Twelve Step Addiction Recovery programs are designed to help people draw closer to God and be free from their addictions and compulsive behaviors. Healthy recovery starts with a decision – acknowledge you are powerless over your addiction and need God’s power to get over it.
The enemy of our souls takes the same approach – his plan starts with a decision too – exactly opposite from any healthy life-changing program. He wants people to DENY they’re powerless over anything. Since the beginning of time, the devil’s agenda has been to trick man into thinking he doesn’t need God. Satan knows he’s already got a foothold on you if you have an addiction, and he NEVER wants you to get better.
If you think about it, if you’re not working through the process to get free from your addiction or compulsive behaviors, you might be working these steps – opposite of any recovery program – the devil’s 12 step program:
Step 1 – Believe that we can stop our addiction anytime we want to; we’ve got control over it.
Step 2 - Don’t need help from God or anyone else. We are fine.
Step 3 – Determine to live our lives however we want to and deny that God needs to be involved in it.
Step 4 – Refuse to take a good look at our lifestyle and morality. No need to – it’s not so bad.
Step 5 – Challenge God and any other human being who is finding fault with our lifestyle. Deny any wrongdoing.
Step 6 – Be filled with pride in ourselves. Deny there’s any need for change.
Step 7 – Don’t back down – what we are doing and how we behave are just fine.
Step 8 – Ignore those who say we’ve hurt them somehow with our choices. (If they would just act different, maybe we wouldn’t have reason to turn to our addiction in the first place.) They aren’t really hurt.
Step 9 – Saying you’re sorry is a sign of weakness. Never apologize.
Step 10 – Lie and deny any wrong we may have done.
Step 11 – Do not pray, do not seek God, have no interest in how God might want us to live or his life-changing power.
Step 12 – Having used these steps to defend and continue our lifestyle, we encourage others to stick with their addictions and questionable behavior.
The devil’s program doesn’t exist in any organized manner, but people meet in small and large groups on a regular basis just like recovery groups – it’s wherever they gather to drink and/or use their drug of choice. Instead of passing a collection plate for a few dollars to cover the coffee, snacks and meeting place expenses of a true recovery program, people are laying down hundreds of dollars to keep feeding their addictions. They pay for their drinks, their drugs, their ____________________ (fill in the blank with your addiction). When their lifestyles put them in trouble with the law, their relationships, and/or their health, they pay money to lawyers, courts, doctors, mental health professionals, child support, alimony, etc.
Then there are emotional expenses. As the addicted person continues to seek the lifestyle that wants to destroy them, they face all sorts of relationship problems. They have consequences for their behaviors that make them feel sad and guilty. They may have stolen, betrayed someone’s trust, said hurtful comments, or maybe even were physically abusive or abused. When you add it all up, the costs of staying in your addiction continue to multiply.
And the devil? He just laughs. He absolutely loves it when people don’t acknowledge they have problems. He delights in suffering when people mistreat others and seek to please themselves above all else. After all, he’s after one thing and one thing only – all of us.
If you’re tired of letting the devil lead you through his life-destroying program for your life, there’s always hope for you. It starts with a decision also – that decision is to turn away from your sin and your selfish ways and turn to Jesus Christ. He has already won the battle for our souls. He wants to teach us all how to live in the victory he so freely gives. He wants to show you how powerful he is to save you from addiction. Believe in him today. Let him lead you away from destruction and into the life he purposed for you.
So you will be saved, if you honestly say, Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with all your heart that God raised Him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this (Romans 10:9-10).
Dear Jesus, you see me where I am this very moment. You know my sins and they are many. Your word says if I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive me my sins. I confess my sins and ask you to forgive me, Lord Jesus. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. I want a new life. Please begin a change in me Lord.
Copyright July 2013, Beth Livingston. Used by permission.