What Role Does God Play in My Recovery?

Why Do We Assume Christians Don’t Struggle with Addiction?You’ve been crying out to God for years now, praying that he would heal you of your addiction, that he would help you to stand strong in the face of temptation and that he would, in the end, simply take away your life-controlling obsession with alcohol, drugs, porn, food, spending or whatever other substance or behavior has you in its grip.  You’ve repented, you’ve sought accountability, you’ve begged.

But it feels as if these pleas have fallen on deaf ears. You haven’t gotten better, you haven’t been healed and, if anything, it feels that the disease has only progressed. The battle is more intense than ever. Where is God? Where is his help in the fight for sobriety and recovery?

The First Step

Many of those who struggle with addiction have prayed endlessly to the point that they wonder if God is listening or if he really cares about their struggles. The reality is that God does care and he is hearing you … and suffering with you. But God often doesn’t work as we expect. We think we have been sincere in our prayers and that we have been humble before him, but many of us were still trying to hold on to the control and to do things our way.

More than anything, God wants your surrender, your humility and your honesty. This is where Step 1 comes in: “Admitted we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.” When we internalize this truth, when we stop trying to coerce God to do it our way, when we finally wave the white flag of defeat, we begin to see God work in ways we never imagined.

The connection between God and addiction recovery is not that of a sorcerer waving a magic wand and poof! The addict is healed. Yes, the Bible gives testimonies of spontaneous spiritual awakenings and miraculous healings, but this is not to be viewed as the norm. In most cases, the awakening is gradual and the healing progressive.

Finding Your Higher Power

The next step in Christian addiction treatment is Step 2, “Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Christians may initially wonder what “higher power” means. As a Christian, your higher power is the God of the Bible: the father, the son and the holy spirit. This is the God to which you pray and in which you will put your trust as you progress in recovery.

God’s Grace for Addicts

Each step you take in recovery is a walk with God and a leap of faith. But it is by taking these steps, by attending meetings, working with your sponsor and doing the work of recovery that you will see God’s power and grace working in your life and freeing you from the bondage of addiction. Your recovery work is not to bribe God to start helping you, as if you needed to show yourself worthy. You do not earn your salvation or your recovery. Rather, it is the step of faith in which you say, “I will walk forward believing he is with me.” And it is with this faith that you will see him move your mountains.

Pursuing God, Pursuing Recovery

If you are ready to put down the alcohol, the drugs or any other substances or behaviors that have taken you captive, a Christian treatment program for alcoholism or Christian drug rehab will be your first step toward clean, sober living. In this setting, you will not only start your recovery journey through the 12 steps, you will also begin to know what it means to have a relationship of love and faith with Jesus Christ. There may not be spontaneous miracles, but you will know the miracle of healing and grace. Seek the help you need today.