The Drug Life
The Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3
In my addiction, I twisted God’s grace. Every time I used, I felt guilty, and asked forgiveness. I thought I meant it, but I didn’t change, so I was simply remorseful without repentance. In this delusional state, I embraced God’s mercy. I thought that being forgiven meant God would deliver me from the consequences of my actions.
I knew the destruction that would just naturally occur when my addiction came to light, but I saw God’s grace as a means of supernaturally avoiding the disaster. God, get me out of this. I’m not going to change, but you’ll forgive me. The God I claimed to follow was all love and mercy.
Nahum, in today’s passage though, paints a more terrifying portrait of God. In it, he says that Nineveh – whom Jonah once convinced to repent but who now returned to evil – was about to meet a vengeful, wrathful God. God may be slow to anger, but those who run from him, will eventually find disaster. Destructive behavior leads to destruction.
The addict struggles with this reality. Though he’s engaged in horrible behavior, once he sobers up for one day in treatment, he embraces forgiveness and expects all consequence to be undone. God’s forgiven me. Why do I still have to go to treatment? Why is my family still leaving me?
As Christians, we often misuse grace to disconnect cause from effect. We engage in hurtful behavior and then when the consequences naturally fall, we expect God to supernaturally deliver us. It is God though, who made natural laws. When we sow the seeds of the drug life, even if we claim to follow God, we reap the drug life fruit. Even as Christians, we should be terrified by the natural consequences of following our way.
We may be forgiven for all eternity, but evil actions still have evil repercussions here and now. Thankfully, the opposite is true as well. When we abandon ourselves to follow God, he grows life in us. Just as sowing the seeds of death leads to death, sowing the seeds of life leads to life (Galatians 6:7-8).