As I think of all the heartache that evolves when a member of one’s family goes out on the limb of substance abuse, it is overwhelming. If the loved one has left the way of the Lord and has gone the way of folly, it is only a matter of time, for the seed of foolishness will tear apart any meaningful relationship. Once a person has lost his footing in righteousness, he will suffer loss. The backslider in heart will be filled with his “own” ways. (Proverbs 14:14) He will more than likely fall into a spirit of impulsiveness. As one Princeton theologian has written; “he will be like a feather in the wind of temptation.” And the wind of sin can be very turbulent as we all know. It is a whirlwind of confusion of which God is NOT the author. The loved one has left the rock of responsibility and discipline, falling headlong over the cliff of folly. (Romans 14:29) “But a sound heart is life to the body.” (Proverbs 14:30) Oh, that our loved ones would leave their madness and return home. “Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, madness is in their heart, while they live.” (Ecclesiastes 9:3)
The sad thing about this situation is that so often the family that experiences this burden has drifted from the way of the Lord as well. If this is the case, it aggravates the means that are needed in times such as these: encouragement, prayer, worship, fellowship with other members of the body of Christ. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some….” (Hebrews 10:24-25) If this is your case, return to the body of Christ. You will need their love, understanding, prayers and encouragement. God Himself will comfort you in your tribulation. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our tribulations that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
I would encourage you in your heart-breaking relationship to daily pray Ephesians 6:10-18, making it personal. I suggest you write it daily until it is etched in your spirit; for you will need it. Be prepared for a lot of lies, since those in bondage to substance abuse are entrenched in a stronghold of deception, trying to keep what they have already lost – their dignity and integrity. It is the nature of the beast. At some point, the attempt to hide the unbearable will be exposed. At this point, the challenge must be made to get help. The help needs to be biblically based. The person confronted must come to a spirit of repentance. It is about his sin against God and his fellow man. The prodigal son said; “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.’” (Luke 15:18)
Ask God to give you a spirit of gentleness if you are in this difficult situation. You are going to be hurt. Ask God’s grace for you to receive those fiery darts in love. For you see, the one hurting you is grasping for straws. He is doing harm to you because of a futile attempt to save what he has already lost (the relationship). Hurt people hurt people. You, be gentle still. It will be hard, but the rewards are great.
One last thing is on my mind. This is a spiritual battle and you are fighting the spirits of darkness in your heartbreaking situation. When you are communicating (or trying to) with the one that may hurt you in words and will bring a spirit of confusion in your conversations, pray this way: “I bind any communications being addressed to me that is authored by evil spirits, and I only receive communication between (insert name) and me that is authored by the Holy Spirit.” You will be amazed at the difference in the outcome. You have taken authority, which God has given you, and brought the communication on your grounds in the Spirit of the Lord. (Luke 10:19)
Our hearts are burdened with you who are suffering. We know that God is faithful to His Word. He has promised to lighten your burden. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) “Fear not; I am with you. Be not discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)