As addicts enter recovery, each will travel an individual path in reestablishing a relationship with God. For some, it will be rocky in places, others will feel God’s sustaining grace at every turn, and some will realize the faith they thought they had before is nothing compared to the genuine love and trust in God they now experience. While each person comes to faith or returns to faith in a unique way, there are some similar steps in the progression. If faith feels lacking, don’t despair. Reconciliation and relationship with God is a journey, not a destination. Keep walking forward, one step at a time. On the road from addiction to Christian based recovery, addicts progress through the following stages:
Prayer for Deliverance
At this point, many Christians will pray that God will deliver them from their sin and addiction. These prayers may even be very sincere. Yet, it seems they are going unheard and unanswered. Periods of improvement and control may come, but they are usually brief. The addiction worsens, and the future seems even bleaker.
Believing God Can Help YouAnd That He Will
Many Christians know that God has the power to save and transform them, but they doubt that he will. Remember that God loves you. You are His child, and He desires a life of abundance for you. Believe not only that He has the power to heal but that He genuinely wants to restore you.
Reaching Out to God
This can be a simple prayer that Jesus would come into your heart and lead you out of addiction by the power of his Spirit. No special words or eloquent prayers are required—just your authentic need.
Feeling God Reach Back
Many Christians will begin to sense and will continue to sense that God is near to them. He is helping, comforting, and guarding against temptation. Look for pieces of evidence of God’s presence, and you will find them.
Desire for Autonomy
Addiction mimics the first sin by Adam and Eve, a desire to be independent of God, to snatch our pleasures for ourselves rather than receive them from his own hand. This may be in the form of alcohol, drugs, sex, food, or any other idol we rely on in place of God. This is full-blown addiction; there is little desire or motivation to do otherwise.
Confession & Repentance, Acceptance of Responsibility
Though God loves you intensely, your sin separates you from him. To restore fellowship with God, there is a need for confession and repentance—a desire to turn from your old ways. This is not about making yourself perfect before God. It is about being honest about who you are and who you desire to be in Him. This stage will continually repeat throughout the Christian life.
In addition to traditional addiction treatments such as educational groups, therapy and relapse prevention planning, in Christian based recovery, they offer the following:
- Christian-centered therapy led by Christian drug counselors
- Bible study
- Regular church attendance
- Participation in Celebrate Recovery support groups
- Prayer and meditation
- Application of the scriptures to addiction recovery
- 12-Step meetings
- Religious activities in the community, such as Christian concerts and church barbecues