Just almost 5 years into my newfound life of Christianity and sobriety and I found myself asking myself,” Why I am doing all this?”
So…without further a due, here are my thoughts and heartfelt answer to this question.
There is SO much more to my voyage than just being physically sober. There is SO much more to sobriety than having the obsession and the compulsion for drugs and alcohol removed from my life. Let’s face it, abstinence is no fun unless you find true happiness in your sobriety. The only way to find this joy, pleasure and contentment with soberness requires continued bodily sobriety as well as emotional stability and of course spiritual renewal.
BODY, MIND and SOUL
You see, I have found myself in a process to recreate life as I know it.
For 30 something years I shaped my own reality. I fashioned a world that fit exactly what I wanted. My twisted deception of what was really happening to me and to those around me fashioned a view of humanity where I was the only creature who mattered. Let’s face it, the addicts attitude is pure selfishness.
Now I find myself in the center of a world around me that matters. I see myself in a fact-finding and fact-facing process where I actually search for causes and conditions to my daily affairs. I am uncovering new truths about myself. I want to change for the good. I want to discover the attitudes, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that don’t line up with the Word of God and make corrections where necessary. In this self-examination I must be brutally honest! And through this inspection of myself I am finding the exact things that have blocked me from success in the past. I ascertain solutions for problems that formerly caused me to stumble or even meet with complete failure. I am learning the exact nature of the defects that I have created in my moral character.
I want to know more of Christ and the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death Philippians 3:10
Only when I have acknowledged that I have a problem can it be dealt with. Only when I confess that I have behaved unacceptably can I find forgiveness and possibly, if I am willing, find healing and acquire new attitudes, thoughts, actions, behaviors and a way of life that agrees with God’s perfect plan for my life. And through this course of action I can achieve a life that lives not only for me but for the higher good of those around me and for those I come into contact with. I can actually have a life of purpose. I may even be of service to others!
Also when I find my self-inflicted character defects and begin to deal with them individually I can recognize them when I see them creeping back up into my life. I can identify them, deal with them and hopefully avoid slipping back into my old ways and patterns of life and send almost 5 years of sobriety out the window, falling back into relapse.
My window of reflection that is helping me deal with this development is The Holy Bible.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. When you align your thoughts and actions with the Word of God your whole world will be changed. Your conscience will be challenged. Your logic will be offended. Your thoughts will be confronted. Your actions will be disputed. Even your vocabulary may start to transform. You may even have to face up to the fact that you have been wrong in many areas of your life. But trust me, I don’t know anyone who has ever fallen prey to themself by following the teachings of the Bible.
My sincere prayer for each of you who read this is to find forgiveness for your past through our Lord Jesus Christ, to find hope for your life through His Word and to find the strength to carry out His plans for you through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure
The Bible and The Twelve Steps share an important characteristic:
They do not require that we are well-dressed, well groomed, scholarly or logical to understand their simple truths. To the contrary, over intellectualizing or over spiritualizing them can lead us to miss the truth altogether. Those who are “wise and learned” actually become aware of how little they do know. The less we know the easier we are taught. Children are in nature open to this concept.
Father God, I pray that you help us to have child like faith. Please help us to leave all of our preconceived ideas and thoughts at the door and be open to what you would have us learn. Open our ears to hear, eyes to see and our hearts to accept the truths you have for us. In Jesus name I pray, amen
A GENTLE WALK THROUGH THE 12 STEPS
Luke 9:23 and he said before everyone, “Whoever is willing to come after me, let him deny himself, let him take up his cross every day, and let him come after me.”
I want to break this down into four parts.
1. be willing to follow Jesus
Hopefully you have made a conscious decision to give your life to Christ. Each of us are as individual as our own fingerprint or the retina of your eye. Each of us have our own testimony of why and how we came to grace. Most likely no two are the same. But the bottom line is we are willing to follow Jesus. The first three steps are:
Step 1: “We admit that, in of ourselves we are powerless and unable to manage our own life.”
Step 2: “Came to believe that God, a Power greater than us, could restore us to sanity and stability.”
