As a Christian, you hold certain values close to your heart. Christian drug rehab will allow you to embrace strategies for recovery that also embrace your Christian beliefs.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
In Christian recovery, we learn that our relationship with God is what is freeing us from the bondage to addiction. We are told that we’re to depend upon our Creator and Savior and that we are to draw near to Him.
But what does this really mean? How do we “draw near” to a spiritual being? Many times, in the midst of our addiction, God felt not only distant, but nonexistent. How do we maintain this conscious contact with God that The Big Book speaks of?
Perhaps there is no one perfect way to create this connection with God, just as there is no perfect formula for cultivating relationships with other people. And our relationship with God is the most important relationship we will have. When we learn what it means to draw near to God, we start to know what it means to thrive, grow and recover.
Thankfully we are not left without direction or instruction. God wants a relationship with His children and so He has given us His Word, the Bible, to guide us in drawing near to Him. Our 12-step work also puts us on the path to deepening and developing this bond. With time, like a friendship or marriage, the relationship begins to feel fluid and comfortable and we begin to know the joy of God’s presence.
Ways Christians In Recovery Can Draw Nearer To God
Here are seven practical steps to help you draw near to God:
- Be Still and Know That I Am God – This verse actually includes two steps. First we need to be still — which is not easy to do in our constantly busy, connected and distracted culture. But to hear the subtle voice of God, we need to begin by unplugging, if even for just a few moments. The quieter we become, the more clearly we hear His voice. The second part calls for our faith. In order to draw near to God, we have to recognize that He is God, the Holy and the Almighty. This trust and faith helps bring us into His presence.
- Work the Steps – The steps are laid out to not only help us get sober and stay sober, but to help us establish an authentic relationship with God. They are not meant to replace our Christian practice, but they will help us to grow into this new relationship with God. Ultimately the steps help keep us sober, and without that we can’t draw near to God — the addiction always gets in the way. Therefore, as we keep working the steps, we are drawing nearer to God.
- Repent – The second clause of James 4:8 is “… cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Many times we feel far from God because of sin. The steps help us to work through our past sins in addiction, but we need to continue to be honest before God and ask His forgiveness. Then we acknowledge that in Christ we are forgiven and we are again brought near to God.
- Prayer and Meditation – Prayer and meditation is the way in which we communicate with God and one of the means by which He communicates with us. It may feel a little strange at first, like we are just talking to the air, but with time it will begin to feel like a real conversation. There’s no need for flowery language. We can talk to God as honestly as we would a friend. In meditation we allow ourselves to be quiet as we meditate upon God, His character and His Word. As we let His truths flow through our mind as we sit in a relaxed state, we will feel ourselves drawing nearer to Him.
- Study of God’s Word – Studying God’s Word helps us to know God better, and as we know Him, we draw nearer to Him. Daily study of the Word blesses us over time and we come to understand more about the God upon whom we are to rely. We also benefit by studying the Word in community, such as in group Bible studies.
- Fellowship With God’s People – We often think that drawing near to God is a very solitary thing that we do in a secluded place. But God comes near to us through Christian fellowship, and many times when we do not feel God on our own, we find that we have a strong experience of His presence when in a community. Bible study groups, prayer groups and simply socializing with other believers can be a way to experience God’s nearness.
- Hearing the Word Preached – If we have all of these practices established, do we really need to go to church? When the Word of God is faithfully preached, it has power because it is enlivened by the Holy Spirit, and through it we are brought nearer to God. Find a church that preaches the Bible and let the Holy Spirit make the connection between you and God.
God loves you unconditionally. By following the above steps and by being patient with yourself, you can drawer near to God and have a closer and more fulfilling relationship with him!