Monday, August 19, 2013

Addictions Aftermath

It was Sunday morning. There he was...standing before the congregation giving his testimony of his life long battle with alcoholism. As he poured his heart out my ears were ringing....what did he just say?? Are we sure that he isn't talking about food addiction? Because everything he is saying sounds just like the thoughts in my head!

As he revealed his testimony he would talk about his daily struggle to decide each day when he awoke whether to drink or not. Before his feet would hit the floor he was already thinking about drinking or not drinking. Would this be the day he conquers his addiction? Or would this be a day that he crashes...and causes him to spiral out of control for weeks?

He would talk about the person he was under the influence verses the person he is sober. They were 2 completely different people. One you would not recognize if you knew the other. One was happy, deep into the Father's word each day, full of wisdom, confidence that exudes him. The other was a drunken man, lifeless, full of anger, bitterness, wanting to just die.

I heard him talk about Jesus with a completely cognizant knowing between right and wrong. He knows what will happen if he takes a drink. He knows what the Bible says about over-indulgence. He knows that prayer will give him strength to get through that desire....but his flesh still wins out time and time again.

He talks about long lengths of time with triumphs and defeating this habit. He talks about sinking back into the depths of despair with one little slip up that turns into a 3 week binge.

He talked about the sadness that he would go through each time he decides to pull his life back together knowing that he would never get to experience that high  again. Knowing that that taste would not be on his lips. The momentary feeling of the struggles of this world fade away as the alcohol would bleed into his bloodstream. The sadness of life not being as fun without the alcohol.

He talks about how he can see himself as being successful. Someone who doesn't even desire to be under the influence. He sees himself as a confident and hard-working addition to this society. He can see it in his mind. He can imagine what that person would look like, talk like, act like. He can even imagine that person to be real.
Now, go back through those paragraphs and replace "he" with "she". Replace "alcohol" with "food".

He...the one with the alcohol no different than me...the one with the food addiction. We both know what it will take to beat the clutches of addiction. We both know how victorious the triumphs will be to overcome this way of life. We both know what God has to say in His word about addictions, greed, how are bodies are to be treated as a temple because the Holy Spirit lives within us. But it doesn't stop us.

We are redeemed for a season of time, and then we fall back. Sometimes falling harder than the time before. Sometimes not falling very far at all. But each time we fall we go through the suffering of guilt, depression, desperation, wanting to be saved from ourselves. We worry about who we have disappointed, who we hurt during our trial, how badly have we deteriorated our bodies this time?

We think about how undeserving we are of this love God has to give if we can't even kick these habits. We feel defeated. Once we have sobered we look in the mirror and see the horror that those fleshly decisions wreaked havoc on our bodies this time. Another part of our soul decaying away as we realize how much time has been lost during our selfish bout.

Oh, how much time satan had to speak deceit into our minds while we were under the influence of our drugs. How much work. How much praying and laying flat on the ground before God will it take to undo the harm on our hearts and minds.

Somehow, someway...even when we feel so undeserving and unworthy...Jesus takes us back into the warmth of His covering. He shows us how he never actually left us. He tells us how He saw our stuggles and how He wanted to help us so badly...but all He needed us to do was call out his name...Jesus...Messiah...counselor....Name above all names...Majesty.

He reminds us that He died for every single person on this earth. Not just the "good" ones. There will never be a time that He will not love us. He wants us to have the desires of our heart more than anything.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Our desire? To beat addiction. To honor God with our minds, our bodies, and our souls. To show Him even an ounce of the love that He has shown us. To draw closer to Him when we are weak. To rely on God for every moment of every day. To go deeper and deeper in prayer with him until we lose sight of our fleshly selves and begin to see in the mirror what God sees in us every day. To be His lights unto the world.

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