Why God Doesn’t Want You To Be An Addict

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. Jeremiah 29:11-14

Whether it feels like it or not, God has a plan for your life-a good one. Though it seems that your existence has been one of exile, God intends to restore you and bring you nearer to Himself than you have ever been. Enslavement to a behavior or a substance is never God’s will for us. God never intended for you to be an addict.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

While it may seem hard to believe, God has individual purposes for you. And they go beyond a lifelong struggle with addiction. Caught up in our appetites and cravings, we can be of little good in the world. How can we consider how we might serve God when we are compelled to serve our constant need for a fix?

Understand that your addiction is not punishment. While we may experience the unpleasant consequences of our actions, Jesus Christ is the one who paid the penalty for your sin on the cross. What God has for you now is favor, love, grace, and another chance. Embrace this love and this opportunity to grow in Him.

The Apostle Paul seemed to understand the concept of craving and addiction better than any other Biblical author:

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. …For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:15-25

God did not design your addiction or your weaknesses as a trap for you. However, He may have allowed them to come into your life so that you would learn to trust and rely upon Him for your every need.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

God has given you every good thing. But as many addicts have seen, too much of a good thing can be destruction. It is for each of us to decide how we must live our lives in order to be of maximum service to God and our fellows in the world. The Bible does not forbid alcohol, but if alcohol causes us to stumble in life, harm others, become a bad influence, or if it drives a wedge between our relationship with God, we have to honestly consider whether or not the consumption of alcohol is “helpful.” As God’s free children, we should avoid anything that would enslave us unnecessarily.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

God intended us to live lives of freedom. His love for you is infinite and He desires to shower it upon you. Your decision to be sober and to recover is the act of removing an imposing idol. Ask God to help you and He surely will do it. A life of freedom and a vibrant relationship with Him is His will for you.