Filling the Empty Places
We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Our addictions once played an important role in our lives. We used them to help us cope with an emptiness, a nameless pain, or some other lack, deep inside. We may have stopped using or acting out our addictions, but have we filled the needs that prompted them? Have we dealt with the empty places that the addictions once filled?
Jesus said, "When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before" (Luke 11:24-26).
Jesus saw into the spiritual realm as clearly as he saw into the natural realm. He knew demonic oppression when he saw it. For us the picture isn't as clear. It's hard for us to know how much the spiritual forces of darkness are involved in our addictions. We can use this as a good analogy, at the least, and perhaps as a glimpse into a spiritual reality behind our addictions. Either way, we have a problem if we get rid of something bad and fail to fill the vacancy with something strong and good.
The failure to fill the vacancy can lead to a relapse. We need to consider whether our lives are being filled with God's power. We also need to make sure that the areas of vulnerability in our lives are being filled in healthy ways.
The empty places in our lives can be filled only by God.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.