Items to consider when the urge to use confronts you


It is suggested you meditate on each of these points instead of merely reading through them hurriedly.

1. When you have the urge to drink or to use, don’t deny it—admit it: "Yes, I would like some." This gives you a chance to deal with it. Remember, lying to ourselves never did us any good and only caused us to go further into bondage.

Remember that scripture declares: Be still, and know that I am God; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

2. Cultivate continued acceptance of the fact that your choice is between intoxicated behavior or doing without.

Remember that scripture declares: . . . says the Lord GOD, "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin." Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"

3. Cultivate enthusiastic gratitude that you have had the good fortune of finding out what was wrong with you before it was too late.

Remember that scripture declares: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

4. Expect, that for a period of time, and it may be a long time, you may recurrently experience:
A. The conscious, nagging urge to use.
B. The sudden, all but compelling, impulse to use.
C. The craving, not just for the substance you used but, for euphoric feelings, the glow, warmth, numbing of feelings, and rush the substance once gave you. (This also could occur regarding the use of a needle.)

Remember that scripture declares: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

5. Remember that the period of time you don’t want to use is the time in which to build up your strength and resources in sobriety for those times when you are tempted to use.

Remember that scripture declares: Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.

6. Develop and write out a daily plan of action by which you will live that day without using. Remember that you need to focus on changing your thoughts, words, and actions in order to live your life of daily sobriety. Incorporate these thoughts into your regular planning and thinking:
A. Is this profitable? (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23a)
B. Am I controlled by this in any way? (1 Corinthians 6:12)
C. Is this a stumbling block in my life? (Matthew 5:29-30, 18:8-9)
D. Could this lead another believer to stumble? (Romans 14:13; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13)
E. Does this edify (build up) others? (Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 10:23-24)
F. Does this glorify God? (Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Remember that scripture declares: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new, that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

7. Regardless of what may upset you or how hard the old urge to use may hit you, remember there is no problem so big that alcohol or some drug can’t and won't make it bigger and worse.

8. When you find yourself thinking (arguing within your self-conscience), focusing on yourself, feeling sorry for yourself, or comparing yourself to those who you think are normal and have the privilege of having the ability to drink, stop and take a moment to begin to focus on the truth.

Remember that scripture declares: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. I then, can find thanks and pleasure in all other areas of my life.

9. If you find yourself thinking of the pleasure you got from drinking or using, recall all the pain, heartache, and misery it brought with it.

Remember that scripture declares: For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

10. If you’re thinking that just one or two drinks will make some bad situation better or tolerable, take a moment to meditate on the scriptures and the truth they reveal.

Remember that scriptures declare: And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

11. Cultivate the association of drinking or using with the loss of joy, peace of mind, and the ability to make clear choices and decisions regarding your life.

Remember that scriptures declare: I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law.

12. Cultivate the positive enjoyments of sobriety: Remember the K.I.S.S. Principle: Keep It Simple, Saint!!
A. The simple ability to eat and sleep normally and to wake up without confusion, guilt, pain, and sickness and to wake up in freedom.
B. The praise and thanksgiving to God for being sober today and the ability to recognize the grace He has given to you this day.
C. The ability to think clearly and to have the opportunity to deal with day-to-day concerns of life with balance and in freedom.

Copyright © 2004 Randall Nurmi
All Rights Reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the author. Printing this material for personal use only is allowed. For permission, please contact Chris Johnson at Calvary Chapel Boise.