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The Death of an Addict, and the power of Jesus Christ

Death from addiction is an all too frequent thing. I see posts on Facebook about people dying from heroin overdoses, fentanyl overdoses, DUI wrecks, and a long list of other reasons rooted in addiction. That was almost my story. Then it became my story.

My brief story

I battled an addiction to pain medication for about 13 years. February 21, 2016, I unknowingly took some pills that were laced with something, and I blacked out while driving. I had 2 of my children in the car at the time. I drove for approximately 20 minutes then blacked out. That was a Sunday night. I woke up in the hospital Thursday morning.

The second time I was at work about two weeks later. I, again, unknowingly took some pills laced with something and blacked out driving my work truck. I got on the interstate and drove for about 10 minutes completely blacked out. I somehow managed to pull into a rest area, and park, before I completely passed out. That was a Monday. I woke up at home on Thursday.

Either one of those days I could’ve easily died and taken multiple people with me, including 2 of my children.

I almost died twice. Little did I know that two near overdoses were the event that would eventually lead to the death of this addict.

Jonathan Edwards and submission: “On January 12, 1723, I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had to God; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one that had no right to himself, in any respect. And solemnly vowed, to take God for my whole portion and felicity (source of happiness); looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were; and [to take] his law for the constant rule of my obedience: engaging to fight, with all my might, against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life. But I have reason to be infinitely humbled, when I consider, how much I have failed, of answering my obligation.”

Our “Higher Power” is Jesus Christ, only

Some recovery traditions make use of the phrase “Higher Power” as a reference to God. I have a very upfront criticism of this thought process. First, let me say that if yielding to some vague, anonymous “Higher Power” helps you stay sober then good. Staying sober is a great accomplishment, no matter how you do it. But to refer to a non-descript “Higher Power” is trying to make use of the power of Christ without acknowledging His legitimate authority to rule and reign over our lives. In essence, we want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to be free from our addictions, but we don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of submitting our lives to God. If we did that we might have to make some serious changes.

The choice to submit is really just a temporary illusion.

The Bible tells us that by the time this story concludes, every person who has ever lived will bow before the King of The Universe, acknowledging who He is, and bend in submission to who He is. It is the only possible outcome for us to be in a relationship with a Holy God. He deserves nothing less. We were created to worship.

We all worship something

People can claim to be atheists or agnostics if they want, but the evidence of God’s existence is in every single person who has ever lived. We are beings that were created to worship The Living God. That is our purpose in this life. God allows us the choice to worship Him or not, but we all worship something. Maybe it’s the old man down the road who spends countless hours a day pouring himself into his yard work, making his home and yard look immaculate. Maybe it’s the man who has old cars and spends crazy amounts of money buying, restoring, and maintaining his vehicles in pristine condition. Maybe it’s our sports team we know every single stat about, living and dying with each victory and loss. It can really be anything on earth, but the bottom line is you can easily see man’s penchant for worship in the way every single person pours themselves whole-heartedly into SOMETHING. That desire was created in us so that we would worship God. Many of us fell into worshiping drugs, pouring all of our time, resources, and effort into pursuing, acquiring, and appreciating those substances that removed our pain. In the process, we missed the fact that these pursuits are fleeting and temporary. In so doing, we forfeited our right to access the only thing that could permanently ease our suffering, and establish in us peace and joy that many of us have never known, making us complete.

Worshiping Christ and submitting to His authority sets us free

If we truly yield control of our lives to Christ Jesus, as Jonathan Edwards was committing to do, and allow Christ to reign in our lives, then the power of addiction will be broken. Christ will not cause us to choose those sinful things. He will cause us to walk in righteousness and holiness. So I guess the question is this: Why do we want to continue to be in control anyway? How has our being in control treated us thus far? I can only speak for myself, but my being in control has fallen short, it almost led to death. It did lead to me messing up my life and the lives of all those around me. Why would I want to be in charge?

Let’s make a vow today. Let’s choose to die.

I don’t know how many people will read this blog post. For those who do start to read it, I don’t know how many will make it all the way to the end. Maybe not very many, but here we go. I’d like to ask you to make a vow with me, but only if you truly mean it. It is time for us to take that next step. It is time for us to submit to Christ and to allow him to do what He wants to do in us, so that we may begin to experience that truly abundant life He has always intended for us. And this is absolutely no April’s Fools joke.

