Welcome, friend, I'm glad you are here.
This course is for those who desire freedom from substances such as alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, cigarette smoking, etc.
If food is the substance of abuse in your life, please go to the Setting Captives Free Weightloss Boot Camp course.
The lessons were designed to be completed one per day. It is best to take your time so that you have the opportunity to assimilate the truths and apply them to your life. Be thoughtful about your answers; try not to give one-word or one-sentence answers.
My name is Mike Cleveland; I’m the author of this course. I’ll be walking with you through the 30 lessons. I’m praying that Jesus Christ will set you free.
A Testimony of Freedom
Just a brief background on myself: I spent many years enslaved to alcohol and drugs. It began in my teens as I would get together with other kids and get drunk or high, which turned into a habit that lasted many years. This struggle, combined with many other sins, wreaked havoc in my life and the lives of my family and those around me. I’ll share more of my story throughout this course.
Question 1. How about you? What substance are you dealing with and what has your struggle and experience been like? Please share here:
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Several years ago, something shocking happened: God changed my life! He set me free from all forms of substance abuse, and many other sins of the flesh; I’ve been enjoying freedom ever since. This new life had previously seemed entirely unfathomable to me as I had gone to AA, Christian 12-step groups, psychological counseling, etc., and yet I absolutely could not break free.
Additionally, I grew up in a home with an alcoholic step-dad, and though he was sober for 17 years while on the drug Antabuse, he eventually died in a drunken stupor. He firmly believed the adage “once an addict, always an addict,” and indeed, he died enslaved to alcohol.
So, you can see from my life experience and training that I had no hope of being free from these substances that seemed to control my life as I was thinking that I would be “always an addict.” And yet, Jesus rescued me (Galatians 1:4), and I have been free from drugs, alcohol, and smoking for a long time now.
So how did my freedom happen? And how can you be set free too?
Putting it simply: God changed my heart! He caused me to hate the things I used to love (substances), and He gave me different desires and longings. As I began to study the Bible, I saw that this heart change was His promise, that He would give His people new desires and move them to follow Him. Ezekiel 36 teaches this truth:
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIV)
Question 2. What is God’s promise as recorded in Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV?