The journey of a person who is truly striving for recovery —who truly wants and works for sobriety on a regular basis — is very similar to the journey of a person who is truly striving for Jesus. Both people are human, with flaws in personality or character. Both people have pasts, probably full of mistakes they would change if they could, but now they can only face up to the truth of those actions and try to make amends. Both people are looking to a bright future and following a set of principles and prescriptions to get there.
In many cases, both people are actually one person, and if you’re a Christian in addition treatment or recovery, here are three Scriptures to read and meditate on during your journey. As you read them, notice how the story about our own lives that Jesus tells us is one of transformation; to become Christian is to be made whole spiritually. When you are spiritually whole in Christ, you can wield the weapons of the Spirit, such as faith or prayer, to help you in your transformation of addiction recovery.
Romans 12:1-2: A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
In many Bibles, the first section of Romans 12 is labeled “A Living Sacrifice.” While the header calls out a specific phrase in the Scripture itself, it’s also a play on words. In his letter to the Romans, Paul is reminding readers that Christ became a living sacrifice for each person; to receive the benefit of that sacrifice, all you have to do is believe in the gospel message and allow the Spirit of Christ into your heart.
Once you do that, though, Paul says that it’s your turn to become the living sacrifice. You don’t have to physically die, but instead you turn to God and God’s ways, offering your body and your life and allowing the Spirit to transform and renew your mind. Instead of conforming to the world, you conform to the image that God provided you in Jesus. The world says drink, do drugs, care not about your body and certainly don’t care about your soul. Jesus says to follow God’s commands, to treat your body as a temple and to put the care of your soul above the cares of the flesh.
Jeremiah 18:6: Clay to the Potter
He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. Jeremiah 18:6
It’s not always easy to turn from the world and avoid conforming to what is around you. Similarly, it’s not easy to turn from drugs or alcohol and avoid returning to the cycle of addiction. Luckily, when you place yourself in God’s hands, you don’t have to do all of the work. Turning your life and your problems over to God doesn’t magically erase them —and faith doesn’t automatically turn off all the trials of addiction recovery — but when you invite him to do so, God can act mightily in your life and on your behalf.
Jeremiah was a prophet of the Lord, sent to Israel during a time when both the kings of Israel and Judah, as well as the people, were turning away from God. Jeremiah is known as the Weeping Prophet because he cried out in sorrow at the visions God gave him and at the messages he was to bring to Israel; because Israel was conforming to the world, God could not give them the good gifts he wanted to. Instead, he was going to let them be overtaken by neighboring kingdoms; Jerusalem would fall and the Lord’s temple would be destroyed.
Even though all of this came to pass, constant threads of a transformation message are seen through Jeremiah’s writings. Israel was like clay, and God was the potter. During that time, the clay was being worked and molded and fired so that it could become a strong, useful vessel.
Sometimes, we are being worked like clay in the same way. Addiction recovery can certainly feel like that, but remember that on the other side, you come out stronger and more able to function in the world again.
2 Corinthians 3:18: Transformed in His Image
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Every Christian who follows Jesus is being transformed. Often, Christians talk about being saved by Christ as if it happened once, recently or long ago, and it is done. Really, though, Christians are being saved daily — constantly — by this ongoing transformation that comes from the glory of the Lord.
Recovery is a lot like that. You didn’t quit drugs or alcohol this one time recently or long ago. As an addict in treatment or recovery, you are actively quitting drugs or alcohol all of the time. Many people don’t understand that it’s a constant action on your part, even if it does get easier with time and practice. That’s one reason it’s important to surround yourself with support systems during recovery who do understand the need for ongoing transformation.
If you’re dealing with a new desire to quit or you can’t find your way out of addiction and into the journey of recovery, the Road to Freedom can help. Call us at (844) 402-3605 any time of the day or night to find out how.