BY ELLEN SUTLIFF & CANDIE BALDRIDGE
Have you ever woken up and said, “how did I get here?” At one time or another we all have. Maybe because we find ourselves in a situation that just a few years ago we would have NEVER thought we would be. Maybe it was because other people did things that ultimately affected our life. Regardless, we have all been at that place in our lives where we have looked in the mirror wondering how we are where we are and wondering how we are going to get out.
There are addicts that wake up most mornings asking this same question; how did I get here? These can be people who are addicted to work, money, drugs, pornography, sexual activities, drinking, or violence. Those things that take over the body, mind, and soul to a point where without it, they are in withdrawal. People who find themselves in this situation don’t start out their life headed down this road. It all starts with, “I can handle this and just try it once.” It quickly turns into, “I need more so I will do whatever it takes.”
These are addictions satan uses to oppress and keep people in bondage. Our enemy takes advantage of our natural man. He uses those three areas in which to tempt and if this person doesn’t have the Spirit living within them, this is all they know.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
As Christians, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I spiritually asleep and unaware of what’s going on around me; Am I so consumed with my own life and problems that I don’t want to recognize other people’s problems?” Or are we those who have no compassion for people in this situation? I know that as for us, both of us have thought to ourselves a time or two, “If that person really cared about their children and their family, they would straighten up and get their life together.” That is until addiction hit close to home. I think it is important for us to remember this verse:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
We need to be bearing these burdens in prayer. We need to have compassion for those who find themselves in the grip of addiction. Does that mean we say it’s okay – of course not. Does that mean we enable them to continue in their addiction – NO! But does that mean we mark them off as unlovable and not worth our time? NO! People who are in the grips of bondage need Jesus; no matter what situation in which they find themselves. We are called to love them.
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is , Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31
The children of God must wake up from their spiritual sleep and have a burden for the lost and for those brothers and sisters in the Lord who find themselves in these places of addiction. We need to show the love of Jesus and show them that the hole in their lives they are trying to fill with their drug of choice should be filled with the Spirit of God.
Are you asking yourself how your loved one got to where they are? Are you tired of being the friend who always picks up the pieces? Or maybe you are that person who has just given up on your loved one and has no more compassion for their situation. Might we encourage you to keep praying. Lift them up to the greatest healer – Jesus.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Ellen Sutliff is a 52 year old pastor’s wife and a mother. In her congregation she has people with family members in the throws of addiction. She has old friends with people who are homeless and living in the woods because of addiction. Ellen has family who are slowly losing their lives to addiction. She has chosen to fight the good fight in prayer for those who struggle with these strongholds. “How did I get here? By the love, mercy and grace of God. He filled my heart with my Lord Jesus!”