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The Nature of Addiction

Written by Rosa A. Hopkins

 

Imagine you’re in a smoky room, where things are unclear. A seductress leans sultrily into the microphone, as she sings words of unbridled passion. (If you’re a woman, picture that this is a man). Things become hazy. She promises a love so strong that your soul will feel its pain no longer. Your mouth starts to water. You start to think she’s looking at you. You notice, in fact, that she is looking at you. Your mind begins to race. A glint of light reflects off her red beaded dress and her eye catches yours. She sees you looking, considering her lips which drip like honey. A decision is being made and the values you hold so dear are beginning to fade into the background. You’re intoxicated already, though you’ve yet to take a sip. You catch a glimpse of her silky smooth skin and it is enough. You feel that can’t look back. The show has now ended and she is whispering into your ear. You’re dizzy from the rush of blood as your pulse begins to quicken. What are you even doing here in the first place and why is everything beginning to unravel like this? You decide to feed this lust that won’t be satisfied any other way. You know this is wrong. You know you have so much to lose. But she is promising you so much. The night gives way to the swirl of wanton passion and all is a blur. You wake up.

 

As you look around you, you find that all is not as it seemed. The harsh reality of your encounter lies exposed before the morning sun. The taste in your mouth is bitter and you feel uneasy in your soul. Where are the ecstasies from the night before? Where is the euphoria? Discontent and a longing to feel normal are all you feel. You are unsettled. The sweet promises from the night before fade like smoke rings in the air. Where was your head? Still, you climb back into her embrace, hoping that you can recapture a small taste of the bliss you knew last night and yet, your feeling is dulled. You feel better, but not like you did before. You know you can reach those highs if you will indulge a little deeper. And yet, afterward, when sin has had its work on you again, you feel even emptier than before. For a time you repeat this cycle.

 

After a while your relationship with sin begins to cool. Your seductress no longer coos, but instead demands that you spend all your time, money and resources on her. And she gives very little in return. You exchange your family, your reputation, and maybe even your job but she demands more. It would appear as if she is hunting for your life. You want desperately to get away from her and yet you find yourself running to her to try and dull your senses. All is a world of pain at this point. How did you get here? How can you get out?

 

There is a fountain of water for the thirsty soul that truly will satisfy and that is found in the Lord Jesus. Only He has the power to save from sin and to give us a life abundant. He also has the power to free us from the chains of that hold us captive. Whatever your addiction, whatever your drug of choice, cry out to Him in repentance. Tell Him you believe He is the sinless Son of God who died to take your sins and your shame. Tell Him you believe that He rose again and ask Him to be your Savior. The Bible says in Romans 10:13 that, ‘all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’.

 

For some, after they are saved, there may be an instant removal of the desire for the drug of choice. Others may need to go to a rehab facility. There is no shame in that. God has raised up ministries like Teen Challenge that are designed to free His children from the blight of substance abuse. In my case it went like this:

 

I used to drink. This was around 2005. What began as the occasional drink steadily increased as the need for alcohol grew and grew. My system was weakened through the hangovers and yet the physical pain was not enough to deter me from getting drunk again. Several years went by and though I would get drunk less often, I would drink enough to truly put me in harm’s way. The binges were getting worse.

 

In late 2008 I heard the message of salvation. I turned from my sins and gave my life to Jesus Christ. He reached His hand out to me and I accepted. I wanted a better way. I never drank again. I never desired to drink and that is my story. With cigarettes it was quite a bit different.

 

I used to chain smoke in order to stave off my anxiety. Upon sensing that I might be dealing with a physical illness in 2009, I lifted up a prayer to God, a cigarette dangling from my right hand. I felt immediately convicted. I never smoked again. Though the pain was agonizing, God was faithful. He gave me the courage and the strength to put my health and my relationship with Him first and to not give in. he has been my mainstay. I have had other tendencies to try and dull my senses, like overspending and shopping too much. Over time God has been dealing with my heart to unearth the hidden reasons that I engage in such behavior. Our lives are not cleaned up in order to bring us to Jesus, we become clean as we come to Jesus for healing.

 

This isn’t a one-time problem or an easy fix, but a deep soul cleansing that happens as God removes the bonds of our slavery. True healing as happened to me regarding alcohol. I haven’t had a drink since the year 2008 and I have no craving for it whatsoever. With cigarettes I still have the craving, but with God I have the strength to resist. The other habits are similar to my fight with tobacco. I also used to overeat and God has given me tools to cope with this too. In all things God is faithful to keep His servants free from servitude to sin. We must come to Him with our burdens in order to find rest. ‘Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken’. (Psalm 55:22)


Meet Rosa

rosa 

Rosa Hopkins is a writer of words as well as a singer-songwriter. Through the grace of God she escaped addiction and a life that was headed for disaster. Though her family and friends walked out on her, her Heavenly Father never did. She faced living her life alone when another family stepped up to be God’s hands and feet to her. Today she has been blessed with her miracle baby, Joy, after fifteen years of marriage. She knows Jesus is the key to all things and she loves to sing His praise! Her songs have received radio airplay and she enjoys singing in front of audiences with her husband. She recently participated in press/radio promotions for the Heartbeat Bill campaign in Indiana.

 

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This post is linked up at Purposeful Faith and Testimony Tuesday

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