Step 3: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as revealed in the Bible.”
When we come to Christ and admit that we are powerless to sin, and when we are honest about this, IT IS SIN, that is when He is able to step in and make a difference. That is when He can get involved with the authority, influence and strength that we lack in our self.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2Cor 12:9 NLT
This brings us to the next ingredient.
2. Deny yourself
It’s not about you. It is about Jesus! Self denial is not a popular subject. For some of us it may be a new concept. The addict’s way of thinking is all about “ME”. If you break it down, sin is all about “ME”. And when it’s all about ME we become extremely selfish.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. James 1:14NLT
However innovative it may seem, denying yourself is essential to the growth of a healthy spiritual life with Christ. Although some have taken this to extreme I don’t believe this is about being a hobbit or living a monkish style life. But if it works for you…HEY…I don’t want to tell you that is wrong. This is however about giving up sin. It is about giving up those personal hidden sins that you and God are the only ones who know anything about.
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:12-14
The next 6 steps cover the “denying of self”
Step 4: “Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Step 5: “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Step 6: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
Step 7: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
Step 8: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step 9: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”
All these steps will involve a huge amount of denying our self. The moral inventory alone will demand that you put yourself to the side and be honest. It requires that you are brutally truthful and sincerely search yourself no matter how you feel about the nature of the moral issue. Once you have the inventory complete (mine is more like a catalog) confession can be made and forgiveness, where necessary, can be granted by God through the blood and grace of Jesus. All these steps truly take some self defiance. But when we ask God to “remove these shortcomings” we have to start to do some work. Remember that the flesh and the Spirit are at war with each other.
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:41NLT
This brings us to part 3.
3. Take up you cross every day
This involves sacrifice. Steps 6 and 7 are perfect examples of Jesus statement. When you get to work on your faults you have to “take up your cross daily.” It may get heavy, it may hurt. But Christ is there to help you. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut 31:8
The next 3 steps fall in here.
Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Step 11: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as revealed in the Bible, praying for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Step 12: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Continued is the key word. If we were to take just these three steps and practice them daily our quality of life would improve dramatically. Our relationships with God and others around us will flourish. Everyday interaction with people, even strangers, will become a way of sharing the good news that there is freedom from addiction and its needless entombment. Your dealings with life’s daily issues will have an innovative new outlook. These positive changes will help you in your recovery and give you new found strength to overpower many of the vices and triggers that previously prompted you toward dependence.
Pursue these steps in a continual, sustained, nonstop, unrelenting, persistent and unremitting line of attack. TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY!
And the fourth part to this verse is:
4. Follow Jesus
How do we follow Jesus?
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is also where we begin to find freedom from our life controlling issues. This is where we discover independence from our obsessive, addictive and compulsive behaviors. And this is where it gets real personal. Every one of us has a personal relationship with Christ. With that being said, every one of us is at our own place with Jesus. Some further along than others. Some are stronger in certain areas. But this does not change the FACT that we are all children of God. When I was born again some of my old life habits went away right then and there. Some took a little more time. Still others God is continually working out of me.
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, your entire mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
So, it all boils down to LOVE!
Being an ex-addict is a peculiar thing. There are patterns and behaviors you have taught yourself for so many years that you don’t even realize they are dysfunctional. Most of which are so common place to you that you don’t want someone telling you they are incorrect or off the mark. One thing is certain. We cannot trust our own judgements and perceptions where addiction is concerned. The tricks we play on ourself and those around us are too great.
Yes, we really think we have a handle on things. But these self-taught behaviors can be extremely damaging to us as individuals and to those around us. Some of the traits I had mastered as a devotee to drugs included lying, deception and delusion. I continually twisted the truth to suit my current need. I could deceive almost anyone to believe my lies. And I had deluded myself into believing my own untruths.
…. He (the Devil) was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44
No lies come from God. He couldn’t lie if he wanted to. If God were to tell a lie He would cease to be God at that very moment. Even if you tell a little “white lie” or stretch the truth to cover something up or maybe don’t give the whole truth to protect someone’s feelings, a lie is a lie. When we lie to our self or we mislead our self. We have joined into the deception of the Devil.
