So, what does God know about drugs?

So, what does God know about drugs?

He knows they mess people up
He knows they wreck families
He knows they steal life.......
 He knows they take people captive.

If you're really serious about coming off them (and you'll need to be; it's not easy, this isn’t a game) then God can stand beside you and set you free from them.

Here's just a sample of what God says about life-controlling addictions of any kind:
“For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.  They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.  But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:3-5)
Or as 'The Message' puts it: “You've already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life.  Now it's time to be done with it for good.  Of course, your old friends don't understand why you don't join in with the old gang anymore.  But you don't have to give an account to them.  They're the ones who will be called on the carpet - and before God himself.” (1 Peter 4:3-5)
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Or as 'The Message' says in v3:  “We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.  It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.”
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.  So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.” (Romans 13:12-13)
(Jesus said ...) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin …” (Romans 6:6)
Or as 'The Message' puts it: “Could it be any clearer?  Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life, no longer at sin's every beck and call!” (Romans 6:6)
 
“That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives.  Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life.  Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time, remember, you've been raised from the dead! - into God's way of doing things.  Sin can't tell you how to live.  After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer.  You're living in the freedom of God.”
(Romans 6:12 - 14 from 'The Message')
"Yeh!  Yeh!  This 'God stuff!'  It's just for 'nice' people.  Right?"
Wrong!
 
Jesus died on the cross in our place to pay the price in full for all the stuff we've ever said and done that was wrong. All of it, no matter what you might or might not have done.  Nothing you've done will shock God when you tell him about it.  He knows everything about you anyway.

Nothing comes as a surprise to him, he was there when you did it!
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray,each of us has turned to his own way: and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isaiah 53:6

Jesus demonstrated this point many times:
 
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth.  "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.  While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and 'sinners' came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"  On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."” (Matthew 9:9-13)

'The Message' puts it this way: “Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?  Go figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion'. I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders." (Matthew 9:12-13)
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'  But the tax collector stood at a distance.  He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."” (Luke 18:9-14)
(Note: tax collectors were a despised breed)
See also Luke 7:36-50 for more of the same.


A man called Paul had this to say in a letter he wrote to a young man called
Timothy: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:13-16)
Or as 'The Message' says: “Here's a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.  I'm proof - Public Sinner Number One - of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy.  And now he shows me off - evidence of his endless patience - to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
 
"Yeh!  Yeh!  Listen!  I've done too much to be forgiven.  God can't do anything for me!  He can't forgive what I've done.  Right?"

Wrong!!
There is nothing, absolutely nothing beyond God's ability to forgive if you mean business with him.  If you're brave enough to call sin what it is: sin, and turn your back on it, then Jesus is still in the business of setting captives free, truly free, free within.  He is able to forgive you ... whether you've been involved in dealing, rape, theft, incest, addiction of any kind, (drugs, alcohol, pornography ...), murder, fraud ...
 
Am I making the point?
"Yeh!  Yeh!  It's just so many words.  Right?"

Wrong!!

Let Tim tell you his story....
 
"My first prominent memories as a child consisted of terrible physical and mental abuse from a drunken father.  Of forever being told that lads don't cry and show emotion.

I was never shown love and it was never mentioned, so I grew up with some very twisted morals and some very sick ideas of how to treat other people.  I was like a time bomb just waiting to explode.

At this time, my family started going to church and I first discovered the reality of Jesus, but I was too wrapped up in my own self-pity, anger and resentment which was eating away at the inside of me to really let go of me and embrace Christ wholeheartedly.
 
Because of my upbringing, I thought I had to deal with all of these problems in my life myself to prove that I was a 'man'.  I didn't understand that Jesus wanted me to hand over all my hurt and fear to him so he could deal with it and fill me with his love and peace instead.


 
I was so messed up inside, I decided to do things under my own strength, so I ditched church and began to run wild, real wild.  Violence on the inside started to come out and show on the outside.  After all, it was all I'd ever experienced as a child and I presumed it was the 'norm'.  The other reason I was violent was because it made me feel a bit better inside, as if I was in control for a change.  I had power and people had to listen to me.  At age 15, I was drinking heavily.  Two days after my 17th birthday, I was in prison on remand for nearly killing a man in a violent, drunken rage.  I was sent down. All prison did for me was to introduce me to the drugs scene and provide me with a criminal education.  I was refused parole because of my disruptive behaviour and the violent nature of my offences.
 
When I was eventually released, years later, I decided to make up for the lost time inside by throwing myself into the fast lane, big time.  It was 1990 by this point and the 'rave' scene had just arrived around Britain.  I was attracted to it like a magnet.  I experimented with all the fast drugs I could get my hands on and smoked dope too but my favourite drug was ecstasy.
All my life, I'd been deprived of love so this drug seemed to fill that void.  So I thought.  It seemed to dull the pain inside.  But it was a lie, a false reality. This futile situation went on for about 4 years and to sustain my habit, I was dealing and involved in a criminal lifestyle.  Prison had taught me well ...  I knew ways of evading the  police.  In my own mind, I was invincible.
 
Gradually, insidiously, the buzz these drugs gave me, the sense of well-being began to wear off and the pain, anger and loneliness that they had been masking re-surfaced to rip into me again.  My head was getting completely messed up by now.  I just longed for that feeling of escape that I'd got when I first took ecstasy, but I realised by now that it wasn't real, but I was in too deep.  I just wanted to be loved, really loved and knowing that I wasn't just added to my pain and hopelessness.  There had to be more point to my life than this.  Was I born just to live a life of hurt, pain, loneliness and confusion? So I turned to heroin.  This was the beginning of a 3½ year nightmare of the deepest, blackest despair it is possible for a human to experience. I was mainlining within months and yes, you guessed it, dealing to feed my habit of £100 a day at one point. Crime was second nature by now.  No alternative was in sight.  I was a total mess, physically and mentally.  Spiritually dead. I looked awful and hated everyone, especially my parents for bringing me into this futile world, just to exist in this waking nightmare which seemed to have no way out with no way of waking up.

