to Northwest Fern and go 2.5 miles. It’s a gray stone and glass house on the left.”

We easily found Red Fern, but were unprepared when the road forked in two directions without any signs. Sue, my wife, felt we should go left because it was west, but that road plunged down into a valley area. I chose the road to the right with a steep ascent.

We wound along a canyon rim and my confidence steadily grew, but we hit the 2.5 mile marker with no house fitting the description. “It’s probably up here just a little further,” I assured myself. We passed 3, then 4 miles, and I became more determined that this had to be the right way, even though Sue began to protest that we had taken the wrong turn.

The road suddenly made a sharp left switchback toward a high vista. “Aha, this is it!” I just knew it! Immediately there was a dirt turnaround and our headlights hit the reflectors of a sign that read “Dead End.” Frustrated I turned around. Despite all my confident feelings, we had been on the road to nowhere after all.

Do you ever feel like you are pursuing something that seems to be just beyond your grasp, and keeps evading you, no matter how often you repeat your attempts to obtain it? If so, you may be trapped in some form of addiction.

We equate addiction with substance abuse, but we can develop a persistent, compulsive physical or psychological dependence on any object or behavior. Gambling, shopping, texting, sex, pornography, eating, work, TV, video games (etc.) can all become addictions. In fact, many social researchers state that we are a nation of addicts.

Addiction is an emotional relationship we create with an object or behavior. Through the compulsive use of the object or behavior, we try to relieve stress, find comfort, and meet our needs for intimacy, while avoiding the reality and responsibility of everyday life. In the short term it works and we find temporary satisfaction, which strengthens our attraction.

However, addiction is an escape and does nothing to fulfill the real needs we have. Over time it yields diminishing returns, and we must engage in it more and more to gain the same satisfaction. Eventually addiction interferes with our daily life activities, our work, interpersonal relationships, even our health. We become trapped in the vicious cycle of increasing addiction. We are on the road to nowhere.

God warns us that compulsive overuse of anything will harm us. In Proverbs 25:28, He states: “A person without self-control is like a city that is invaded by enemies who knock down the walls so it is easy to invade again.” He describes addictions that can never fulfill us in this way: “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28) The very thing we addictively pursue to fulfill us is destroying us!

Get off the road to nowhere! Accept God’s free gift of love in Christ Jesus that can break the bondage of any addiction. God promises to supply all our needs according to His riches in heaven through Christ. (Philippians 4:19)

Come and join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. I address one of the most insidious addictions in “The Peril of Pornography,” the third installment in our current “Sex in the City” series.

Ché Ahn and his wife, Sue, are the Founding Pastors of HRock Church in Pasadena, California. Ché serves as the Founder and President of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the International Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). With a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, he has played a key role in many strategic outreaches on local, national and international levels. He has written more than a dozen books and travels extensively throughout the world, bringing apostolic insight with an impartation of renewal, healing and evangelism.