How To Approach God When Confronted With An Addiction- Interview With Paul Granger
my name is 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. Before I get started with this episode, and introduce my guest. I would like to recap episode number three, where I discussed S.P.A.C.E., which stands for Stability, Professional Help, Accountability, Courage, and Endurance. And in that episode, I had mentioned accountability and courage, one of the biggest obstacles with accountability and courage is shame and guilt, and even admitting that you have an issue with an out of control addiction, which could even create a barrier for clients that I’ve coached in the past to come to the Lord because of the shame and guilt my guest knows about how to seek God and is serving the Lord by bringing people to Jesus Christ through his ministry and podcast, which can be found on all major podcast platforms as well as online at www.WhereDidYouSeeGod.com? He lives and serves his local community with the motto, Love Thy neighbor. I am pleased and blessed to have as a guest on the 99 Relapses podcast, Mr. Paul Grander. Hi Paul.
Hey, it’s great to be here and I’m looking forward to our conversation.
Thank you. Me too. Thank you. I’m blessed to have you on the show.
So tell the listeners and the viewers a little bit about your ministry and what you do, and then we can get right into. The subject matter of the podcast.
Yeah. One thing I’ve noticed particularly in American culture is we like to identify ourselves with our name and our job
and so I had a season of unemployment where that reality became very stark because it’s hard to identify a job if you don’t have one. And it happened shortly after I lost my job and I felt like God was inviting me into this new season that I didn’t know what was ahead. But what I knew he was inviting me to was to be an ambassador of Christ. So that’s one way I like to describe myself. Scripture says, If you wanna be a Christ follower, one of the jobs that you have for life is ambassador of Christ. And so that shapes a lot of what I do. The last four years since I lost my job have been filled with unexpected situations, uncertainties. But also amazing opportunities. But the thread woven throughout is my invitation to represent Christ well. So I do that through the podcast. I do that through community interactions. President of Civic Association, I work alongside youth with a mission, doing a lot of broadcasting and content creation. But all of the functional roles are secondary to that bigger call of loving God and loving others. And that’s what I strive to do and to the best of my ability. And each day I learn a little more what that means.
Okay. So for the listener who is, in faith, encounter issues at times, and following Christ.
it’s not the easiest, road to follow. that’s even in scripture, it’s in Matthew. But what about the person who’s, let’s say, struggling with an addiction who may or not be a Christian? What kind of advice can you give as far as them starting somewhere? Where would be the starting point or what would be a good starting point, I should say?
Yeah. With these types of questions, I find myself coming back often into this idea of what is our foundation? What is the foundation of how we understand the world. How we see the world. And so one thing as a Christ follower, I’ve had to recognize that the ways that I’ve understood the world may be limited, may be inaccurate.
Jesus talks about I’ve come that you can have life and have it to a full extent, right? So whatever I understood life to be, there’s this idea of a fuller life, right? So I think one thing I would say for anyone, Is however we see the world at this moment. However, we understand the world at this moment, however we understand ourselves at this moment is most likely limited or put another way. There may actually be potential, there may actually be hope. And so whether somebody’s a believer in Christ or not, I think that there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that is true, that somebody thought things were one way and they came to discover it wasn’t. And so that’s a starting point for me that I would encourage for others is if you are feeling at your lowest point, if you are feeling hopeless, and if you feel if you think very low of yourself, the reality might be is that there might be hope, there might be purpose and you may have value. I would say there is hope, there is purpose and you do have value. But if you start with considering the possibility that those things are true, you can actually begin to see things that your self defense mechanisms. Or your misaligned perception kept you from seeing opportunities. True is people that care about you. But it all starts with that little teeny shift of perspective. That little, open the door just a tad and the light starts to creep them. But if you are a believer in Christ, I would say scripture is very overt about the limit of our understanding. And so in that case, I say press forward even more into that.
Yeah. And it’s interesting that we’re having this conversation based on that because when someone’s in the middle of an addiction and it can run the gamut with a lot of things. And I think we’ve mentioned this, on the phone originally. Is. That we’re all addicted to something. Okay? We’re all addicted to work certain foods, outside the realm of just the drugs and alcohol, which everybody hears in mainstream media. And, for, let’s say the clients that I had coached and counseled over the years who were transitioning, let’s say off the street or from the prison system where they had some dry time, let’s say for instance, from the drugs and alcohol they were a little bit easier to manage because their head was a little bit clearer from the drugs and alcohol to open up their mind and open up their heart to the Lord and accept the Lord And accept faith accept sobriety and faith. But then on the flip side of that, I had dealt in the past with clients who were in the middle of an addiction, still in the middle of an addiction, and especially clients that have been, let’s say, on, opiates or heroin, who, you’re just trying to get them through. the process. You’re just trying to get ’em clean and, to just say I’ll pray for you, or or read the gospels they don’t want to hear that because they’re going through the physical withdrawals. They’re going through, a horrible time. They need to be stabilized. As I had mentioned when I opened up this podcast episode with space, stabilization, part of that stabilization process is getting them through withdrawal symptoms, They’re going through all these issues. What do you suggest? How what kind of advice can you give on something like that if, let’s say you had somebody that came to you and says, Paul I’m addicted to heroin, and how do I handle this situation?
