Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Overcoming Addiction

One of the saddest things about addiction is that the consequences of feeding a habit can destroy our dreams and annihilate our ambitions. When I left High School, I could have gone to Stirling University to study history. I met with the leading professor of the History department, and he interviewed me, along with a few other candidates, early in the spring of 1975. I was guaranteed a place and looked forward to becoming a student in the heart of historical Scotland.

Podcast version here

But my addiction got the better of me and I gave up my dreams. When the acceptance form came in, I ripped it up and went out to look for a job. In my heart, I wanted to go to Stirling, but I didn’t want to give up my boozing friends or the pubs I frequented. Regrettably, I set aside something special, in order to feed and maintain my alcoholism.

Bible Verse of the Day
Job 6:13 Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?

I’ve known people to do the same and I’ve watched them destroy themselves, year after year. I want to reach out to them and tell them that God has the power to wrench them away from their addiction, to transform their lives. I want to protect them from giving up on their dreams, nursing their fears, and embracing their disease. I want to tell them that life with God is much, much, much better than life with a bottle, a drug, or porn.

I am truly thankful to God that despite my selfishness and stupidity, He took a hold of me and turned my life around. I may not be the historian that I once desired to be, but I am happy with where God has led me. It took a lot of hard work, prayer, self-examination, and revelation to get me to this place. Anyone who is addicted can also do that, but only if they first surrender themselves to God. What I discovered was this: if you want God to change your life, you can’t hold back anything from Him.

I know that there are some of you who are reading this who have similar problems. If I can help you find God, then please email me. There are also some of you who are carrying the burden of an addicted love one. My prayers are with you. Get help. Find a church that cares. Let God carry you for a while. There’s nothing that is too big for Him. There is no problem that He cannot help us overcome.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we need You to live up to that Divine Title of ‘Savior.’ We need You to save us from ourselves, our addictions, our fears, and our burdens. We are tired of trying to do it on our own. We are weary and exhausted, stressed out and alone. Come to us and save us. Free us from our fears and help us to hold on to You, so that our lives, dreams, and hopes can be renewed. In Your Holy Name, we earnestly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today's message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org


Shannon Van Ravestein said...

This spoke to me today. I am battling a heroin addiction and I am no longer the person I used to be. I used to have a healthy relationship with God and I went to church, read my bible, all of that. I was happy. I didnt realize it then,... but I was. I have fallen off God's path for me, and I am ready to get back on it! i am tired of the misery and I am so unhappy! I miss "ME!" I am going to rehab next week. This reading has encouraged me to stay on the path to recovery, and I am very greatful for the person writing it! Thank you! Thanks for letting God speak through you to others. :)

Stushie said...

God bless you Shannon. Thanks for posting your comment. It will also help others...:)