Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Letter to an Addict

*This past Sunday and Monday The Navigators hosted a Sexual Health and Wholeness Conference out in Colorado. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend in person, but I did watch a good portion of the live streaming. Ironically, the Lord has been placing quite a few young ladies in my life recently dealing with lust, sexual immorality, and the like (pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, etc). It seems like this happens in seasons, where God just dumps a bunch in my lap all at once, and I'm not going to lie, I kind of love it (the fact they all pop out of the woodwork at once, not the fact that they are struggling). And it just so happens that with God's perfect timing, after listening to Michael Cusick (counselor, author, speaker, and president of Restoring the Soul Ministry) talk about his story and give lots of helpful advice on how to deal with sexual addiction, I received an e-mail from one such lady, and what follows came mostly from my reply to her.

Dear child of the King,

Jesus loves you. He sees you in your deepest, darkest hour, but yet He still chooses you. He knows the worst about you, but sees the best in you. There is hope. Jesus meets you in the broken places and brings resurrection, hope, freedom, and joy. This is the first step in a journey with many steps. You're not just changing a behavior... you're becoming a new creation! You are holy, blameless, forgiven, adopted, chosen, loved, victorious, clean, reconciled, blessed, and NEW in Christ (Check out Ephesians 1)! When you begin to see who you really are in Christ, you can begin to live the life that He has for you.

Imagine a year from now, five years from now. What do you imagine it would look like if you were whole; if you were free? What would it look like for Jesus to be using your story, your struggles, to bring healing and freedom to others?

Go deeper than the behavior when thinking about how to combat this sin. Yes, you are acting out. But WHY? Triggers and circumstances can be a good place to start, but they aren't the end goal. WHY, deep down, are you acting out these behaviors? As humans we are always asking: “How can I get to a place where it is well with my soul?” Every idol promises that it will make it well with my soul... that's really what this sin is... an idol. Satan is lying to you and telling you that it will make it well with your soul, and so you run after it. Satan wins when he can get us distracted from God by worshipping other idols. And then he wins again when he can get us to feel shame about it. But GOD WINS when we turn to Him and make Him central in our lives. He wins when we can stand naked and unashamed before Him and allow Him to sing over us, to call us beloved. He wins when we repent from worshiping idols and turn the other way- “Jesus please forgive me for worshipping that idol.” And He DOES! He forgives us the first time we ask! Beating ourselves up is offensive to God because He already beat up his son for us. So believe that you are forgiven, believe that you are loved, and start walking in the other direction! 

Some questions to think, journal, and pray through:
  • Right now God feels _____________ toward me or with me. (Why do you think that?)
  • How do I feel about myself in regards to this struggle?
  • How's my heart? My inner being? My soul?
  • How am I trying to make it "well with my soul" when I am going to this behavior?
  • What might God be doing in me through this struggle?
  • What makes my heart come alive?
  • What do I need right now?
  • What are my deepest desires, and how does this behavior relate to them? Does it fulfill those desires?
  • What are my triggers? 
  • What are the lies I believe when I am by myself?

  •     To get you started- here are 4 core lies that addicts often believe- 
    1.  I am basically a bad or unworthy person ( I don't measure up, I’m not good enough)
    2. No one would love me as I am
    3. My needs won’t be met by depending on others
    4. ______________ is my most important need (fill in blank with sin or addiction)

Remember: it's all about a relationship... and it is a spiritual war for your soul. God wants you to be wholehearted for Him and satan will do whatever he can to get you to be half-hearted. 

Suit up! Since this is a war, you need to be properly protected and prepared. Go through the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 and pray through each specific piece of armor - "Lord, I am putting on the belt of truth today. Give me the strength to believe your truth and not the lies of the enemy. Help me realize when I am given lies and protect me from believing them." etc. 

Jesus specializes in redemption. His heart beats for you to be made clean and new. He yearns for you to come to Him just as you are. Run to Him. HE LOVES YOU!

From one redeemed child to another,

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