Recently I heard a sermon by Fran McKain, “The Redeemer’s Firstborn.” She talked about when the people of God were ‘slaves’ in Egypt. How they had gotten comfortable in their captivity. Oh man, I thought, every addict knows that feeling! In our craziness and dysfunction we survive and even thrive at times! We get “comfortable” in our twisted way of thinking… in our chaotic relationships…in our lies. We even don’t seem to mind the slavemaster! We tell ourselves it’s just how it is, deal with it, until something happens, waking us up to the reality that we can’t go on like this anymore. We become aware of the hope that God has provided a way out!
At that moment the battle begins, as we surrender all our craziness, pain, and dysfunction “God is relentless.” He makes a way for us to escape. The Bible says he is our Redeemer Kinsman. He buys us back from slavery, from our addictions, with the life and death of His own Son. He then in “love pursues us even through our doubts, fears, failures and discouragement, anger…” In this stage of recovery it may feel like we are in a desert, but what’s incredible is that He provides what we need to get through the desert, and a way of escape in each situation.
Fran went on to talk about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt and into the desert (of course I am thinking of all the addicts I know in their own desert experience) with a warning in her voice she said, “After you have been rescued, the slavemaster will still pursue you, just as Pharaoh did with the Israelites …but God has assured his people that He will fight for you, and will perform miracles, He will provide ways of escape and guide you towards the promised land”, towards recovery today and into eternity.
I would like to share with you a text that God continues to bring to me…it was even the text for Fran’s sermon. Isaiah 43:1-3
“Oh Jacob (put your own name here), listen to the
Lord who created you.
Oh Israel, the one who formed you says,
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
You will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
You will not be burned up;
The flames will not consume you.
I love that. God is telling us to trust Him right now, not ourselves.
I have been discussing the 12 Steps from a Biblical point of view. I would like to look at the value of Step 5. “We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
That sounds scary, but think of it this way. There are people, others addicts, who have come out of Egypt, out of their own addictions, all around you. They know the power of God’s deliverance! When you are overwhelmed… feel like giving into temptations… when you are filled with doubt and all you can see is the slavemasters and his army fast approaching. That is when you need to reach out to those who have gone before you, who have a some recovery time under their belt, who can show you how to overcome. In recovery they are called sponsors or accountability partners. They can remind you that the battle belongs to God, and He can be trusted. One more thing about slaves and this is straight from Jesus himself, “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends…” John 15:14-16
The decision to step into recovery is yours but once you do the battle belongs to God, trust Him to fight for you!