Satan, aka the Devil, is real. He is as real as you or me. HE IS AS REAL AS GOD! He also has a job. His profession is to misinform you, to con you, to swindle and betray you. His line of business is to lead you away from God’s business!
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
You see, he is real, he is out there and he wants to overcome you, overwhelm you, demolish you and dispose of your relationship with God. He wants to consume you. If you let him he will eat your lunch!
If you think about the good qualities of God and His love, you can trust and believe that Satan’s nature and personality is the opposite. The scripture below talks about the true love of God. Some of my favorite scripture from the Bible!
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I want to take this scripture and use it as a backdrop to tell you who the Devil really is. I suppose one of the best ways to defeat an enemy would be to know them. To know who they are, how they think and how they operate. First let me tell you what Satan is not. He is not a little red creature with horns, a split tongue and a forked tail. With that in mind, always remember that the Devil is impatient and unkind. He is jealous, boasts about himself and what he can do, he is proud, arrogant and rude. He always wants his own way. Satan is very irritable. He will jog your memory every time you do something wrong. Constantly reminding you that you sinned and have fallen short of God. The Devil celebrates injustice and is disgruntled when truth prevails. The Evil One will always give up. He has no faith or hope in God and He knows that he cannot endure the battle against God. One other thing, Satan knows that this battle against God and His creation is already OVER!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
When Christ Jesus gave His life on the cross, He defeated Satan and death. That’s how God can promise us eternal life with Him. He gave us power over sin. He also gave us the power to realize when we are wrong. The power to be forgiven. Remember in Genesis after God had created everything and said it was all good? And then the “serpent” came along and tempted Adam and Eve? Let me show you in Revelation what happens to “the serpent”.
Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Revelation 12:7-9
He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while. Revelation 20:2,3
The story is already written. The end is already established. The VICTORY is already won. And the end is near.
Let me leave you with one more scripture.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:4-10
If you are trapped by sin and feel like you can’t shake free. If you feel like you are in prison and escape. If you feel like you are in a place where there is no hope. Trust that Jesus Christ, God’s own son, came to earth, was tempted just as we all are but overcame in all things. Believe that He was sacrificed as a compensation so that we don’t have to die in our sins. Accept Jesus into your life as Savior and Master. Confess your sins and faults to Him. There is forgiveness for all your wrongs, no matter how big or small. You can live a victorious life!
Please say this prayer with me
Heavenly Father, I know I have wronged myself, others and especially you. I know that these wrongs have separated me from you. I want to be right with you God. I no longer want to live my life enslaved to every whim the Devil throws my way. Please wash me clean from my sins and short comings through the blood of Jesus. I accept Christ into my life. Teach me to walk in your ways. Show me what it is like to have peace in my life. Help me to have your light and love in my being and to share it with everyone around me. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
If you have prayed this prayer for the first time or the one hundredth time and have sincerely made a commitment to Jesus I welcome you into the Family of God! You are a new creation and a child of God. Being a child of The Most High comes with many privileges and an inheritance that is almost beyond anything we can imagine. Please seek out a Bible believing and teaching church. Make new friends there. Get to know the Pastor. Get a Bible and read it. Pray! Simple conversations with God can help you to understand what the Bible says and what His will for your life is.
If you don’t know where to turn, please leave me a message and I will be more than happy to give you some Christian guidance and encouragement.
My sincere prayer is that everyone receives Christ as Lord and Savior and lives a victorious life free of controlling issues and a life that glorifies our Father in Heaven. Blessings to you all!!!
My birth name is Brian Anthony Hyatt. Not a bad name if I do say so myself. I do think it was a name chosen out of thin air as there is no one that I know of in the family tree who had the names Brian or Anthony. Even so, a good name. But I never really liked my name when I was growing up. I wanted one of the “cool” names. Max or Chuck or something that sounded a little tougher. I think now that the problem was not with my name but rather who I thought I was. I had issues with who I identified myself as. I was repeatedly told as a child (and I can still hear my grandma saying it right now) “That’s the Hyatt coming out in you.” What does that even mean? Every time I did something wrong, every time I got the least bit angry, if I told a lie and certainly if I spoke my mind I was told, “That’s the Hyatt coming out in you.” Still I ask, what does that even mean?
