I don't know how to get my relationship with God back.

Hi Ralph,

I am writing to you to ask you a question, I have accepted Christ as my savior. I am a drug addict and alcoholic. I have been going to church for 3 years now and went into the preaching ministry. however in the last months I used drugs again and feel God will never forgive me for it. Iam so ashamed of doing this I want to run away from God. I pray to him and ask for help but he never answers my prayers. please help me find God again I want to be loved by him again. I want that relationship back.

My response is in Green:

God still loves you. There is nothing you can do to make Him stop loving you. That says much more about Him than it does about us, but it is true never the less. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. So relax on that point, you don't have to get God to love you again, He still loves you.

I want to address something you said. You said: "I am a drug addict and alcoholic." You also said just before that statement that you had accepted Christ as your savior. Here is my point; when we accept Christ as our savior we become a new creation, a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Now what does that mean? I think it means that we are no longer the same person we were before Christ came into our hearts. Look at this passage: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV) 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Notice Paul says that is what some of them were, but they have been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

My point is this, if you have been saved then you are no longer a drug addict or an alcoholic. To continue to use those terms for yourself is to submit to the slavery of sin and you are free, you are no longer a slave to sin. Romans 6:20-23 (NIV) 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul is speaking to people who are Christians and he is telling them that they no longer slaves to sin but are now slaves to God.

Now this might tend to make you feel worse about stumbling and falling but it shouldn't and I will show you why. You are no longer a slave to sin but that does not mean that you will never stumble. 1 John 1:8-10 (NIV) 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. John was writing to believers. The point is that we still have a fleshly nature which wars against our soul. We have an enemy who tries to trip us up. We are still not righteous on our own, but we should be moving in that direction with the help of God.

Jesus said the road is narrow that leads to life. I think we have to be careful to stay on that road. We will stumble and as John says if we say we never sin we are liars, but that does not mean that we should take sin lightly either. 1 John 5:18 (NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. It might sound like John can't make up his mind, but that is not the case. I believe what God is trying to tell us is that we are weak and we will stumble and when we do we should come to Him and confess our sins and our shortcomings and He will forgive us. I think He is also saying that we should not take that as a free ticket to sin, because if we truly love Him and He is residing in us we will not want to sin.

I know I found in my life that I could not stop some sin in my life, no matter how hard I tried. One day I was like you depressed and angry at myself for doing what I hated doing. I had tried so hard to quit sinning but I would stumble and fall and have to crawl back to God and ask forgiveness again and again. While I was praying for forgiveness it hit me; I could not do this myself. I needed God's help. It is the same reason that we all need Jesus in the first place because we are not capable of living a righteous life on our own. I asked God that day to take control of my life and live through me. I asked Him to help me crucify myself every day. What a burden lifted off my shoulders. I can't explain the freedom I have felt since. I am still tempted but it is not the same. Now when temptation attacks me I just quickly pray that God will hold me up and help me. I have had victory over that sin since that day. I am not boasting because I will fall as soon as I take my eyes off of Christ, it is only through His power that I am victorious. That was the lesson I had to learn.

I hope this has helped some. Remember God loves you and nothing can separate you from that love. Sin can come between you and God but it is because you moved and allowed it there not because He moved away.

Ralph

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