99Relapses Podcast Finding Your Purpose Through God- Interview Pastor Robert Bass



Hi, I’m James Egidio, your host of the 99 Relapses podcast. The podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In episode number 25, when I discussed the stages of change, I talked about stage number four, which is action, and in that I mentioned, and described that’s a stage where you move to real recovery and become a productive citizen of society by getting back into church, school and getting plugged back in to primarily find your purpose. My guest experienced a near fatal motorcycle accident. Finding himself on pain killers and going down a path that he did not want to go down. Today, 10 years later, he found his purpose to bring people to Jesus Christ through his ministry Redeemed On Purpose. It is a blessing to have as a guest on 99 Relapses pastor Robert Bass. Hi Robert. How are you? .

Hello. I’m great, and thank you so much for having me on. It’s an honor.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Briefly just for the listeners and viewers of the 99 Relapses podcast tell us a little bit about your story and your ministry redeemed on purpose.

Yeah. And this kind of came out of, like you mentioned, a motorcycle accident. I’ve actually been in two motorcycle accidents, didn’t learn the first time. God had really done a lot in and through me through that motorcycle accident. And I just began to realize that God has a purpose for our life even in spite of what we go through, in spite of the hard times, the difficult times. . God can redeem it. He really can. And so even though we may experience life as setbacks and difficult times where we feel like part of our life has been wasted, God can redeem time and heal and restore things. And so I just wanted to be able to share and encourage people and just point him back to their hope being in Jesus.

Nice. So when you say that and one of my questions is, as a pastor, when you have someone that’s, let’s say, for instance, going through a situation could be an addiction, which we’re, as I had mentioned in multiple episodes of the 99 Relapses podcast, that we’re all challenged with some kind of an addiction, whether it’s work, social media, so aside from drugs and alcohol, which most of us hear about in the mainstream media primarily, That’s what gets the focus is drugs and alcohol. When someone’s struggling, they come to you as a pastor, how do you help them and get them through to find their purpose?

Yeah, so I believe our purpose is found through a relationship with Jesus. . And so we have to start there for me as a pastor is bringing people into that relationship with Jesus to know him. Because my hope, what got me through a very difficult time, this was I got into a motorcycle accident before I was a pastor. And what got me through that difficult time was my relationship with Jesus and was my relationship with other people. And so for me, it. back to that foundation of where are we putting our hope, honestly, , are we putting our hope and strength in what God can do in our life or what we can do? That’s something I had to get over is, okay, am I gonna try to do this in my strength? Am I gonna try to get over this or let go of that or overcome this? and what I can do , because I tried that. Sure. And then it worked out too well, and so for me it’s okay, there is hope, right? Even though maybe someone hasn’t been able to get over something or to get healed of something, but there’s hope because God can, right? He can help us. And so for me, starting with that relationship is a really big deal because it, it brings hope that we haven’t found.

So let’s say, if you could think back as to when you were in this time of need to seek the Lord, to find your purpose, walk the audience, the listeners and the viewers of the 99 Relapses podcast as to what that experience was like

