by Eric Dunbar
Thank God for His grace! It is because of God’s grace that we, who were once addicted can say “No more drugs for me!” Do not be deceived friend, it is not because of your effort — because you attend AA or NA meetings — that you are no longer a substance abuser. The scriptures tell us that it is not by our strength nor by our own power that we are made clean, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). Understand that it is purely because of God’s grace that you are free of your addiction.
Through God’s mercy He gives us grace (unmerited favor). You see, God’s law says we deserve to live defeated lives as substance abusers. Instead God’s mercy gives us the victory over our addiction because God is merciful. The Bible is filled with illustrations of God’s mercy. The apostle Paul is a great illustration of God’s grace in action.
Paul says, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).
I can totally understand Paul’s rationale. When I used to smoke crack cocaine I was a thief, a liar, and the worst kind of person that anyone could be. But I thank God for grace, for it was through God’s grace that I saw God’s mercy. It was through my addiction to crack that I realized that Christ came into the world to save sinners. Because of God’s grace I was shown mercy that Jesus Christ might show His abundant longsuffering in me first as a pattern for those who are going to believe Him for deliverance from an addiction. It is because of that grace that I can say, “No more drugs for me.” Now I am thankful to Christ Jesus our Lord for counting me faithful to put me in this position to minister to you.
I challenge you to stop trying to be good and allow God to make you good. Begin to see yourself as you are and then you will know how much you need the grace of God to change you into the person God intended you to be. My friend, the grace of our Lord is abundant, full of faith and love, and He has given you that abundant grace through His Son.
Remember, Christ came into the world to save sinners not the other way around. Look at it this way: Christ came into the world to save you from your addiction. He did not come to save you after you come clean of your addiction, but to save you and make you clean. Trust in the finish work of Christ, and rest in what He has done and by the grace of God you too can say , “No more drugs for me!”