I can tell you what it meant to me then. I only knew of what I was told about being a Hyatt. I was told of how my dad was nothing but a drunk. How he would spend all the family grocery money on booze. How he beat us children. Of course I don’t remember any of that because I was a mere 4 months or so old when my parents separated. I never saw my dad again. I have no recollection of his voice, what he looked like or if he actually physically violated me as I was told he did. I was led to believe that being a Hyatt was a bad thing.
I am convinced of this one thing. The lessons I was taught as a child played them self out throughout my life. I became a raging alcoholic and fanatical drug addict. I believed that this slavery to alcohol and drugs was, in part, due to “the Hyatt in me”. I was convinced that I had no choice in the matter. I thought I was born into this disease. And after all the abuse I had dealt with during my growing up years I determined that if I were predestined to be this way that I would be the best addict I could be. I would take more pills, shoot more dope, drink more alcohol than anyone else. I became quite good at anesthetizing reality.
I must say NOW that I know this is NOT the truth and is a straight lie from the very pits of hell.
Now that my judgement is no longer clouded and obscured by the manacles of substance abuse and dependence and I have committed my life to Jesus Christ my Savior, I see that I am more than just “a Hyatt”.
I am born again. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation” 1 Peter 1:3
I am a new creature (creation) in Christ Jesus.“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
I am a child of the Most High God. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
I am redeemed – paid for at a great price! “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7
I am Forgiven. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” Psalm 103:12
I am strong and capable. I a“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
I am a conqueror and overcomer. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
I am free from addiction. “So if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36
Maybe you have never experienced freedom and liberty from your life controlling habits. If you are searching for a way out I urge you to give your life to Jesus. He was there when you were created and knew you before you were born. He knows the condition of your heart. I promise you that He knows your struggle and can identify with your pain. He is there to help. He wants to help. The choice is yours. If you feel led, please pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, I know that I have done wrong and I know that my life is not what you would want it to be. Please forgive me. Help me to turn away from my sinful life and please give me the strength to follow you. I believe that Christ died for my sins and that He came back from the grave so that I could live a life of freedom. Make me a new creation Lord. Forgive my past and give me the power to be Your child. Help me to walk in my newness. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN
If you sincerely said this prayer for the first time or for the one hundredth time, God heard you. Welcome to the family of Christ!
Most of us who struggle with addiction and life controlling issues need all the help and encouragement we can get. I recommend for you to find a Bible believing and teaching church or support group to help guide you in you walk with our Savior. Be honest and open with yourself. Be honest and open with God. The same way you said the prayer a minute ago you can talk to God anywhere, anytime.
If you need some christian guidance please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to help in any way I can.
My sincere prayer is that ALL who struggle with addiction can find healing, restoration and freedom through Christ our Lord
Everything we do starts with a thought. Our thoughts become words and actions. Our language and the things we do label who we are. If you work on cars you are defined as a mechanic. If you use offensive vocabulary people tag you as foul-mouthed. People who drink too much get marked as drunks or alcoholics. Porn addicts get branded as perverts. But the bottom line is, no matter what marker you are marked with, it started with a thought. And thoughts begin in the brain, in your mind.
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:21-25 NLT
This scripture was penned by Paul who wrote 13 books of the New Testament of the Bible. Obviously he had struggles with sin and was writing this truth from the heart. Two points I would like to key in on. He stated that the war starts in his mind. He had realized that when we entertain the wrong ideas in our mind we eventually sin. In my life I have found that my sins are generally dwelled on for some time before they get full-blown into sin.
“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14,15
See what I mean. It takes some thinking to sin. So now what do we do about it? How do we regain control over this problem of sin?
