Working Your Way Back to God
Addicts seeking recovery often choose Christian rehab centers because they know that getting well and living free of the bondage of addiction is about more than quitting the abuse of a substance or a destructive behavior. It is about coming to know God, understanding His grace, feeling His presence and experiencing His healing power—the same power that will keep us sober and help us to live lives that honor Him.
We knew that a vital piece of the puzzle would be reconnecting with God during rehab. Whether or not we were Christians when we came to recovery, many of us felt, deep down, that we did not stand right before God. We saw the people of faith around us and the peace and sanity that seemed to characterize their lives and we too wanted something like this. We wondered how we would make this relationship with God work. We wondered what we had to do to ensure that we too could experience this life-changing partnership. Maybe we tried to pray or read the Bible, and some of us were quite disciplined in that. But somehow it didn’t feel quite real. It wasn’t what we were looking for and we sensed there was something more.
God Meets You
The amazing and beautiful thing is that we don’t have to figure out how to get back to God or how to get right with God. God doesn’t stand far off expecting us to figure it out, to fix ourselves up or to make ourselves holier, cleaner or better. This is not how this relationship works.
Christian recovery is devoted to helping addicts understand what this vital relationship with God is really all about. Yes, we need help getting the addiction out of our lives. We need to get sober and learn how to live clean. But more than that, we need to understand the truth of who God is, what His love and grace are all about and what it means to have a personal relationship with Him.
We didn’t need more rules or guidelines. We knew we had already sinned, that we had transgressed God’s Law. And while we felt the shame of that, we also felt futility. We knew we needed to somehow be better, but we didn’t even know where to start. The disease of addiction was too powerful.
The key was not figuring out some system of getting back to God. The solution was not in some self-help method that would ensure a powerful and fulfilling spiritual relationship with our Maker. The key was connection. The key was the humility that could admit powerlessness and open us up to God’s rescue. We began to welcome Him and His power and presence. And when we did we realized that all that was required was willingness. There wasn’t any magical formula. God was doing for us what we hadn’t been able to do for ourselves.
In this relationship, God meets us. When we are desperate, when we can no longer hold up the façade of being a “good person,” when we have nothing left to give, God draws near. Our need summons Him. And when we hit bottom, and reach that place where we can no longer fix ourselves and we can no longer see what a healthy relationship with God looks like, He comes in and makes it real.
If you are trying to reconnect with God and feel defeated in that, try a different approach. What is needed is not our good works, but our humility, honesty and willingness. These are the offerings that please God. Be ready to meet Him on his terms and He will come to meet you.
Choose a better life. Choose recovery.