Towards the end of 1998, five people I knew died from heroin related causes.  Was I next?  An overdose?  I felt as though I could die of broken, empty despair any time.  I can't really begin to truly describe the awfulness of it but maybe you know.  Maybe you've been there.  Maybe you're there right now. I couldn't turn to so-called friends because they had dumped me long ago and looking back, who can blame them. Even my GP and Psychiatrist gave up on really helping me.  I was hopeless.
But there was one friend who had never given up on me.  One friend who was waiting for me to come to the end of myself and turn to him.
 
One day my brother took me to a meeting where a group of ex-drug addicts and alcoholics were just talking about how Jesus Christ had turned their lives around from death to life, from despair to hope, from emptiness to purpose.  I was withdrawing really badly that night.  I was in physical agony but I knew this was my time, this was my chance, this was God saying, "Remember me?  Come now, Tim.  Come now!"  I decided, right then and there to turn my life back to God.  After all, how had I done going it alone, doing things my way?  So I gave my life back to Jesus.  I accepted him as leader of my life.  Complete surrender.  He could do things his way from now on.  I was finished.

Two ministers laid their hands on my head and shoulders and prayed for me.  I mean really prayed like I was important or something.  As they prayed, the power of Almighty God swept over me and he took all the withdrawal and addiction clean out of my body and mind in an instant.  He broke my chains. Chains of addiction, chains of despair, chains of hopelessness.  I'd never felt so alive and free.  I was completely free of all cravings for drugs, all tortuous withdrawal symptoms.  I was released by the power of Almighty God, a God who had not given up on me, a God who had patiently waited for me to turn back to Him and acknowledge my need of Him.  That's not easy for a 'man' to do.  I had to get to the end of my rope before I'd do that.

The big grin on my face that night told the overall picture.  The feeling of true acceptance, real love that I had been looking for all my life, I had found in the person of Jesus Christ.  All the hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness and deep longing I had lived with all those years was gone and a peace that passes all understanding, the peace only God can give, had taken their place.
I can't blame God for how I'd been living my life up until that point.  That was down to me and the paths I'd chosen to walk.  Even my childhood wasn't God's fault, I was the victim of circumstance, the victim of man's flawed nature.  But God has put all that behind me now and wiped the slate clean.  It's as if He's made me new, made me over again.

I'm not open to destructive sin any more, I'm hidden in Christ, I'm shielded by Him.  I've found my real 'Father' and I've found that he's a Father that cares deeply for his children, more than any human father ever can.
All my life, I'd been searching for real love but until now, I'd not found it.  Eventually, I'd turned into a cold-hearted, emotionless head case, but that was only a fake outer shell.  Buried deep inside was the child calling out to be accepted, to be loved.
Jesus heard that cry and called me into his arms.  He wiped away all my hurt and anger, all my shame and guilt, he forgave me and gave me a new start, a fresh page.  But what blew me away, was that he accepted me for what I was and not for what I could give him in return.  His love is a free gift of grace, you can't earn it, you don't deserve it and you can never repay him.
Now I feel real joy, a simple joy I've never experienced before, at just being alive without needing to reach for a needle or pop a pill.  Jesus is in the driving seat now and I know He wants the best for me.  He's my closest personal friend who's always with me.  He's helping me to rebuild my life, His way and even to gain back the respect of my natural family.  Jesus is all I want and definitely all I need.  Don't think you've got a problem or ircumstance that He can't deal with, because He can.  He is the one that created this whole universe that we live in, He is the one that created you.  You matter to Him.  Does He matter to you?  He's right there beside you, just waiting for you to call out His name.

His name is ... Jesus."

Tim is out now and training at Teen Challenge (a youth equipping centre) in Wales in order to take this message of hope, that God can still set you free today, to other addicts and inmates across this country, on the streets, in prisons and remand centres.  Tim's story is just one of many.

If you're serious about making your peace with God, coming off drugs/alcohol and finding out about him for yourself (don't take mine or anyone else's word for it) then he's serious about finding you.  What have you got to lose?  Only anger, fear, bitterness, self-hatred, emptiness, darkness ...
 
Ask the Chaplain about finding God, about getting off drugs, about finding the real purpose for your life (and there is one: that's why you're reading this).  They'll know how to help you.  It's up to you.  God didn't make you as a robot without free will.  He doesn't force anybody to come to him He wants you to come to him freely.  You may be in prison/on remand/on rehab, but freedom, inner freedom, cannot be denied you if you mean business with God.

Jesus made this clear: “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No-one comes to the Father except through me."“ (John 14:6)
“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
The same passage from 'The Message' reads like this: “I am, right now, Resurrection and Life.  The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live.  And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all.  Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26)
A man called Peter said of Jesus: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)
If you believe, truly believe, these words from the Bible, then if you're ready (and you'll have to be: Christianity for real is not for wimps) pray the following prayer.  Prayer is just talking (and listening) to God.  No fancy rules.  No great technique, just say the words in your heart and God will hear you.
"Jesus, you died on the cross for the stuff I've said and done that was wrong.  I'm sorry you had to do that because of those things I did that were wrong.  I remember them, and I'm sorry.  I want to put things right with you.  I want to start again.  Will you wash me clean?  Please forgive me, God. I want to know your forgiveness and I turn from my mistakes.  I want to live for you from this moment on."
If you've done that, this is what God says to you personally ...
“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Good move!  You'll never be the same again!  Tell the Chaplain about it.


 
I'll finish with another personal promise God makes to you: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)