April 1st, 2017, approximately 6 AM: “Jesus, I make a solemn dedication of myself to you, and write it down; giving up myself, and all that I have to You; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one that has no right to himself, in any respect. And I solemnly vow, to take God for my whole portion and the source of my happiness; looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it is; and [to take] Your law for the constant rule of my obedience: engaging to fight, with all my might, against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life. I ask that you strengthen me with Your grace and your Holy Spirit, to fulfill this vow in my life, not for my glory, but because of who You are, the fact that You deserve my obedience, and because You desire what is truly best for me, even more than i do. Help me to fulfill this vow daily, moment by moment, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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  1. That’s awesome bro, after 4 neck surgeries, I’m addicted to pain meds, firefighting & saving lives took a toll on my neck. I’m 12 weeks post op posterior C3 to T3 neck surgery, been a long & tough journey, I’m a believer. But, I have no idea how to come off these meds, withdrawals are horrific at night. Thanks again for the inspiration! Cheers

  2. This was eloquently put, and I too for the last 20 or so years been dependent on opiates for pain relief due to a MVA in 96′.
    I however do not agree that submitting to a( higher power) in place of say god/Jesus Christ is any lesser of a comittnent to his/her greatness. I firmly believe in a greater power other than myself is in charge, I also firmly believe that if a person is good, it shows in the way they present themselves, how they care for those closest to them, as well as for those they have never met. If a person is truly a good person then all of the 10 commandments will resonate in their actions towards others there fore worthy of our creators love. We are not slaves! And worshiping something for the sake of worshipping is one thing. Being told to worship cause if you don’t, or don’t do it in the way of the dogmatic views of some (ie the church), well that is being made to be subseviant and that my friend is slavery at its core.
    To me the divine creation of man was never in anyway meant to endslave mankind’s minds nor to give them an alternative to said worship. No to me a person of pure intent and love will pass to the body of the eternal light. One does not need to attend church, part with their hard earned money in a money tray that goes directly to the pocket of the so called service of god. As if the divine needs it.
    I will continue my belief that my creater loves me and I it, i have never set foot in any church without feeling like I was in a bad environment.. I know of no god that would give me such a feeling. The created knows who is deep in their being good, as well as deep in the being evil. I have always questioned my actions to be sure they will not cause harm yo others. If I do I’m quick to try my best to rectify my wring doing.

  3. I read all the way to the end. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. God is everlasting, he will never forsake us, we are all sinners, we will never be without sin, daily, we can’t avoid Satan, we must keep him in check. He will creep in to any crack, slowly, he won’t be seen, you can’t even perceive his ways, he is working to destroy us all. Pure evil. This is reality, this is the life we live, a fight, however; it is wonderful if you get it, and church is joyful, watching people, listening to God, the kids playing. Everyday I see God and want all to know, he communicates effectively when you open yourself to the word of God, and you look for the reasons things are happening to you, the bad especially. I believe that no matter what, we all live in hell now if we are to be angels with God soon enough. This is our hell and Satan rules here. God be with you all

  5. My son died in October of 2023 he was saved and baptized a few years back. He loved the Lord very much and talked to/ about him on a daily basis. He got in a wreck in October and because he was a opioid user he couldn’t get pain meds and he truly needed them. He got fentanyl and died . Is he in hell? Is it possible for him to go to heaven? I saw him in his recliner after they found him he looked at peace.lime he was asleep. I had person say he couldn’t go to heaven. I want to know he is good where he is. Please help ease my mind

    • Sherry, first of all, my deepest condolences for the loss of your son. I admire your courage for asking this question. The reason we are called the Home of GRACE is because it is only by Grace that we are saved. If going to Heaven was dependant on us not making mistakes, we would ALL be doomed to Hell. Scripture tells us that those who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved. Christ’s saving work on the cross is perfect and complete; all that’s left for us to do is to receive it. It not for anyone to presume who is and isn’t saved, because only God knows the hearts of men. My prayer is that your son’s apparent love of the Lord is evidence of Christ’s redemptive work within him!

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