I believe the answer lies no further than God’s written word, The Holy Bible. Looking back to what Paul wrote, “I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.” Think about that. (no pun intended there) He also wrote this, from Romans 12:2,
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
My addictions did not start overnight. I made daily, conscious decisions to delve deeper into dependency. I’m not saying that there were not outside factors that fueled my decisions. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I wanted to be a junkie (which is another label). It was my day in and day out pursuit of peace and pleasure that eventually led me into complete compulsion and obsession with drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, masturbation, lying, cheating, stealing, greed, co-dependancy and self degradation (that scratches the surface of my addictions. There were many, many more). But just as I choose for 30+years to be an addict, I now choose NOT to be an addict. It started with a pronouncement that I wanted to change. Next came my declaration, as Paul said, “The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord”.
A very simple prayer, I told God I couldn’t handle my life or my addiction anymore. I knew what I had been doing was wrong. I asked Him to forgive me. I asked Him to help me to leve my habits and cravings behind. And I asked if He would help me live for Him.And I asked in Jesus Holy Name!
And the process of renewal. I have to daily reprogram myself so that the old is gone and the new takes over. Some days it’s harder than others. If I don’t read the Bible every day, I find myself dwelling on things that I should not be thinking.
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
and one more,
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
I don’t know about you, but in my days of running from Jesus Christ, my thoughts were exactly opposite of these things. But that’s how the Devil works. Taking the good things of God and twisting them, contorting them until they are no longer good and pure.
If you are not a Christian or if you are not sure you are a Christian, consider the “simple prayer” I said to God. It’s really that easy. The Bible says “all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13. After you have confessed to God and accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, dig into the Word of God. Read your Bible. Start the renewing of your mind process with a little self discipline and make every effort to read and absorb some scripture. Pray before you open His Book. Ask God to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to accept what He has to say to you and open your mind for restoring. I promise you that God will make good on His promise and that you will start to see positive changes in your life. Is it hard to do? YES! But it is worth every effort you put forth!
My sincere prayer foy you and for myself is that God restore all that Satan has stolen from us through the demon of addiction. I pray that He will reinstate structure to our lives and sanity to our minds. I pray for people to come into our lives that are positive in attitude, constructive to our healing, helpful and affirming of our faith and encouraging in our walk of being free of our life controlling problems. I pray for a godly hunger for the Word of God! And I pray that as we eat from the table of the Lord, that through Your Word we are fed and we grow spiritually into more than we ever imagined. In Christ Holy name I pray, AMEN!
I know that this is a new voyage for most of us and that we need all the direction we can get. If you have questions, the Bible has answers. We may not always like what it has to say. But it is truth and sometimes the truth hurts.
If I can be of any assistance, please leave me a comment and I will try my best to give you Christian Biblical guidance. Thanks for taking time to read these words. I don’t think you are here by accident. I believe God has a plan for each of us. God bless you!!!
Although there were many circumstances and outside influences that contributed to my years of self-destructive lifestyle, ultimately it was my choice to maintain every hour of the same vicious circle of self medication to kill my inner thoughts and pain. Even though I continually wore a smile on my face, I had pain deep-rooted inside myself. I was a very angry person. I had feelings of very low self-worth and often wondered why I was even here on this vast earth. So started my pursuit of pleasure. My delusion of reality was teaching me that physical satisfaction and gratification would fulfill my search for happiness. I also found that modern-day chemistry has become very good at the art of covering inner struggle and pain through the compounding of chemicals. An even larger problem came to life when I learned to trust my substances rather than the One who created me and knows me better than anyone or anything. But my daily choice was to continue telling myself the lie that my private hurt could be controlled through continually chasing the one thing that my body knew as my savior from inner turmoil.
The thing is, secrecy allows us to hide. When we leave the pains we carry deep inside and don’t deal with them, covering them in what ever way we choose, they soon become our “skeletons in the closet”. The more secrets or “skeletons” we hide away the more likely we are to have a life controlling problem. The only problem with private concealment of our life is that everything is transparent to God. He has seen every undisclosed action, every covert operation and every hush-hush situation that we hide from the world. He knows every twinge of soreness that you feel. Every heartache, every veiled and tucked away anguish, every distress, sadness, sorrow and misery.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
This verse from the Holy Bible tells us that Jesus understands us. He walked this same earth that we walk. He is well acquainted with grief. If you can imagine one day a whole city loves you and hails you as their King. The very next day the same people, the ones you love immeasurably, turn on you and scream out against you to have you crucified on a cross. As He was beaten the crowd cried out more and more for Him to die. The only thing He was guilty of was loving these His people. Soon He was hanging from the cross, breathing His last breath.
