Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

The prodigal daughter

November 22, 2016

Blessed yesterday to be back in downtown. We even got to do some preaching :).
Towards the end of the day, God brought “Brandi” by. My guess is that she was around 30 years old. She is your typical homeless girl bound by heroin. She was raised in Alabama in a southern Baptist home. She has two kids who are being raised by her parents in two separate homes.

We listened to her story. And as we did, the Holy Spirit gave us some insight into where she was currently at spiritually. We shared and encouraged her that God is not very far away. In fact, he is just camped out next door. He is just waiting for her to turn to Him. She listened.

We reminded her of the “Prodigal son” story, of which she had heard many times before. However, we put her into the story as the “Prodigal daughter”. The Father is there waiting with open arms to through a party upon her return, but she just has to get to the point where she “has spent all”, and “comes to herself”.

We also reminded her that she is indeed responsible for that which she knows. And of course being raised “Southern Baptist”, she knows about Jesus and the salvation that He alone brings. It was good for her to be reminded of this, because in her sharing, she has allowed some demonic influence to change her thinking, which is so very common out on the streets.

We asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and said, “well, as long as I don’t have to stand here and close my eyes” . So we did.

She shared how she misses her kids. Heroin is no doubt nullifying the pain.

She seemed to have hope as we parted. Please pray for her. She could have been any one of our daughters. Thank you.

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Radical Meth addict has change of heart

April 19, 2012

I have known this guy for about six years. He has battled Meth and pornography ever since I have known him. He shared with me how the last time he was high (approx. 90 days ago) it sent him over the brink. It was the one high that scared him enough to want to start to change and to continue.

Of course, one of the major effects of Meth is “paranoia”. And, it gets worse and worse with each use. His last time using, he was on one of the commuter trains in the city and saw this guy who he taught was staring at him. Then his mind (through the demonic spirit of the drug) told him that this guy was after him and was out to kill him. This night, my friend had taken a knife with him. Now, he was contemplating slitting this guys throat. He was just seconds away from going up to some innocent man and doing him in. It was all played out in his mind.

THEN GOD STEPPED IN

The next stop, the train security boarded to do their usual ride along. This of course took on a major turn in his paranoia. The next stop, out he bolted and took the back alleys home. He basically went back to his apartment and stayed inside the rest of his time while still high. God had him locked up inside until he came down.

A couple of days later we heard of this story.

He shared how this had never happen before. Never was there such deception and fear. This time he was truly fearful. He had never thought it would get to this point. So close to something that would change his life forever. And, the guilt that he would have to live with the rest of his life.

This brother has always had a heart for God. He would come around when we were preaching, passing out tracts, or just talking to someone about Jesus. On many occasions, he would ask for tracts to pass out himself. Most of the time when he wasn’t high, he would be seen walking or sitting around downtown. Many have prayed for him for a very long time.

And now, I am blessed to say that he is 90 days clean. He is coming to our Tuesday night mall gatherings and we are seeing great advancement spiritually. God is doing an incredible work in this mans life. He has had enough. He truly wants change. His last time was enough to scare him into change. That is God’s love in real action! Loving him enough to allow this to happen, to allow it to get to this point to where he would change. What a God!

Just to share a testimony of how his heart has been changed since. Last week, he was walking down the sidewalk, he heard this girl screaming. He looked across the street and this guy was beating this girl to a pulp. So, he ran over there and jumped in to help. He got between the car door and the girl when the driver punched the gas and it knocked him over the door on to the road. Later, all bruised up and bloody, he saved the girl. The police, the paramedics showed up, and they went to the hospital. A bystander was able to get the licence plate number, and by now, hopefully they are locked up.

Here is a guy that once used prostitutes. Now he was saving their lives at the risk of his own. Now that’s heart change!

 

The Prison House

March 28, 2012

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This prison is not your literal prison. It doesn’t have all the high fences with barb/razor wire. It doesn’t have the guard stations and towers where they watch everything you do. No, but this prison is common to everyone in humanity. We all have been here at least one time in our lives. Sad to say, most are still locked up here behind the walls. They are confined and held captive. They are not free, despite what they may think. They think that they are free because there are no literal walls, cells, bars, fences, prison guards etc. However, in this prison they do have certain privileges just like the literal prisons do. They can watch TV. They can go to the gym and workout. They can play basketball, if they want. They can eat, and of course, sleep. They can talk on the phone to a love one. In fact, they can even go to work while still in this prison. There are lots of similarities between the two.

But, we are not talking about a “literal” prison here. This prison is the Mother of all prisons.  It is way more confining, and in the end, more damaging to the human race than all the prison houses combined.

