Using God to get Sober
Philippians 3:8-10 I have suffered the loss of all things . . . that I may know him . . .
It is natural to be skeptical of the faith of the one in jail or treatment. An addict often becomes hyper-religious in the wreckage of his life, but the insincerity of his faith is exposed once he is free and he returns to his destruction.
This is natural for many of us. We turn to God in our darkness, only to abandon him in the light. Most of us pray desperately only in our desperate need. It is not wrong to turn to God in pain. It is often in our pain that we understand our need for God.
The temptation though, is to see God as a tool. I want to be skinny or sober and I see God as a means to get there. In my self-addiction, I want self-improvement, not God. I do not need God. I just need recovery.
Again, it is not wrong to find God in our need. This is how many of us come to know him. At some point though, if we truly desire to be saved from ourselves, we must realize that being a Christian is not primarily about self-improvement. Christ died, not just so that I could be free from the disaster of me, but so that I could know God. God is not the means to an end. God is the end.
In today’s passage, Paul said that knowing Christ was everything to him. It was in his pursuit of Christ that he abandoned all else. He was transformed in this pursuit, but the transformed life was meaningless without knowing God.
In pursuing God above all, I certainly will be changed as I abandon my destructive pursuits. I will see that faith is not about using God to find sobriety. Faith is getting sober to find God. As He fills me with his joy and peace, I will see that I abandon me to pursue him above all. Knowing God is everything.