But that is not the end of the story and it is not the final page in your book either. You see, Christ was born God in the flesh of a virgin by the name of Mary. (read Luke chapters 1 & 2) That is the real reason we celebrate Christmas! The child grew, taught many, gathered disciples, performed miracles and at the tender age of 33 was crucified and put to death. But this too was part of God’s sovereign plan. Three days in the grave he rose forth and defeated death and the Devil. He showed Himself to many, many people after this monumental event. He promised us that anyone who believes in Him and believes that He shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and that He raised from the grave will have the same everlasting life He has with our Father in Heaven. (read John chapter 3 verses 16-18)
What does this have to do with me and my inner turmoil? I’m glad you asked!
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
I’m not trying to say that the pain we feel is not genuine. On the contrary, it is all too real! What I am saying is that Christ Jesus can take your hurt and give you so much more to live for. He can take your hidden sins and forgive them. He will take your despondency and give you joy. He will take your skeletons and give you new life. Please don’t carry all that stuff around with you any longer. Just pray this straight forward prayer with an honest and truthful heart.
Father God, Thank you for loving me even when I have been unlovable. Thank you for dying for me when I should be the one to die. Please forgive my sin and give me new life. Make me new and help me to love You and serve You with all my heart. I accept you into my heart and my life as my Savior. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me just as you have forgiven me. Show me how to live in the freedom that only you can give and give me peace in my soul. Thank you Lord! In Christ Jesus name I pray, AMEN!
John 6:37 says, ” Whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.”
If you prayed this prayer whole heartedly, I welcome you to the Family of God! You are “born again” and starting a life as a child of God. (John 1:12) You have entered into a personal, one on one relationship with God Almighty, the Creator of all things. He loves you and will help you to live each day for Him. (John 14:26, 15:26 and 16:12-15)
I do recommend that you read a portion of the Bible each day and pray the God will open your eyes to see what He has for you, your ears to hear what He has to say and open your heart to accept it. Seek out a good Bible believing church to worship at and to grow in your new faith. If needed, please find a Christian counselor or your Pastor at church to help you with the deeper issues.
If you need some advice or direction in your newfound life with God please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to give you some Christian guidance. My sincere prayer and desire is for all people who struggle and are bound with life controlling problems to find freedom that is only available through a relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am ecstatic that God has chosen me to be a part of something that is larger than myself. Something bigger than my little world. Something that has the possibility of impacting others in a positive way. Occasionally I get wrapped up in me. My daily routine of sleeping, eating, work, football practice with my son, church and so on. Please don’t take me the wrong way. These things are necessary to existence. And routine is a good thing for a former addict. But as I grow closer to God and increase in my faith, I realize that I have to decrease so that God can increase. The things I want are not always what God would have from me. And so I return again to one of my favorite scriptures.
Then Jesus said to them all, ‘If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23
Deny myself? Does this mean no more Brian? Of course not. God created each of us in His own image. (Genesis 2) We all have individual characteristics and personality traits that make each of us the person we are. I think what Jesus was trying to say here was denial of sin. We are born into sin. Throughout our natural life here on earth we tend to attach ourself to things that we desire. Not necessarily the things that God would have for us. So we make a decision that we can choose what we want. The things we want that will fulfill our own cravings and yearnings. We come to the earthly conclusion that we can decide what is best for us without first seeking knowledge and wisdom from our Heavenly Father.
