Gaining Freedom From Our Addictions

The key to gaining our freedom from our addictions, whether they are to alcohol, cigarettes, prescription medications, sex and/or pornography, or co-dependency is turning our lives completely over to God. Without doing so, we can only go so far in our own strength and are doomed to experience only partial healing. In our own strength, we run the risk of spinning back into our addition cycle and falling back into our sins. This is particularly true of those instances when we are in a weakened state and encounter known trigger events, locations, or activities.

While it is essential to have a strong network of accountability partners and sponsors around us in order to help us through those hard times. However, in order for these people to be able to assist us, it often takes extra effort on our part since we have to reach out and make the necessary call (or visit) for help in a time of crisis. Unfortunately, even the strongest of networks cannot help us in every situation since they are not always with us or available to us when we may need them. This is why we must have God in control of our lives and our recoveries, for He is ALWAYS with us and is able to help us through these hard times. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews13:5). We need only to allow Him into our lives and completely turn the process over to Him. This aligns with Steps 2 and 3 which are, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” and “We made a decision to turn our life and our will over to the care of God.”

Those of you familiar with the 12 Steps of A.A. will notice that I left off the last phrase from Step 3, “as we understood Him.” This was intentional since the traditions of A.A. allow a person to define God however they like, thus their ‘Higher Power’ can be anything or any god that they choose. In so doing, God is considered to be equal to any god a person may come up with or even a doorknob if someone should decide to consider that as their ‘higher power’.

To blindly follow the traditions of A.A. without intentionally choosing to let God into our lives will avail us nothing, for Scripture tells us, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NKJV). There should be no fear involved in turning our lives over to the control and guidance of the One True God since His Word tells us, “For it is God who is at work in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Additionally, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

I join with Paul in encouraging you to make the decision to turn your sins and your recovery process over to God: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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