The truth is, we do not have addiction problems. We have misdirected worship. I’m convinced every human being is in recovery and being weaned from some form of addiction because of idolatry. Your addiction or mine may not have us eating out of trash cans, but our sin habit is hurting and diminishing God’s glory in our lives.
I participate in the current P31 Online Bible study, Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray. After our last P31 Bible Study, Living So That by Wendy Blight, I was a bit concerned I would be disappointed with our new study (because Living so That was SO AMAZING!!!) By the time I finished Chapter 1 of this book, From Afraid to Courageous, I knew I had nothing to worry about! In this book, Pastor Gray, a previous NFL football player, shares his passion, ministry, and His love for Jesus Christ.
Pastor Gray shares personal stories and stories of Church members to communicate his understanding of addiction and its affects on the ones who find themselve in its clutches (and the individuals close to them). Everything he writes makes perfect sense to me, including his “keys” for making the transformation from addict to free.
I highlighted so much of this chapter, I felt led to share portions with you. I pray Pastor Gray’s words help you as much as they helped me:
- Addiction is a cruel master whose sole objective is to destroy the addict – and anyone else in his or her life. No addict ever suffers alone.
- Herbert had an “Addict” label in his heart. The chains of addiction had limited him.
- because of my addiction, I was lonely, mad, and always frustrated.
- I was a slave, I constantly worried about how others felt and thought about me.
- When I think of the greatness that has been lost to this cruel thief, it breaks my heart.
- I want, by God’s grace, to undo the pain and hurt that addiction has mercilessly unleashed on my family.
- I boldly proclaim in Jesus’ name that there will be a day that addiction will finally be defeated in my family.
- It is destroying the teenagers who have to smoke some weed to make it through their classes in high school.
- Every day in America more and more people wear the “Addict” label.
- They saw that Jesus did not run toward them with a clenched fist but with open arms, to give them a divine embrace of grace.
- John 1:16 marinated in my mind: “For from his (Jesus’) fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
- On the outside he looked great, but on the inside his addiction was like a cruel, aggressive form of cancer. His soul was being eaten away.
- a suffering addict on spiritual life support.
- Humans have an amazing ability to get addicted to just about anything – food, shopping, people-pleasing, and self-pleasing.
- If we don’t know who we are and whose we are, we will not know how to live in the world. This leads us to seek false gods to meet our needs. The result is addiction.
Time for a NEW Label – FREE
Key 1 – Know Who You Are
- We have to fight for freedom from addiction in our minds.
- Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose it’s power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Romans 6:3-7 NLT)
- Now you are a new kind of you, with a new source of life. Jesus is now your life.
- This transformation is so complete that when God the Father looks at you, He sees Jesus–not your past failures or even your accomplishments.
- He doesn’t see the pain your sin or addiction has caused you and your loved ones. He sees Jesus in you. God’s grace is just that amazing.
- Even in the midst of your addiction, He still loved you. Let Ephesians 1:4 drip into your soul: “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” ( NLT)
- Jesus has been pursuing you your whole life, even in the midst of addiction, hurt and pain.
- “You must STOP trying to do what only Jesus can do; focus on God’s love for you and how He wants to set you free by living through you.”
To Be Continued…..