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll share about my second motorcycle accident cuz I didn’t learn the first time . So we’ll share about what the, what I did learn about. And so I got into this motorcycle accident. I was currently living in Destin, Florida. Beautiful place to live, nice, clear beaches and water and I was driving my motorcycle with just a helmet on. no other protective gear. And ended up pulling in front of somebody and getting into an accident. And, my body just had tons of damage, as you can imagine. Just road rash. And luckily I didn’t break anything or tear anything major, but this, the scars were all over my body. There wasn’t a, probably a part of my body that wasn’t wrapped up in band. Besides my head cuz that’s where my helmet was. And so because of that, I was just in pain constantly. It was just non-stop pain. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat every time I move right. A bandage is hurting this and that. I was just in constant pain. And obviously the doctors to help with that give you pain medicine to help manage it. And so I was taking. and it was helping, it, it did help, right? But it really just took that edge off of the pain. It doesn’t make the pain go away for me. And, but I was just miserable. I really was. I couldn’t do anything without having excruciating pain somewhere in my body. And it was almost like a habit or routine to wake up and take pain medicine, almost like a part of my, like drinking water or eating And so I just noticed that I was just so dependent on this pain medicine and I had lost a lot through that motorcycle accident. I couldn’t work, bills were piling up, just a bad scenario really quickly and so I, I was depressed. I was on pain medicine. I was having a difficult time in my life. and I started reaching out to people. My family came to help me and I started reaching out to some other people and where I went to church and I remember being in the church one day, the pastor shared the scripture. That just stuck with me, you just kept thinking about it. And I got home and I read it in my Bible and I just felt like God say it’s time to let go of the pain medicine and I’m like, no way, , it is not time sure to stop taking pain medicine. The doctors say, I should still be taking it. I wanna still take it. But God just wouldn’t let go of that. I just, he just kept coming to my mind. So when I say God was speaking to me about it, it just kept coming up right when I would pray, when I would read the Bible, these thoughts about not taking this pain, medicine would come up in my mind. And so I say, okay, God, you want me to give this up? I need your help I need your strength. And and I didn’t consult my doctor like I should have or any or anybody else. And I just stopped taking it cuz I felt like God wanted me to and so don’t recommend that. But but I was sorry God, I just, I’m gonna obey and I don’t know another way. And so I stopped taking the pain medicine and instantly after taking it, I had no idea the grip it had on. I just didn’t know how dependent on it. I really was just because I was taking it as this thing that they told me to do. And so when I began to come off of that, it was just it was like my eyes were open. I was going through different kinds of withdrawals from the pain medication. There would be moments where my body hurt worse, . Then the scars did. And I was just at experienced withdrawals that I’d never experienced before as a young 20 something year old guy. And it was difficult, but I said, okay, God, if you told me to do this, you will get me through it. And so I said, okay, when I’m in pain, God, I’m gonna ask you for help and I’m gonna read and I’m gonna focus on the Bible and focus on what you have to say through that, and there were some very painful moments, but I can tell you the pain never got to a place where I had to go back or I had to take it in every moment of weakness where I wanted to take pain medicine. It’s almost like God just met me right at that moment, right? Yes. There was pain. Yes. I had to recover and get everything. It was like right there, in, in that right moment of weakness where I wanted to take more pain medicine or depend on something else, it was like God met me. And it gave me the strength and peace that I. And so honestly, I can just say that it was just a miracle, that I wasn’t addicted to it, beyond that,

So what you experienced was physical pain, right? Okay. and I. Owned a medical clinic for 24 years and we actually used to help patients get off opiates with a medication called Suboxone. And that’s experiencing physical pain. And what happens a lot of times with a lot of clients or patients that get themselves into a situation with the physical pain. they’re categorized as what’s called, passive addiction. It’s a passive addiction. You go in for a broken bone, and it’s natural because people’s pain tolerance is not very high. They have a very low pain tolerance. So they have to take something to take the edge off of the pain. And then you have people who, like myself with my addiction 30 years ago. , it was an, it was emotional pain. And this is where I emphasize a lot in the 99 Relapses podcast throughout pretty much every episode, I would say that the only way to get through addiction is through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. to get through it, through God, through Jesus. because when you start to depend on self and willpower and all that we know where that gets us Robert? It gets us nowhere and that, it makes me think of how dependent we have to be on God to get through. not just addictions, but through life in general. So imagine, compound someone who’s struggling with an addiction and has to get through that addiction and trying to do it on their own. It’s impossible, right?

Yeah, absolutely.

So yeah, and you have to look back, I’m sure and I know you, you all agree with this, is that you were very blessed to be in that place, to have that frame of reference in faith to have that relationship with Jesus Christ, and know that, okay, this is where I’ve gotta draw the line, otherwise my addiction’s going to be outta control.

Yeah, absolutely. And I’m so thankful for that, that I knew where to turn,

yeah, and again, on a personal level with your ministry, and your a pastor, I’m sure you’ve had people who have approached you, who were struggling with addictions. One of the most common addictions that overtakes a lot of people, even married is pornography. How do you deal with as a pastor, people who approach you, again, who are encountering an out of control addiction.