“For everything that is in the world: the desire of the body and the lust of the eyes and the pride of temporal life, these are not from The Father but these are from the world.” 1 John 2:16
I believe we all know that illegal drugs are bad for us and just plain wrong. The same can be said for sex, alcohol, eating too much food and so on. God is not asking us to give up who we are. He is simply requesting that we yield ourself to Him. Reject those things in life that we know are wrong. Resist the enticement that daily haunts you. Deny yourself that immoral action or thought. And give thanks to God that He has given you the ability to overcome and persevere through the temptation. Of course it is a hard task. Especially when we have spent so many years programming our mind and body to give in at every whim.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
God is faithful. As a Christian, he is more that with us. The Bible says He is IN us. (2 Timothy 1:14) And in John chapter 14 Jesus promises us the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in all who believe. He is alive right here inside all of us who follow Christ!
So my proclamation of thanksgiving this November 2011 is completely and entirely to God. For His perfect plan to bring me, a sinner, back to Him through His love, grace and forgiveness through the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. For His Holy Spirit who lives within me. For the strength, comfort and joy He gives me from the time I wake daily until the time I go to sleep. And for the promise of my salvation, my guaranteed spot in heaven and my name being written in the Lambs Book of Life!
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior and you have the sincere desire to change your lifestyle, to have the inner power to beat addiction and to live a life free of addiction, start by saying an uncomplicated and effortless prayer such as this:
Heavenly Father, I know that I have done wrong toward you, toward myself and toward others. I believe that Jesus came to earth and gave his sinless life on the cross for me so that I can be forgiven. I sincerely ask for your forgiveness. Please make me clean and help me start a new life with you. I receive you into my life and my heart right now as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to love you with all that I am and to follow you with all of my heart. In Christ Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Now that you have taken this first step toward your new life with Christ, you may need some sense of direction. My suggestions are to give thanks to God every day, pray daily and talk to God about everything in your life and ask Him for strength to carry on with your Christian life, read a portion of God’s word, the Bible daily and find a Bible believing nd teaching church that you can become part of. Talk to the pastor and tell him of your newfound faith. And think about getting baptised.
If you just don’t know where to turn, please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to give you some Christian guidance and direction. My hearts sincere desire is for the chains of addiction to be broken and for all to find freedom and empowerment through Christ Jesus our Lord!
Ever notice how your feelings about someone or something can change at the drop of a hat? Or how something you know is wrong can seem or feel so right while the right thing feels wrong? Pretty soon we compromise our good judgement and even moral standards. Our emotions and the part of the brain that tells us “how it feels” take over and our whole life is changed.
This is especially true for the addict. No matter what the compulsion or obsession, most are rooted in the “feel good” category. I’m not trying to say that there are not deeper underlying fears, pain or circumstances that led us to our demon of dependence. What I am saying is that part of the reason we stay in the state of habit is the feeling we get from it. The escape that comes from getting high, the mood changing effect, the sensation of shoplifting, the temporary comfort we gain from overeating, the feeling of masturbation or even the provisional numbness provided by cutting. There are so many addictions out there that I can’t name them all. But the same is true with all. The feeling provided by the fulfillment of your craving briefly pleases your need to feel good and then leaves you empty and wanting more.
As addicts we must learn this simple fact. We cannot judge the moral value of any action based on the way we feel or how it makes us feel. Our feelings can be an unreliable scale on which to convey truth.
So where do I find the scale of justice and truth? How do I know if my emotions and feelings are steering me in the right direction?
The only place I can direct you is to the Holy Bible.
This time-tested and honored book is actually 66 different books given to us by divine inspiration of God through the authorship of 40 different men over a period of 1600 years. It has stood the test of time. Wars have been fought over the Bible. It has withstood floods and fires.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. ” 2 Timothy 3:16
The backbone of this book is to teach us about God and what He has done for us through His love for His creation. Although the books are written about man and the New Testament letters are written to men, the story is about God. We just get to be part of it. From the design of our earth to the first rebellion of man against its Creator to the redemption and bringing man back into a living relationship with God, this book is meant to be read and adhered to.
