As I was finishing up yesterday's blog, the thought of how much I wasn't able to say regarding surrender and struggle loomed in my mind. I do not suppose to know everything about the war we fight, in reference to addictions and spirituality, but I can give you what I have, and trust that God will get the message across to the reader.
I feel compelled to say a little more on surrendering our life and will over to the care of God, mainly because of the response I received from both of my sites. The reality being, we are in a real battle in this war on alcoholism and drug addictions. This battle cannot be fought by "just saying no," or through methadone clinics, nor by closing down saloons. It is only by surrendering the struggle that freedom can be won.
You and I are broken. We need to be fixed. AA/NA alone cannot fix you. Attending church will not make you well in itself. Many think it will, only to find out that Satan attends church too, probably more than you. He will talk in your ear through the worship and sermon, if you are still fighting the war alone, unsurrendered. If you have decided that attending recovery meetings is good for others, not you, then you have placed yourself on the throne of self-will, you think you are unique. You will NEVER be free until you accept your fatal condition, and cede utter defeat. Do not worry what people will think. Anyone who stands in judgement is full of self-worship and personal addictions. They point out the flaws of others to shift away others seeing their blemishes, and hide their inferior feelings.
AA/NA's steps 2&3, are where reality comes together, and our brokeness becomes even more visible to us. Here we see how far we fell, and realize we are not well. Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, (as we understood Him) Two steps, coming to...literally, out of the ether of our selfisheness, as much as addictions, and making a decision, turning it over to the "Fixer" of human brokeness. These two steps are a wonderful reflection of the story of the podigal son in the book of Luke.
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!' I will go back to my father"... Luke 15:17-18a (NIV) Read the entire parable in Luke 15: 11-31, one of Jesus' most moving parables.
For those reading this that do not have an alcohol, drug, overeating, gambling, workaholic, shopaholic, gossipaholic, jugdgmentaholic problem, and have completely conformed to the image of Christ, please realize that the ones having addictions cannot surrender through your efforts. Nothing you say will make them desire change, nor heal their sickness. You can, however, pray for them to come to the understanding of their estate. They must experience freedom through surrender, cease their struggle to do it another way. Your badgering, or constant nagging will not fix them. But nag you will, until you surrender your will and control to God. In your time with the addicted, tell them you are trying a new approach, prayer. Tell them you know they can make it, they can get well. Choose to build them up, not tear them down.
Many have lost their spouse or a child to these evils, and would love to have one more conversation with them. They would say what I'm telling you now. there is hope in God through surrendering to His will, ceasing to struggle, and returning help to others from help received. As I conclude this blog, I know there is much left to say...again. I will take my own advice and trust God will get through to the reader. This is Resurrection weekend. Our new life began with the death of God's Son, Jesus. Our addictions can end today with a death of our self-will.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith