The Gift of Repentance
I am writing this as a way to share what God has done and continues to do in my heart and life...
He has redeemed my life from the stronghold of addiction to alcohol and drugs. Complete deliverance is the reality I am now living by His grace.
What a wonderful Savior He is to me! He has been with me the whole way—through the many years of darkness—lovingly watching over me. You see, Jesus saved me when I was very young, only ten years old. From that day until now, He has never left nor forsaken me.
Even when I was deep in sin, He stayed. By longsuffering and great mercy, He allowed me to have my own freewill even if it meant hurting myself and others…but not without chastisement. God would not let me live in peace with my sins. Always afterwards, my heart would be grieved and my spirit broken. How many times did I find myself on my knees in front of a commode, throwing up until I felt like dying?
Kneeling there, I would be praying to God to please forgive me…so sorry I messed up again.
Then the heartfelt vows would pass through my lips as I promised to never drink or take pills again. How many times did I break that promise? It has been eleven years now since Jesus helped me finally keep that promise. I have not kept it, He has! Jesus has the power to overcome every stronghold! And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18).
When my daughter, Robyn asked me how I was going to keep from drinking and taking pills, I told her I was not going to do anything…Jesus was doing it for me.
She now understands what at first alarmed her. All power belongs to Him! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! How did I finally learn to cast my burdens upon Him and trust Him to do what I could never do? The goodness of God is how.
…not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4b) …if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:25b-26)
Yes, by God’s goodness He gave me repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. The truth was that all those things I had thought to be true about myself did not matter. Jesus mattered! What I was in Him mattered. I remember New Year’s Eve night in 2006...
I was sitting at my kitchen table and got down on my knees in front of the chair and began praying. God began showing me some things.
First, He showed me just how sinful my sin was—that same sin that I had always excused as not my fault.
What I had been taught through man’s wisdom was that I could not help it…I was an alcoholic and addict. I had an incurable disease. So every one of my terrible sins done while under the influence was not really my fault. After all, I was the victim here.
But kneeling there at my kitchen table, God opened my eyes to my sin and that I was the only one to blame. No longer could I blame it on a so-called disease…or even on a bad childhood or a bad marriage. It was me…all me. Seeing that truth, I was able to accept my sin as my own and I was without excuse.
With the knowledge of my great sin clearly upon me, God gave me the gift of repentance from it…
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalm 51:2-4)
I accepted God’s forgiveness and cleansing. He showed me that of myself I was nothing and that only in Jesus could I find my identity and be free from condemnation. Even after I prayed that prayer, the adversary began to accuse me in my mind.
I will never forget the revelation God gave me as I spoke these words back: “It’s not me anymore! I am in Jesus and covered by His blood.”
It took 9 more months for me to become completely surrendered to go to the Reformers Unanimous Discipleship School, where they taught me how to have a daily personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For more about my life after addiction, click on the link below: