"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance to do." ~ Ephesians 2:10
I met Stephen at church several years ago. I have always thought he was a really good guy. In the last several months he and I have become really good friends. He prays for me when I ask him to (and when I don't ask him to), he quotes me Scripture, and he tells me when I'm off course with something in my life. Ephesians 2:10 is a perfect Scripture to describe Stephen's life. Today I am celebrating him being one year sober!
Stephen loves God, but has struggled with drug addiction off and on for years. There were circumstances in his life that made him feel hopeless. He allowed the lies of satan and an addictive personality type to get the best of him.
NOT ANY MORE!
Our town has a great place called The Anchorage. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. It's a recovery place for men. Some men are sent there by the judge, others are sent by family members who want them to get clean, and others go on their own just ready for a life change. It's a Christ centered place. The guys attend church, and learn about the saving and healing power of Jesus.
I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I have had times when I allowed something besides God to be first in my heart. These guys have too. There are many things we can use to numb the pain we feel: drugs, alcohol, sex, food, shopping, relationships... but in doing so, it also numbs the joy. Through Jesus' help, anyone can be free. Jesus even said He is the truth and the truth will set us free. (John 8:31-32)
Stephen is free from the bondage of addiction. He is living for God fully. He just started a Sunday morning service with the guys at The Anchorage. He's more than willing to go speak to give his testimony anywhere. He wants to help people know that drugs are bad and God is good. And that letting God have full control of your life is the way to beat any problem you might be dealing with. (I can't count the number of times he has quoted Philippians 4:6 to me "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.")
Just this year I have really allowed God to be first in my life, as well. It makes such a huge difference. Have you ever allowed something or someone to be first in your life? Did you over come it? If not, would you like prayer? Stephen and I would be honored to pray for you and talk to you about anything. Also, if you'd like him to share his testimony contact him on Facebook, Stephen's Facebook Page or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
God is always there.. no matter what we might be doing. He will never leave us, and when we are ready to put Him first, I am reminded of Proverbs 8:17 in the ESV that says, "I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently find Me." God is waiting for you. You can always find Him if you look for Him.
God bless you today and always.