“For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].” (Romans 7:15)
“But I discern in my bodily members a different law at war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].” O wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from the shackles of this body? O thank God! He will! through Jesus Christ the Anointed One our Lord! so then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:23-24)
“So if the Son sets you free, you are really and unquestionably free.” (John 8:36)
The bondage of addiction is the most miserable existence known to man. It doesn’t matter what the substance or behavior is, the result is just the same: misery and shame. There is a reason that people gravitate towards addictive substances and behaviors. There is something deep inside that is empty or a wound so deep that self-medication is what numbs the pain. Addiction is a favorite tool of Satan because it steals and kills and destroys everything in a person’s life and eventually leads them to an early grave.
How does a person go from a regular person to a strung out addict? The reasons are as varied as substances and behaviors. Many people find themselves disillusioned with a marriage or relationship or being in an abusive relationship. Others are very lonely and rejected and turn to addictive substances for comfort. Still others are bitter and angry from a past hurt. Then there are those who just love to get high. They love the buzz or thrill. Thrill seeking is an addictive behavior.
My addiction was cocaine and pills in the 80’s. In the 21st century is was alcohol. Each time the Lord was faithful to deliver me. Through it all, He never leaves nor forsakes us! A day in the life of an addict goes something like this:
Wake up with a hang-over so bad I had to call in sick. Spend most of the day nursing myself back to some semblance of normalcy. Afternoon comes and I check to see how much rum I have left after last nights binge. Uh-oh…maybe two drinks worth. Time to scrape up enough money to go to the liquor store and get another fifth bottle of rum for the night. I have three different liquor stores to alternate going to because its embarrassing to be buying so much rum every day. Ok, I’m all set. I have my fifth, I can relax now. Alright! It’s five o’clock…time to fix my first drink of the night! Forget about how miserable I was all day long. It’s eleven o’clock at night and I have maybe a cup of rum left out of the fifth and I can’t drink anymore. Next morning, I wake up with a hangover so bad I can’t lift my head…thank God its Saturday…God forgive me, I did it again…
Addiction is a cruel taskmaster. It drives people to an early grave. It takes all joy of life away. It burns all bridges with family and friends. The haunting sense of shame that you can’t control yourself. How many times did I cry out “why can’t I quit?” Is there no way out of this pit?
No way out? Think again. Only the Lord can set you free. Only He can get to the root of the problem. He can get that monkey off your back. It began with a decision for me. I prayed and repented and returned to the Lord in my heart. I asked Him to help me. I drank every day for another six years after this moment and my prayer every morning was “Lord forgive me, I did it again. Please help me get out of this pit.” One morning, right before I woke up, He spoke to me and said, “if you don’t stop drinking now, you are going to die.” I knew it was His voice. I know His voice. I agreed to stop and asked Him to help me through it. He did. He supernaturally healed my damaged liver and healed the inner pain that was driving me. Today, I’ve been sober going on 6 years. Whom the Son sets free–truly is free indeed!
If you are bound by addiction, turn to the Lord. He may supernaturally do it or He may use a rehab center or meetings to help you. He will lead you to the people who can help you get free and stay free! If you woke up today think there is no way out…think again.