Slave to the Drug
He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Hebrews 2:14-15
It’s not like I have a choice. People think I like living this way. I don’t. I hate it. I just can’t stop. I know I make horrible decisions, but I’m stuck in this life. I can’t get out.
As I listened to the words of this young man drowning in his addiction, I couldn’t help but remember living in the same condition. In my addiction, I knew I had a problem, but I couldn’t stop. I’d indulged in the same self-destructive behavior so many times that I was a slave to the drug. It made my decisions. I longed to be set free and I believed God was the answer. So, I prayed, asking him to set me free. The next day though, I was back using. I became disillusioned with God. Why don’t you deliver me? Don’t you care? Are you even there?
A lot of us have been here. We struggle with some self-destructive thought or behavior which controls us. We’re enslaved. We believe in God though, and so we ask him for freedom. Some people do get the instant miracle with certain struggles, but miracles, by definition, are rare. Most of us have had the experience of feeling like God just doesn’t answer. Why is that? Doesn’t God care? Is he even there?
Looking back, I can see that I simply didn’t like his answer. I can now see that Christ offered me a way out. He opened my prison door and he set me free. Then, however, he asked that I follow him out of my prison. It was that following that I refused to do. When I went to God, asking for freedom, he told me to confess, go to treatment, and do whatever it took to abandon my old life. I said no, and so I remained imprisoned and enslaved, while accusing him of abandoning me.
Through Christ, we are reconciled to God for a relationship with him. We can experience freedom if we will follow Christ to the new life. We’re also free however, to remain in the old life. The problem is that remaining in the old life often seems easier than pursuing the new one. Whenever I encounter those struggling like the individual I mentioned earlier, I always offer to get them into treatment. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they refuse, choosing to remain where they are. God offers us new life in Christ but it’s up to us to follow him into it.