When someone runs out of their lane in track, they get disqualified from the race. Can you relate? Do you feel disqualified from serving the Lord because of addiction? Think it’s impossible to be in recovery and serve God at the same time? Think again!
No one felt more disqualified than Saul. Before he came to faith, he was an enemy of the faith. Many followers of Christ were murdered, beaten, and imprisoned because of him. Here’s how he described himself, “I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison” (Acts 22:4).
Saul was one of the most prolific persecutors of Christians of his time. If that’s all the Bible mentioned about him, you’d think that was the end of his story. He would never be good enough. Period. He blew it, right? Wrong! Thankfully, his story didn’t end there.
One of the most radical stories of transformation in the Bible is that of Saul in Acts 9:1-31. One moment he is headed toward Damascus to persecute Christians, the next he sees a blinding light and hears a voice.
Saul could’ve ignored the voice, but he didn’t. He realized it was the voice was Christ—the very one that he hated! From that point on, his life was transformed. He stayed a few days with a man named Ananias and started telling others about Christ.
“And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is indeed the Son of God!’”—Acts 9:20
It’s interesting to note that he later stopped using his Hebrew name, Saul. Instead, he went by his Roman name, Paul. Throughout his lifetime, he went on several missionary journeys where he started churches and helped churches grow. Paul’s service to God had a profound effect on Christianity. To this day, his spiritual legacy lives on in his writings.
Just as Paul wasn’t disqualified, you’re not disqualified from serving God either. You shouldn’t give up and go back to your old life. Paul said, “For God’s gift and his call can never be withdrawn” (Romans 11:29). In other words, God has a calling for your life that transcends your brokenness.
What can you do?
Share your story. If you haven’t already shared your story in your Life Recovery Group, now is the time. Your story of a transformed life is powerful! Share with your group what your life was like amid your addiction; then, talk about how Christ has changed your life. Sharing your story can help you heal—it will also encourage others.
Sponsor or mentor someone. Once you’ve gone through the 12 Steps of Life Recovery, don’t stop there. Help someone else grow and learn by becoming a mentor. Talk to the leaders in your Life Recovery Group—let them know you’d like to mentor someone. Once you meet with the person you’ll be mentoring, discuss what your expectations are. Make yourself available to talk on the phone, text, and do video calls.
Start a Life Recovery Group. Sounds intimidating, right? While there’s work involved in starting a group, don’t let it scare you. All that’s needed is a willingness on your part and another person to join you! Contact us, and let us know you’d like to start a group. We also have resources, such as the Life Recovery Starter Kit, that will help you get started.
No matter what addiction you struggle with, you are not disqualified from serving God. God has a wonderful future for you, but you must keep moving toward the finish line to get there! If you would like to start a Life Recovery Group, please call 800-NEW-LIFE. We are here to walk this journey with you.