Yeah. We we have this ministry where we just call it a freedom ministry where we pray with people and we just ask God to reveal why we started something. It’s so interesting, the beginning. I’m a big advocate of Genesis in the Bible, God revealed a lot in the Book of Genesis that helps us understand the rest of the Bible. And same thing for us. Why did we start something to. , it could be let a friend told us to do something, so we tried it. It could have been from a place of pain, it could be from a place of abandonment, number of things. But to go back and to know why we started something or why we do what we do is a huge part in, for me, that I’ve seen getting healing and recovery. Because we can work with that. And we can go to that point and get healing at that point. And that can really help us to get the freedom. that we need and to get that strength back really from that place, whether it was abandonment or words spoken over us, I don’t know. It could be a thousand different things. But again, allowing God into that and just saying, God, will you reveal to me? Just show me God. Why did I do this , where did this come from? And allowing God to heal that. I’ve seen it make massive steps forward in people’s

Yeah. And that’s interesting because that’s exactly what I do with the 99 Relapses podcast is I was trained under what’s called the Genesis Recovery Process, and what it does is it digs really deep into the elements of addiction and I, when I say elements of addiction, things like for me, personally, at the hands of my father, it was physical and verbal abuse, and I was carrying around this angst and this anger for a long time. When I, and this was before I was saved, I remember coming to a place in 2002 and looking at my father in the eye and telling him I loved him for the first time in decades. Because this all started when I was young very young, the physical and verbal abuse. And it freed me up. So that was the element of forgiveness, but that rebellion of that angst and anger towards my father was, oh, I’m gonna get him, and I’ll just inflict the pain onto myself with drugs and alcohol and so on and so forth. And that’s what happened. It went down a really bad path back in 87 and 88. But again it’s getting to the core of what that is. And then when you look at. and you look at the things that we do and we do out of rebellion, what, whatever it is, or anger or, unresolved issues of forgiving, it all leads to sin. And I had a two-part episodes series called Is Addiction Sin. And it is, and I come from a school of thought with the whole addiction thing of owning your addiction, being responsible for your addiction, getting through it in faith, getting through it through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But owning up to it, when I say owning up to it, realizing that the price that was paid at the cross for our sin, Who are we to feel sorry for ourselves? , but at the same time, there’s hope and there’s, the price was paid and like you said, we can’t get through this alone. It’s willpower won’t do it.

Yeah, you’re right. And that’s a huge step is owning something. If we own that, we can own the steps to move forward. And that’s huge. Yeah. My son’s 12 years old at this time of the recording and I’m, that’s what I’m working on him. Okay. You’ve gotta own your path forward or you gotta be willing to. Are you willing to take some ownership and take some steps to move forward? And again, for me it’s, are we willing to allow God. , are we willing to allow God to speak into our life and not project our own, view of our father or our parents onto God and create this wall? those are huge steps.

Yeah, it is. I think we live in a time now where people don’t want to be responsible for anything. They wanna shift the blame, the easy way out. and you see it, we see where people a lot of people are turning their back on God as a country. And these are the consequences that, are forthcoming. If we continue on this path. We have to get our strength in, Christ.

Yeah. And God loves us so much. He allows us to make that.

Yeah, absolutely. So my guest, Robert Bass your website is Redeemed On Purpose, that’s www.RedeemedOnPurpose.com. And speaking of purpose you have two books that you wrote. One’s called Discovering How Growing Closer to God Reveals Your Purpose. And the other book is 14 Short Stories To Help You Find Your Purpose. and those could be found on Amazon, correct?

Yep. You got it. All right. Correct.

And again my guest is Pastor Robert Bass, and his website and his ministry is Redeemed On Purpose, and it’s www.RedeemedOnPurpose.com. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the 99 Relapses podcast, Robert.

Appreciate it.

Thank you. It’s been an honor.

Thanks. Thanks.