There’s a reality in addiction that we cannot ignore— its unavoidable for many people. Take a close look around you; it seems as though people are reaching for any substance or activity that will numb their internal pain. People search for temporary relief to help solve long-term problems. Addiction goes beyond the spectrum of drugs, alcohol, sex, or any form of substance abuse. Addiction is a cry for help.
As you walk on your faith recovery journey in, you must be aware that the mind is the battlefield. It’s where wars begin and end.
With the help of an Online Christian Counselor, The Genesis Recovery Process was designed to equip you with the right artilleries that you need to fight those internal battles that continue to defeat you.
1. Know your enemy. Do you know who you’re fighting? The word of God says in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The desires of our flesh are sickening. They lead to self-destruction, despair, and brokenness. Therefore, you must die to your self-destructive nature so that the Spirit of the living God can dwell in you and your spirit is strengthened in the Lord. You will decrease your response to your addiction for God to increase in you.
So, who’s your enemy? Your enemy lies underneath your addiction; it’s your need to be relieved. Yes, that needs may be overpowering, but God gave you a spirit of power and self-control. It’s up to you to feed your spirit with the word of God and starve your destructive desires. Starve your addiction.
2. Boundaries. Boundaries and honesty go hand in hand. 1 Corinthians 10:12 “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” To fight off the temptations that you face in the world, you must become self-aware, you must know what triggers your need to use substances and what triggers your need to engage in the addictive behavior. Self-awareness is your accountability partner when no one is watching. You cannot trust your judgment even when you feel you’ve reached your strongest self. Flee from your weaknesses, be it people or substances. Know your boundaries and triggers.
3. Your Christian recovery coach and program. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” To change everyone needs help. Everyone needs a mentor, a leader, a pastor, or a Christian Life Coach. Your commitment to your recovery process is fundamental if you seek to harvest desirable results in your life. Therefore, know that as you’re receiving Christian counseling and Christian coaching, your character is sharpened, and healing will take place through righteous guidance. Stick to the program and stand committed to your healing.
4. Friends in the faith. Fellowship was one of the key ingredients in my recovery, which resulted in many breakthroughs and helped me adopt new perspectives. Ecclesiastes 4:10 “If one falls., the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone has no one to help them up.” There is nothing like having a friend in the faith, who in times of need can encourage and direct you to the word of God as your source of comfort. Begin to pray and ask God to bring friendships into your life that will walk with you throughout your recovery process, so that temptation can be easier to resist and fight off. Bonds with fellow Christian’s are a safety net against temptation and especially when you face moments of weakness.
5. Attend church functions. There is something powerful about worshipping God in a group setting. There is power in fellowship and congregating with other people who, just like you, are walking their faith journeys trying to change. Create a life within the ministry. Volunteer in an area that calls out to your heart. Be part of a faith-based community for they will become a great spring of strength and support.
6. Try not to be alone. I can remember the moments when melancholy and loneliness would kick in. My anxiety would rise, and destructive contemplations flooded my mind. Not only would I call my mentor to talk, but I also became proactive. I would reach out to trusted friends, and fellow Christian’s they would accompany me on a walk, run, exercise, bible study or have some coffee, anything. I understood at the very beginning of my recovery process that being alone would lead me to make bad decisions. So, I became… practical and sought out for company that would not only hold me accountable but would speak life into my spirit.
7. Identify your antidote. Why is Jesus your antidote? Jesus is Lord over everything. He defeated death and sickness. Jesus is Lord over your depression, addictions, sadness, anger, and your brokenness. He is Lord over all! Which means that he is your rescue and your savior. Just believe.
8. Perpetual Motivation. Be intentional about preparing your thought life. Read devotionals on different topics concerning addiction and how to deal with your emotions. If you prepare yourself on how to respond to negative thought processes, then you’ll be able to shun self-defeating words because you’ve equipped yourself well. God needs to reign in your heart, therefore, seek for continuous encouragement, through the word of God, through reading or listening to devotionals, listen to testimonies on how others have overcome addiction. Listen to podcasts on mental health topics because it will reinforce your recovery journey and teach you how to cope. Saturate your mind with the things from above and positive earthly knowledge, and all light will overpower the darkness within.
9. God wants to protect you. Picture yourself standing in front of a building, and you read a sign that says, “Warning: Harmful Chemicals!” Would you say that the person that placed the sign was concerned about people being in danger?
Well, this is what God does. He warns us about harmful behavior to protect us. If you could understand that God’s warning signs exist to guard your heart, mind, body, and soul, you would understand that you are loved; you have great value in God’s eyes. He sent his son to die for your sins, so that he may have intimacy with you and restore you back to life.
10. Be radical. Welcome the idea of being radical to leaving your old life behind. Delete contacts, change your phone number and move to another side of town. Do whatever will help you pursue your recovery without interference and connections to your addictions. By setting yourself up for success, leaving no room for self-destruction to be possible. Guard yourself through radical change.
Matthew 12: 43-45 When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find anyone. Then it says, “I’ll go back to the house I left.” Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and make their home there. That person is worse off at the end than at the beginning. This is the way it will be also for this evil generation.
11. Annihilate the comparison trap. Gratitude is the ammunition you need to annihilate discontentment. Every small step must be taken towards a goal, and every wise decision that is made must be celebrated and valued. As you go through the motions of recovery, it’s easy to be hard on yourself and be angry at where you are now versus acknowledging where you could’ve been in life. It’s easy to look around and compare your life to others.
In a social media saturated society, it’s daunting to scroll through the sea of pictures that highlight different versions of happiness and success. And then there you are, sitting in the comparison trap, and dissatisfied you become as you reflect upon your inner world and accomplishments. You see cracks instead of wholeness.
Focus on your life. Don’t look left or right, look forward, and be grateful for each step you take towards progress. Let gratitude be the fuel that will help you create a meaningful life. It’s never too late.
12. Create visual reminders. It’s difficult to remind ourselves to pray when it’s not something we’re accustomed too. It’s even more challenging to read when it’s not a habit that we’ve yet established. However, you can use a pen and paper and write words of encouragement that inspire you and post them all around your home.
These words or bible verses… Read them daily, say them out loud consistently like a song till they become part of you. Write your goals down and tape them to the mirror. Create these visual reminders so that when the tough times hit, you’ll not only be reminded, but you’ll also use your voice to repeat back those words of encouragement. There is power in the things you speak, and the word of God is light… it’s a spring of life. So when you speak them, you feed your spirit and your spirit is strengthened. Your words have the power to activate faith and inner strength.
Proverbs 18:21 “Your tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love to talk will eat the fruits of their words.”
13. Develop a routine. Developing a routine breeds self-discipline.
When you are disciplined, you are capable and productive. Productivity will help you keep your mind occupied in healthy activities closing the gap for wandering idleness that invites the possibilities of negative actions. Developing daily routines will help you remain on track in your recovery process and will become a fundamental aspect of cultivating good habits. And that, which becomes a good habit leads to obtaining desired results, success, and the achievement of your goals.