What does choosing God mean to you? Today, I welcome a new guest to the blog. As I read his story of faith, addiction, and recovery, that very question penetrated my thoughts. How many of us claim to believe in God, yet find justification to live as we want, rather than as a child of God? Our feelings lead us astray and sin is always a temptation, but choosing God should make the difference in the face of those temptations. Do we keep God at a distance? Do we view Him as strict and not wanting us to have fun? Is it about religion instead of relationship?
I think it’s something we all must intentionally assess from time to time. And today, as Trevor McDonald shares his powerful story of faith in recovery, he reminds us what choosing God has the power to do.
How My Faith Helped Me Overcome Addiction
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – Corinthians 10:13
Never in my life did I think I’d be in a place without faith.
But that’s where the path of addiction took me.
Years of drug abuse did a number on my brain. Not only was I addicted to heroin, but I had become severely depressed. I didn’t see a purpose beyond what I was doing, and I knew I was far from doing God’s work.
It was in those dark moments that I realized how wrong I had always been about my faith.It was in those dark moments that I realized how wrong I had always been about my faith. -Trevor McDonald | #faithinrecovery #choosinggod #hope Click To Tweet
An unexpected revelation
When I was hovering somewhere around rock bottom, I realized that my life of faith had been somewhat of a lie.
Let me explain…
You see, even though I believed in the Lord as my Savior, deep down I thought I was somehow special. I believed that the Lord and I were like buddies. As long as I kept believing, he would never let me down. I thought that faith would protect me from the evils of the world. But I had it all wrong.When I was hovering somewhere around rock bottom, I realized that my life of faith had been somewhat of a lie. -Trevor McDonald #choosinggod #recovery Click To Tweet
Faith alone will not protect you from sin. It won’t hold you back from making poor choices, at least, not in the way I thought it would.
Even when I was doing things that didn’t align with my faith, I thought God would hold me back from real harm because I was a believer. Sure, things would get bad. I’d learn lessons. But He wouldn’t let me sink too far. At least, that’s what I thought.
This is how I came to lose my faith. And it was all my fault.
I had a naïve understanding of things. So when I fell hard, I blamed God. I thought he was supposed to protect me from evil. But why would he protect me when evil is exactly the path I chose?
Understanding free will
It wasn’t until after I chose a path of recovery that I saw how wrong I was.
The first part of recovery is very much focused on taking responsibility for your actions. And one day, it all clicked. My choices led me down this path.
To be clear, I didn’t choose to be an addict. No one in their right mind would do that. Addiction is a disease that eventually takes control away from the addict. And it’s important to note that the addiction epidemic has claimed many victims who never intended on losing control over their lives.
But when I was prescribed opioids for back pain, I took more than I knew I should have. It relieved the pain and gave me a sense of euphoria. And then, I wanted more. I chose to take those pills that led me to addiction. My struggle may have been in God’s plan, but it was my free will that led me there.
What it means to choose God
All those days when I was spouting off about how others needed to choose the Lord as their Savior, I didn’t really understand what that meant. It was so obvious.
If I had understood what it meant to choose God, I wouldn’t have chosen the path of pleasure over the path of righteousness. I knew it was wrong, but in my mind, I was separating that choice and my relationship with God. I now know that they are one and the same.If I had understood what it meant to choose God, I wouldn’t have chosen the path of pleasure over the path of righteousness -Trevor McDonald #momentsofhope #choosingGod #addiction #giveaway Click To Tweet
Every day, we’re faced with an endless amount of choices. You can choose something that’s out of line with God’s Word and still maintain a relationship with Him. None of us are perfect.
But every poor choice will take you further away from God and your faith.
Fortunately, I realized the error of my ways, and I knew that God was ready and eager to take me back. With a renewed faith and a better understanding of what it means to walk with the Lord, I was able to face my demons head-on.
Faith in recovery and beyond
My lessons were hard learned, but I feel like I’m a better person and a better Christian for them.
If you’re in a bad place now, know that God sees you. He hasn’t turned his back to your plight. He’s simply waiting for you to reach out and take His hand.