Addiction and alcoholism has literally reached epidemic proportions, especially when we consider the wider scope of addiction to sex, gambling, disordered eating and technology. Theories and speculation abounds as to whether the problem is hereditary or sociological, a medical disease, moral failing, or trauma response. Perhaps any or all of these play a role to some degree, but what every addict and alcoholic knows is that substance abuse, whether liquid, synthetic, or organic, has the power to turn a person into someone they don’t want to be.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience, not just human beings having a spiritual experience. This consummate hijacking of our personalities, and the resulting destructive behaviour, can also be seen as a kind of demonic influence. Opening our minds and hearts to substances over which we have no control opens the door for negative and harmful entities to enter and assume control of our mind/body/spirit connection.
And this is exactly why Jesus Christ is our most powerful ally against the deadly nature of addiction, alcoholism and related behaviours.
“And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and
cry out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” Mark 3:11
“And when evening had come they brought to Him many who were demon possessed; and
he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” Matthew 6:16
When we call upon His holy name, and apply the same faith in Jesus that we avowed to substance use, we can be healed from the affliction, from the terror and darkness that addiction can bring; both before we get sober, and also during the dark nights of the soul which we are susceptible to even after years in recovery.
“A double-minded person is unstable in all their ways.” James 1:8
Is there a more apt description of being ‘under the influence’ of mind and mood altering substances and behaviours? Clearly the Bible and our Lord have something to offer our us. The method whereby we can avail ourselves of the healing power of Jesus Christ is simple and available to everyone: we must call upon His holy name with all the faith we can muster, and with confident expectation of success.
“I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt 17:20
There are many situations for the recovering person where competent medical and professional psychological help is needed and appropriate. The best healing approach for the addict or alcoholic is wholistic: not only in scope, but also with respect to prioritizing the approach to healing modalities.
When we are secure in our personal relationship with God, and within our Church community where we petition His healing power together, we become rooted in emotional and spiritual security. From this place of confidence, we can ask God to guide us to the the doctors, psychologists, and other health care professionals that are best suited to our individual needs. From this place of being grounded in spiritual strength, the healing of our minds and bodies follows naturally.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; rely not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Wholly relying on God for guidance is infinitely easier than trying to figure out recovery on our own, or by relying too heavily on any human source. He is available 24/7: all day, every day and all night, every night. He waits for us to call on Him, to follow Him, and trust that He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
“… neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39