A TICKET TO HEAVEN
Once we get to the point with our students, we do not refer to them as patients, where they begin to understand the value of changing their beliefs by having their minds renewed by the Word of God, they embark on a course of study which will have a lasting effect on their lifestyle. We do not believe that when they stop using drugs, the battle is won. This is not what Scripture teaches. We are not here just to give them a Salvation message so their ticket to heaven is booked. It is not just about getting them off drugs in order to save their lives. It is all about teaching them how to change from being self-centred to becoming Christ-centred so that His lifestyle will become their lifestyle. Having been forgiven their sins they have to forgive those who have done them harm. A whole lot of healing takes place during this phase and the best way to teach them this is to put them through self-confrontational training. In other words, we teach them how to counsel themselves and each other so that they can become drug therapists.
LISTENING TO JESUS
Once more it is not so much about the content of the material, although because it is Bible based it does have changing power, it has a lot more to do with paying attention to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is listening very carefully to that small still voice that gently reminds us of the ways and words of Jesus. It is learning to discern between His voice, our own minds and of course what Satan is whispering in our ears.
A BOLT OF LIGHT FROM HEAVEN
One of the worst calamities a drug addict suffers from is a seared conscience. There has been so much self-justification in the face of glaring self-centeredness, that they cannot see the lie they are living. They constantly remind themselves that they are able to control their intake of substances until they reach the point where the emotions die and they just don’t care anymore. One criminal thinking error links up with another until the truth is so far removed that it takes a supernatural intervention to break through those walls of no reason. God literally has to send a bolt of light from Heaven to penetrate their darkened thinking.
THE WOW VOCABULARY
In fact, I remember a time in my life when I had reached a permanent state of nothingness. I had pushed the envelope to the extreme limits with the dosages of LSD I was taking on top of smoking very potent weed on a non-stop basis, snorting coke to get up and drinking tequila to come down. I thank God there was no heroin that came my way in those days although I did binge on morphine for a spell. Every third day I would drop two to three caps of ACID for weeks on end. There was a constant supply as we were exporting dagga in exchange for the LSD. My main objective, if that is what you could call it, was to become permanently spaced out so that I would not need to take any more drugs. Satan just loves that kind of lack of intelligence because as he cannot just kill us as he pleases, the second best would be to goad us on to dose ourselves into a permanent chemical lobotomy. I had reached the point where my entire vocabulary consisted of just three letters; ”WOW”
ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU WANT
Coming back to the regeneration versus rehabilitation discussion, we have come to realize that our goal in dealing with addicts must entail a lot more than just getting them off drugs, teaching them some coping skills and integrating them back into society. We must teach them the lifestyle of Jesus. Like Him, they must have a specific mission to complete for God. They must live holy and pleasing lives which are productive, and efficient, to the benefit of others and they must develop to their full capacity. This capacity has no real limits because in Christ we are able to achieve anything He wants us to achieve.
FOCUS ON LASTING CHANGE
It is not just about getting victory over personal demons, one must be taught how to do spiritual battle on behalf of others. God has allowed the addict onto this road so that he/she can become part of a spiritual army that He is raising up to bring down Babylon. During graduation ceremonies we tell them:
“You are a history maker, a spiritual warrior who knows the strategies and strongholds of the enemy. You know what it is like to have your thinking darkened by the shadow of the selfish one. You know how he seduced you with his subtle whispering. Your testimony will lay his plans and schemes to waste in the lives of those who hear and see your new way of living.”
So in the regeneration centres, our focus is lasting change. This can be very hard for some to accept because many have come to believe through the negative statements and diagnoses that they cannot change, they have this condition, or irreversible brain damage, or this incurable disease, or this genetic disposition or pathological personality or bipolar disorder or whatever.
WITH GOD ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
It may well be that some bad habits and lifestyles have become so ingrained over time that one can mistake it for a heredity problem. However, as Bible-based counsellors, we know and believe that with God anything is possible. Look at the change people went through when they had an encounter with Him. All the patriarchs of the Old Testament are striking examples of how radically people could change once they decided to believe in what God says. The Scriptures are full of examples of change. This is exactly God’s business, to change our lives from bondage and poverty to freedom and prosperity, speaking in a holistic sense, which is body, soul and spirit.
DR KRIGE AND HOUSE REGENERATION
This adapted content was extracted from A Biblical Approach to Psychotherapy authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.