Torah Portion VAYECHI – B’reisheet (Genesis) 47:28-50:26
ATG – Addicts Turning To God, #8
Shabbat Shalom, dearly beloved!
It is time for the eighth part of a special series of Shabbat Letters based on my book ATG – Addicts Turning to God. These insights that the Lord gave me on treating addicts can save you from much frustration and can change the lives of many addicts as they turn to God.
Respect for Authorities
Most Addicts Turning to God have a tendency to break every boundary, to disobey every instruction, to lie to everyone, follow their own will, and, of course, disrespect authority. It is important from the beginning to clearly establish who the authorities are in your home/ministry center, the congregation that the ATG will attend, and wherever else he/she will go. Make sure that the father of the house is respected as such, so is the mother, counselor, pastor, deacon, etc. Be very tough concerning any disrespect to authority, verbally or through disobedient actions. Encourage your ATG to pray kindly for all authorities, as we are instructed in the Word of God, and to submit to them, even if they ‘don’t like to’ or ‘don’t agree.’ Most ATGs have a tendency to be very prideful and to think they “know better.” Again, that is part of the denial, as they do not recognize their ignorance and needy condition.
A Set of Rules
Make sure that you have a written set of rules that the ATG will sign before beginning the process of rehabilitation with you. Discuss those rules and explain them well. DO not tire of repeating the rules and the explanations as time goes by. They seem to ‘forget’ them easily. It is important to set appropriate penalties for the breaking of these rules. Let the penalties be related to the trespass. Be careful of false compassion, as it will be detrimental to the treatment of the ATG. His DST will grow because he/she has managed to manipulate you. It’s good to be loving, gracious, and encouraging – but firm.
Do not assume that the ATG will get convicted easily of his/her sin. Most of them have developed thick layers of self-protection that prevent that conviction. They are masters at escaping. They have to be retrained to allow conviction and true repentance. You have to point them to the truth, in love continually, and intercede for the Holy Spirit to convict them and not let them get away with anything. Some of the interventions of God are quite amazing. God loves these people very much. He sent His Son to die for the rebellious, but His love can be, at times, rather tough. Many people have an incorrect understanding of the works of the Spirit of God. They think that He is a Gentleman, and He will never “force” anyone. That is definitely not consistent with the Scriptures.
We can see that God intervened in Paul’s life when he was on the road to Damascus to persecute the Jewish disciples of the Messiah (Acts 9). There, The Lord threw him off his donkey and blinded him. That is hardly a “gentlemanly” thing to do! Due to this rough “encounter,” Paul repented and became a mighty servant of God. Yeshua humiliated him in front of everyone.
Another humiliating, humbling, and rather “rough” encounter with God is when God intervened in the life of Jonah. He created a storm in the ship where Jonah was a ‘tourist,’ escaping from God! Jonah was exposed before everyone as a troublemaker who had caused this curse to come upon the ship because he was rebellious to God. That was not enough to humble Jonah. After he was thrown in the water by the passengers, God sent a big fish to swallow him. He was ‘treated’ by the gastric juices of this big fish for three days and nights – until he was humble enough to obey God and to go prophecy to Nineveh.
Please note that the intervention of God happened both by natural means (the passengers threw him off the boat) and by supernatural means (creating the storm and manifesting the big fish). Sometimes, you will have to intervene rather forcefully and throw an ATG out of your house and ministry center if they are not yielding to treatment and causing a ‘storm’ by their behaviors that are adversely affecting the other ATGs onboard ‘your ship.’ In that case, pray that God gives them the ‘treatment of Jonah.’ Remember, it is God Who is working in them – and you cannot take His place. You might receive the ATG later on after he/she has been humbled.
In another case, you might need to intervene by not allowing them to leave the house on their own – unless a staff member accompanies them – or allow them to have their own money. If that is part of the treatment (and it’s very advisable, as they are reckless with their money and maybe tempted easily), then make sure that you put it in the regulations and have them sign at the beginning of the treatment. If that is a later intervention due to the ATG’s behavior, then explain to him/her that this is for his/her good – even if they do not understand it at the time. Do not expect an ATG to understand everything that you are doing for his/her good. We do not understand all that God is doing for our own good, either! In due time, the fruit will show, and their understanding will be enlightened.
Do not be afraid to pray prayers like: “Lord, do not let them get away with their own will,” “Treat them as Jonah if You need to.” “Bind their feet to Your paths and purposes.” “Make them to hate the world and sin.” “Reveal to them the fear of the Lord.”
These are not “nice” prayers, but they are powerful prayers that can be a matter of life and death to a rebellious ATG. I have noticed that many of the ATGs are extremely talented people with God-given gifts and beautiful callings of God upon their lives, but, due to pride, rebellion, and shame, they are constantly escaping God’s love and calling. The Holy interventions and the dangerous prayers might be the only way to bring them into God’s arms and to answer His call.
Addicts are generally wrapped up in layers of shame, which, coupled with pride, prevents them from real repentance. Shame is the worst form of self-protection. It was the first reaction of Adam and Eve when they sinned in the garden. Shame does not allow Truth, Love, or Forgiveness to penetrate. In Psalms 34, we read that those who seek the Lord will never be ashamed. Only seeking the Lord and spending time in His presence can heal a person from shame. Remember that shame is an outcome of sin, but it becomes a vicious circle. Shame does not allow them to repent. Then they sin some more, which causes more shame.
The soaking ‘Intercessory Healing’ prayer is of great help in these cases, as is worship music. Make sure that the ATG gets plenty of these. In both cases, the ‘self-defense’ mechanism of a person is low. He/she will be less on guard, and it will allow a deeper work of the Holy Spirit. Please be patient, as all addicts are deathly afraid of love; because true love will cause them to become naked without their ‘trusted’ self-protection. It is more likely that this will be a rather long process – like the peeling of an onion, where the layer-upon-layer of shame disappears. Then they are more able to trust and receive love.
Do not despair if you don’t seem to see instant results. More than likely, God is working below the surface – and it will manifest in due time. Keep faithfully at it, and, eventually, you will see fruit. Sometimes God intervenes and does miracles in breaking all the barriers of shame in one anointed service or prayer. It is very important to keep exposing the ATGs to the anointing and to anointed meetings. But, remember, also the day-to-day ‘service’ that requires patience and perseverance.
Lots of hugs and kisses!
It is important to give the ATG genuinely-warm-and-loving physical touch. It has to be done in a ‘fatherly, motherly, brotherly, sisterly’ manner. Let him/her get a few hugs a day from each counselor and not only one person, to avoid misunderstandings and emotional soul ties. Ladies, do not hug men frontally, but rather from the side; the same with you gentlemen concerning women. To the opposite sexes, a squeeze of the hand or the shoulder would be preferred – and it will mean a lot to the ATG. A squeeze can say: “I love you; you are not alone; it will be OK.”
To be continued…
Your Israeli Mentors and Friends
Archbishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman
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Book of the Week: ATG – Addicts Turning To God
The Biblical Way to Handle Addicts and Addictions
Watch: Marriage before YHVH Part 2
Archbishop Dominiquae Bierman’s teaching continues and emphasizes that accountability is important to maintain purity before YHVH. Immorality in the religious Christian church has flowed into our homes. But Messiah desires a pure bride and godly marriages, so we must be holy before Him in order to be One with Him.
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