If you will take the time and read just the Gospel of John this month, it will take you through everything I mentioned above. It will lead you into a real connection and relationship with your Creator and restore you to freedom from your obsessive, compulsive or addictive behavior.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
The Son is God’s Son Jesus Christ who came to pay the penalty for our disobedience to God and restore us to a right place with Him. No, we don’t deserve it. But through God’s love He gave us grace. If you need this love, grace and freedom in your life please pray this simple prayer with me. The words are not as important as the attitude of your heart.
God, I know I have done you wrong and this is sin. I want to make things right with you. I believe that you sent your Son to take my death sentence and stand in my place so that I can be forgiven and have a fresh start with you. I confess my sins before you right now and I leave them at the cross of Jesus Christ. Help me Lord to do your will and to love you with all my heart, mind, body and soul. Teach me your ways. Show me your freedom. In Jesus Holy name, AMEN
Now that the first step is done, seek out a Bible believing and teaching church, talk to God in prayer, read more of God’s word and if needed find a Christ centered rehab or support group. If you need some Christian guidance please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
My prayer is for all addicts to find the freedom that only comes a relationship with God through Christ Jesus, that your chains of slavery to dependence be broken and that you enjoy a life of peace, love and grace.
Healing an injury takes time. Careful attention must be given to cleanliness. Wound dressings must be frequently changed. At times medication must be taken at regular intervals or even applied directly to the injured area. Some abrasions may be healed overnight with the application of ointment and a band-aid. Other more severe are better left to be treated by professionals, doctors specially trained in wound care. The common denominator between all, they must be treated in some manner.
The same is true with our problem of substance dependence. No matter what your vice, if left untreated, it can become a violent lesion festering with more infection and deeper pain than you ever imagined. And over time it can spread to those close to you. Unhealed wounds spread the same disease. If your addiction is not dealt with, those closest to you, your husband or wife, your children or close friends will fall prey to the same demon that you battle with. It has been proven over ands over again that children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves. So you see, that by curing your habit you can also free others close to you from becoming dependant.
So where do I find healing?
I am glad you asked.
There are many who claim to offer therapeutic healing for addiction. What I am sharing is my personal experience. The curative process of becoming free from addiction involves the whole being. Body, Mind and Soul.
Jesus said in Luke 10:27 to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”
This verse completely covers body, mind and soul.
I believe the soul should come first. Just as God is a three-part being, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we too are a trio of being created into one. Body, mind and spirit. Obviously our spirit has been tarnished through our life choices and needs to be cleansed. The only redemption for the spirit man is through Jesus Christ who, being part of the Godhead took the sins of the world upon himself on the cross over 2000 years ago.
To free the body from addiction one must deny oneself the addictive substance. This may or may not involve professional care. Some of us have abused for long enough time that we need doctors care to free the body from substance abuse. If you need this help PLEASE do not hesitate to seek professional care. This step alone has proven deadly as the body is freed from the poisons.
Thirdly we deal with the mind. Years of thought process needs to be changed.
Romans 12:2 says,”Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The brain needs to be reprogrammed. The only way I have found to do this is the same way it was programmed to start with. Perform the same activity over and over. Daily reading of the Bible and prayer. The more good you put in, the more bad that goes out. Make this your daily routine. Even when you don’t feel like it, DO IT! I’m sure there were days when you didn’t feel like being an addict but you did it anyway. Treat recovery the same way, with the same determination. And in so doing, God will bless you.
Now back to the soul for a minute. Redemption through Jesus Christ is a very simple process. Just ask. An earnest and straightforward prayer to God. Tell Him that you know you have messed things up. Tell Him that you honestly believe Christ died for you and was raised from the grave so that you could be forgiven. Tell Him that you accept Jesus into your heart. And ask Him to help you to live a life for Him free from addiction. Pray this prayer in Jesus Holy name, Amen.
With that done, you have been reunited with God and are on your way to recovery. The soul has been freed from addiction. Now concentrate on the body and mind. If you need doctors care to free the body do not hesitate to get that help. Get yourself in a Bible believing and teaching church. Get baptized. And pray and read your Bible daily.
My hearts desire and prayer is that all who suffer from dependance and addiction may find freedom through Jesus Christ. Blessings to all who read this. If you need some Christian guidance please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to direct you on the right path.