And what is this Prison House? What is this prison that everyone has been in, or is currently in? IT IS THE PRISON HOUSE OF SIN. It has been around since the beginning of mankind. The first man and woman were its original inmates and Satan is still the master of the house. This prison dates back before there were literal prisons. It is the oldest “International Prison” in the world. And, only one thing and one thing only keeps its occupants enslaved, and that is SIN.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23)

“But Scripture has shown that all mankind are the prisoners of sin,” (Gal.3:22a)

Sin imprisons you, that is what it does. Its the nature of the beast. It takes you captive. It causes you to do things that you don’t want to do. It can so enslave you to the point that upon first waking up in the morning you would run to it against your own will. It could so control ones body, that their own will would take second place to the addiction. I know that for many this would be hard to believe, but it’s true.  Some have been so trapped by the ravages of sin, that they no longer have any say in the matter. Sin is their master, and a very hard one at that. Their bodies are so addicted to the substance that it would be the same as if they would have a noose around their neck and were being led to the gallows to be hung for good. For some, the only hope they have is a straight miracle from God. Not even the best program, nor the best treatment center in the world could help deliver them.

But, lets bring it more down home for a moment. To the everyday common person, so to speak. Most are not out on the streets shooting heroin, or Meth, or smoking crack. But, the prison house is still the same house. Sin is still sin. God doesn’t have a scale in which he measures sin. Many times people say to me that they are not as bad as others. They will give some examples of others they might know or have known. It still remains, that sin brings forth death.  And spiritual death is separation from God. All have sinned, and it’s wages is paid in death, which is eternal separation from God.

While there are  “3 big hooks” that the enemy of our souls uses today, Drugs, Sex and Alcohol, there are many more subtle sins that keep one in bondage at the prison house. Some could be, cheating from their employer, using company time to do personal business. Many do not consider this as “stealing” from their employer, because time is not a tangible item such as taking tools, supplies etc. from their employer. But, stealing is stealing in God’s eyes, whither it be “tangible” or not.

Usually, sin leads to some sort of addictive behavior. It could be flirting with the office secretary which started at first with one look. It then became an everyday thing which eventually led to going out to dinner with her and then over to her apartment. That’s the nature of the beast. It usually starts small, but oh, the end result could be very damaging, and in some cases, effect many people.

Another classic addiction found in the prison house is online pornography. It’s one of the most prevalent “closet addictions” there is. It’s one that can be hidden for many years. However, it cannot be hidden from God who see’s all and knows all.

The Good News is that there is a way out of the prison house if one truly wants out. No, it’s not by “good behavior” or trying to be a good person. Or by “doing your time”. It’s not by “will power” either. Taking prescription drugs to lessen the addiction does not set one free either. In a lot of cases, this just makes the addiction legal. It is not even by going to “AA” or “NA” meetings. These can be beneficial in some ways, but if all one gets is their own “higher power” and they do not get THE KEY to get out and stay out, they will remain stuck behind the walls regardless. These meetings, prescription drugs, will power and the like, are certainly not the cure for sin, which is the only “Key” to getting out of prison. Many have tried to free themselves from the bondage of sin, only to find themselves right back where they left off in relapse. And, in a lot of cases, worse off then they were when they first started.

Many have cured their main addiction through “self-helps”, only to replace it with “smaller ones” which are still sin, which still keeps them enslaved in the House. So, you can still be “clean and sober” yet still be locked up.

Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” ( John 8:36 ). True freedom can only be found in Jesus. Only through the finish work of Christ on the cross can one be freed from the prison house. And that, one must embrace it personally by faith. And, only by “abiding in Christ” can one remain out of prison. One gets the “release” from the house, but then, one must remain daily in Him to stay out of prison for good. If one breaks the law of God (His word), and continues therein, (key word “continues”) they will end up back in the House.

So, Christ is the “Key” to getting out, and the “Key” to staying out. Unless one receives the Key which was purchased by His blood on Calvary, there is NO getting out. No Christ, No getting out. Know Christ, then get out. We must also remember that this Prison is one that has been designed ultimately for eternity. In eternity, once one is there, there is NO getting out forever.

While this post mainly addresses the “unbeliever” in the prison house, it is surely also for the “believer”. If we as believers, are engaged in habitual sin, then we also are in the house. We may be going to church, bible study, meetings, and witnessing etc. But if sin is mastering us, we are enslaved, saved or not. And, we can go no further in our walk/relationship with God, until we are released from prison and set free.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn.1:9)

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom.6:1-2)