Monday, January 30, 2017

On Addiction...

Addiction isn't simply a physical phenomenon. Its rooted deep in our souls. 

Our souls are designed to crave...we are designed to crave Jesus.

Yet we seek to fulfill that craving with many other things and in many other ways. 
Anything that provides us with satisfaction (albeit temporary) other than Jesus will become our drug. 

For the physical addict it is obvious. It shows itself in physical manifestations by depleting their physical appearance and affecting their mental capacity. Yet for the soul addict it can be deceptively masqueraded as normal...even applauded.

Those addicted to physical substances crave that substance to feel satisfied. Those addicted to something deeper in their soul crave that to be okay, secure, and self-approved of. 

So often we say things like "Well, that's what alcohol will do to you" or "Drugs will rob you of your life." And yes. So true. Substances like alcohol and heroin can rob you of your life and bring death at an early age. But soul addictions will rob you of your life even while you live. 

Addiction to approval. Addiction to self-promotion. Addiction to self-sufficiency. Addiction to performance. Addiction to applause of men.
All these will rob you of your life while you still live on this earth. 

I should know. I have experienced it. 
I have lived seeking approval from man and come up empty. I have pushed aside my dreams and pursuit of my gifts because they weren't approved of by others. I'll be the first to tell you, it sucks the life out of slowly that you almost don't notice it until everything you knew to be true shatters into a thousand pieces and you wake up from the stupor of living a life that isn't the one God created you for. The life you've been living is the one someone else wants to you live (a masquerade) so that it makes them feel good, look good, have the ability to pursue their vision even at the cost of your life. 

We are only free when our hearts are completely filled with Jesus. 

That's the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen. 

Anything that draws our hearts away from the simplicity of the gospel call
Loving God and loving others
will destroy your life. Will kill you. 
Maybe not physically. 
Maybe not so that anyone can see.

But it will. 

Our souls were made to crave. 
We were designed to be addicted to Jesus. 
To crave seeing His glory spread.
To get our high from watching Him at work in the world and standing in awe of His might. 

We (the Christian church) look down on addicts. 

We look at them as their "condition". We define them by their sin. 

We tell them they need Jesus. 
We tell them they need to "get clean" or "stay sober" to be a father, mother, employee... 

The truth is, they are already father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, employee, friend, co-worker...

And further
They are no different than us.
It looks different. Oh, it looks very different.

See we are "responsible." We are holding it together (at least on the outside). We look "normal". We can hold down a job. We can provide for our families. We don't abandon our children. The list of why we are different (and in our eyes, better) goes on and on. 

But take a look at your heart. 

You (I) are no better. 
Without Jesus as the only satisfier of our souls, we die. 

Our addiction is different, but it is present in our hearts. 

My heart breaks over my own condemnation of others when my heart has been in the same condition as their physical body.

Lord, help me to find my satisfaction only in YOU. 
Let me high come from Christ and His untamable love for me.
Enable me to love other addicts--especially the soul-addicts that think they are alight, because they're the hardest ones to love-- the way you love. 

My family has stared death in the face twice in the last six week. 
Both times the root has been addiction to physical substance. 
These words are simply what God is doing within me as I process these deaths. 
These words welled up within my soul and basically spilled out onto the screen as I typed. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my heart and how God is changing and shaping it. 
Our family appreciates all your prayers and kind thoughts during these difficult days. 


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I can identify on both the physical and soul levels of addiction. I think the soul is more dangerous. It is not a secret when you are addicted to drugs/alcohol that you are in a bad state. You feel the helplessness and recognize the chains. The soul addictions seem some what illusive. For me, it was not recognized for the deadly danger it was until its fruit had been harvested. But thanks be to God for His great mercy and His willingness to rescue us from both.


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