The devotional My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers for September 17th helps to make an important point regarding sinful addictions. It is based on 1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man…
Oswald comments, “Yet many of us suffer from temptations we should never have to suffer, simply because we have refused to allow God to lift us to a higher level where we would face temptations of another kind.
A person’s inner nature, what he possesses in the inner, spiritual part of his being, determines what he is tempted by on the outside…Because temptation will come to him in accordance with the level of his controlling, inner nature.”
Because recovery programs are humanistic and function at the lowest levels of the flesh, there is no real growth or progression spiritually. The programs/steps require life-long diligence in order to maintain sobriety because the participants never rise above the base level of sinful flesh where addictions and temptations to addiction reside. This is why those in recovery programs must believe they will never actually recover from addiction, but instead have just a “daily reprieve” from active addiction. In a way, what they believe is true for them because being “in recovery” traps them on the level of sinful addiction and the temptations to engage in sinful addiction.
For those who have been blessed with repentance, and have turned to Christ and away from addiction, there is a continual sanctification and spiritual growth. The base level of addiction and temptations to engage in addictive behavior is left far behind as a believer is conformed more and more to the image of Christ. There is no need to “maintain sobriety,” or participate in a recovery program, because they have moved far beyond any need to do so.
This is one of the reasons recovery programs in churches are such a glaring red flag that something is very wrong – because it signifies that the Church, at least when it comes to dealing with sinful addictions is functioning at the base humanistic level rather than at the highest level of the spirit through the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way R122 Ministry USA & Kenya.