What is drug addiction? Is it a disease, a moral problem, satanic oppression? I say it’s none of these. In my studies, I’ve concluded that addiction is the righteous judgment of almighty God, the means by which the addict will either turn to the Lord or die fighting Him. Controversial? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
But isn’t that sadistic of God and not righteous at all? Consider this intense passage from Isaiah:
“Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight. “
The immediate context of this passage is God’s punishment of His own people for their idolatry, but this is a recurring theme in the Bible. God hates sin so much that He will allow it to overtake a person, and its consequences are severe, often deadly.
When I read these verses for the first time, I immediately equated it to my own experience with cocaine addiction. I remember being completely enslaved to my mind, doing things that I never could have imagined. I did things that I didn’t even know people did! And it wasn’t all about drugs. Sometimes I did crazy things that had absolutely no connection with cocaine or any other substance just because my mind said to do them. I was legitimately delusional with an official diagnosis of Paranoid Psychotic, Bipolar, Poly-substance addicted, Schizoaffective. That’s a fancy way of saying: “On a bunch of drugs and completely out of his mind.”
What happened to Cody? Just what God threatened His people with in Isaiah 66! I chose to live my way and God, in His perfect righteousness, inflicted awful things on me because of it. Indeed, He brought my worse fears upon me. I’m so grateful today that He did that, because I am now free of ALL of those things. I’m FREE today, not running or learning to practice my coping skills, but FREE.
Jesus said it would be that way. In John 8 he tells us that sin is slavery, but that real freedom is available when the Son of God touches a slave (8:34-36). Because the Son set me free, I am not clean. I’m not an addict in recovery. I am a new creation: an entirely different person. When I got off of drugs and whiskey, the old Cody didn’t come back as though he were hidden under all of those chemicals and poor decisions. No, the old Cody died and new one was born. It wouldn’t have been enough for me to “get clean”; I needed to be replaced, and that’s what happened.
It didn’t happen for my benefit, but so that God would be glorified. I don’t want recovery because recovery is inferior, but let me walk in this new birth and know the power of the resurrected Christ. You can’t find real freedom in the twelve steps. At best, they are a means to an end, but the Gospel is Truth and the Way to a kind of freedom that is unimaginable to an addict seeking help in “the rooms. “
I hear frequently that there is no cure for addiction, but the devil is a liar. A cure was made 2,000 years ago when the Son of God suffered, died and was buried, then rose again to save humanity. When a suicidal, hope-to-die dope fiend like myself is united with the risen Savoir and is changed, who can deny it?
An NA old timer once told me not to worry about religion, but to let NA “Save (my) ass, and worry about (my) soul later. ” I’m pleased to say that, in all of his worldly wisdom, this man was dead wrong. Thanks be to God that the Gospel broke down all of those dead works in my life: The idolatry of the twelve steps was shown for what it is, and Christ saved my soul and my ass at the same time.
For anyone who is reading this and is tired of the cycle: Get clean, relapse, repeat …Look to Christ, who alone has the ability to save you.
For anyone who has clean time but does not have freedom: You aren’t really clean until you’re washed in the blood of Jesus. Abandon “the rooms” and cling to Christ, who alone has the ability to save you.
See? Everything points to Jesus, who alone has the ability to save.
If you have any questions about the Gospel, about freedom from addiction, my own story, or how to become a Christian, call me at 903-932-2646 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you.