Exodus 8:31-32 “And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.”
I wish I only had stories of lives that only turned out for good. That there would be no illustrations of what not to do.
I know of a young man who struggled with his addiction. His best friend introduced him to the world of drug use and he took to it like a fish to water. He went from a student in good standing to the rebel on the verge of expulsion. He kept things in check long enough to graduate, but continued his using. He met and married his high school sweetheart and they had a child.
Often, when such life events such as children come, one realizes that they need to put away such behavior. He had another strike against him – enabling parents with enough money to bail him out of most situations without having to feel the sting of regret or the pain and consequence of bad decisions.
That did not totally stop the regret from coming – guilt and shame are tools God uses to bring us back to Himself.
He struggled so much that they found our program where a person can go away to a home and get their life back in order. Not only did he graduate from the first level – he went on to the graduate program.
It was there two things happened.
One, God had called him to preach. It is and extreme pleasure to be called by the God of Heaven to do anything for Him. But to preach the glorious gospel to any and all that want to hear is an honor and a privilege.
Second, and sadly, pride reared its ugly head. It came on subtly at first. The thoughts the enemy placed in his mind were seeds for a devastating fall later on.
“If I can be clean here, I can be clean anywhere.”
The plant in a nursery thrives; but some fail when exposed to the cruelty of nature unadulterated. The guided introduction of such an one into the realities of life and living after addiction are crucial.
Coming from an environment of accountability 24/7, there needs to be submission in three areas: time, talent and treasure.
Being accountable for one’s time is invasive, but telling. What you spend time doing is as important as when, where, and with whom you spend that time.
Allowing someone to oversee your finances and where every dollar is spent is humbling for any adult. But the desire to stay right and be accountable in the area of finances is important in dealing with addictions because addicts lie. Addicts will hide money for their exploits. It does not matter how long it takes to gather the needed funds, but the thrill of the chase is to reach your goal to use.
Lastly, working in an area that God can bless in your life is to utilize what we call the ‘Doctrine of Replacement’.
Essentially, it is replacing the bad behavior with its bad consequences with that which God can bless and protect your life. In this man’s case, being the husband and father was the first level of responsibilities facing him.
This man lapsed a number of times after returning from the home. One such case nearly killed him. He had bought near pure heroin and used while driving on the job. He passed out and the amount of drugs they found warranted a felony charge with intent to distribute.
Handcuffed to the hospital bed would cause anyone to rethink their life. But, once again, Dad stepped in and bailed him out of feeling much if not all of the painful consequences of his actions.
You see, he shared with me that the call of God on his life scared him so much that he could not believe that he could ever do what it was God was calling him to do. He, like Pharaoh, hardened his heart to the things of God, to the call of God, and ultimately to the voice of God.
We all are left with a choice. God’s way or anything but…
It is tragic to hear these stories of lives so promising cut off before they realize what God can do through them.
This is only one of many stories of those who have chosen to run from God.
I would wish for there never to be such a story, but, because man has been given a free will to choose, there will always be those – like Pharaoh – who harden their heart against the God of Heaven.
Along the way, there have been many valleys of deep sorrow. But as long as there is still breath in their body, there is hope that God can and will still be able to use them for His glory. If, in reading this, you need to reach out for help – it is available for you. message me and we will put you in touch with those who can help!