ADDICTION – by Dave Palcsak  davepalcsak@gmail.com

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This is one of the most well known verses in the entire Bible. What does it really mean? Moreover, do we really believe what it says?  I’m going to focus on this and other verses as they relate to a specific challenge that I am extremely familiar with…. addiction.

We often see movies or TV shows that reveal the climax and then go back in time in order to demonstrate how that end came to pass. With that in mind, here goes! I am a recovered (not recovering) alcoholic and drug addict. I have several brothers and sisters in the Lord who can, and do, say the same. The only way I know this can happen is through the redemptive power of our mighty Lord. So if you aren’t a believer, don’t try this at home. If you do believe in the one true Creator, the God of the Bible, consider these words (particularly His).

If you have faith, and you REALLY want to quit whatever harmful addiction (demon) that has you in turmoil, look to the Lord. And I submit that this is not a suggestion or plea; it’s a Biblical command. Ponder these verses (there are many more expressing the same idea): “‘Woe to the rebellious children’, says the Lord, ‘who take counsel but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin'” (Isaiah 30:1). “Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you'” (Isaiah 41:13). “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

If you believe that the Bible is the word of God, but doubt that He (God) is totally, and without any other means, able to deliver you from any addiction that is plaguing you, then you are insulting Him! There is no “12 step man-made regiment” with the Lord. He doesn’t need helpers. So you must understand that this is not part of “a program”. It can’t be one component of many. Much like committing your life to Christ, this is an all-or-nothing proposition. You only get one basket, all your eggs must go in. That said, let me offer encouragement from personal experience: I mentioned that not only I, but several brothers and sisters who I know well, have been delivered and are recovered from various addictions (mostly, but not exclusively drugs and alcohol).

Most of those who were delivered never looked back or slipped. This was not the case for me. I slipped twice after I stopped using. It will never happen again, because I felt it necessary to employ more drastic measures. I took a sacred vow to the Lord promising Him that I would never touch alcohol or illegal drugs again. I prayed long and hard before making this vow because of the profoundly serious nature this course of action demanded. Do not do anything this radical without first praying long and hard about it. It’s a step most need not consider. For example, every other recovered addict I know is permitted to take wine with communion. That’s fine, it doesn’t bother me one bit; but I have to take grape juice and that will never change. Our walks vary, our Director doesn’t. He had to use a 2 by 4 on me to finally learn my lesson, and I’m blessed that He did because I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I slipped because part of me still romanticized the “good ole days” hanging with my buds, laughing, snorting, smoking, and drinking to all hours. Those “good ole days” were in fact hell on earth. It shows how incredibly dense I was (am) that I ever slipped once, much less twice, after I had given my life to Christ. You see, I prayed for Him to deliver me by any means He saw fit, including turning any “fun” I might experience, into anguish. He listened and answered. The only suffering and misery I experienced in my life of addiction worse than that first time I slipped was… you guessed it, the second time. I praise Him for it. I can assure you, my pining for those “good ole days” is long past. The very thought of revisiting my party days, even for the briefest moment, makes me gag in disgust. My point is this: there isn’t an exact specific formula for how individuals will be delivered from their addictions. There is, however, an exact specific and singular method: TRUST GOD — GIVE IT OVER TO HIM!

 

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