Yeah. While you were talking, it made me think of the very start of Job so most of Job is job’s, friends. Coming at him with all kinds of things here’s what you should do or here’s what you’re doing wrong. And it wasn’t very effective. What you noted before, that somebody could be in the midst of the hardest moments and somebody could throw a platitude out there and it’s just not gonna stick. But at the start of job, the friends were sitting with him, It was presence. It was being in the, that lament with him that was needed and was valuable. And I think one of the hard things particularly that I, I think people deal with, but also that Christians deal with is we tend to see people as projects, problems as things to be fixed. And we can see things from this like binary perspective of if something, Not perfect, then it, then we need to address it. And that’s the ultimate goal. So when somebody encounters, like in the situation you’re talking about, somebody encounters somebody that’s in one of the hardest moments of addiction, right? They could see that person as a problem to be fixed, and they could think of all the solutions, right? This is what we need to do. This is what you need to do, this is how we get out of it. But, one of the hard realities of addiction, which the title of your podcast hits that is it’s a journey. It could be a lifelong journey, right? So if somebody’s mindset is just you, we gotta get you to stop this and we gotta fix you, then they might not fully grasp the reality of that moment. And , the other thing that it made me think about is something that God’s invited me to in the ways that I’ve been serving, particularly the last year or so. But there’s some moments even before. And our church has a community bible study that I help facilitate. Now I say facilitate specifically instead of lead because one of the things that I, since God invited me to was to not be the leader like I am upfront and I’m teaching these things, rather I’m facilitating it. What God was inviting me to do is to create a space for anybody to feel welcome and safe to come in and process God together. And at any point I could be leading a Bible study or somebody else could, or it could go a completely different direction. And that one piece of it is the most important part, that it is a safe and accessible space for anyone to walk in. Because if we’re honest, there are a lot of churches that will say, Anybody is welcome. But if somebody comes in and they’ve just been using, there are gonna be a lot of people that gonna get too uncomfortable in the room and aren’t going to want to interact. Exactly and functionally sometimes there can be distractions from that space, from what we would want things to be in a Bible study. We want a Bible study to be, nobody interrupts the leader and everybody talks, in turn and stays on topic. And , there’s been many moments in our community bible study that I have had the realization, man, this would be an uncomfortable space for a lot of people. We’ve had folks come in that were deeply intoxicated, like falling asleep. As I will say, we’ve had folks come in that had just finished using and were like in the midst of that, and their communication was impacted by that. And the thing is that the goal in that moment for many people would be to do an effective Bible study, but. That’s not what the purpose of that space was. It was to love God and love others. And the best way that I could love in that space was to be present and to be like . To be welcoming, to make things accessible. And so I think for, this is a two part thing, right? Like I think for the person coming in, there’s an invitation being given to say, Look, come as you are, right? I know you might not be where you want to be. I know you might not like where you are, but sometimes if we don’t like who we are or where we are, then we won’t even step into a space. We won’t even step towards God, cuz God’s not gonna love me while I’m a mess. And then the invitation is also for people who think that they are not wrestling with addiction that feel like they are on the other end. The fixing end is to say. No. You’re actually, your role is to be an ambassador of Christ. Your role is to love, Your role is to serve. And I actually, I did want to touch on that thing you said, and I actually pulled up, Miriam Webster. Miriam Webster has two definitions of addiction. They might even have more, but the first one is the traditional one that we hear. We talk about a compulsive, chronic psychological or physiological need for a habit forming substance behavior, activity, having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects. And it keeps on going on and on, right? That’s the one that we normally think of. But I really like the second definition. A strong inclination to do use or indulge in something repeatedly. And the reason I love that definition is because it hits at what you said. Everybody falls into that category for different things. For some it is substances. For others it is overworking. For others, it is money. But man, even the apostle Paul, and you and I have talked about, Roman seven. I do not understand what I do. And what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate to do, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree. The law is, it goes on further to say for I do not do the good that I wanna do, but the evil, I do not wanna do this I keep on doing, the Apostle Paul is living into that definition. It was a strong inclination to do user indulgence. Something repeatedly. He kept doing what he didn’t wanna do. And so I think for the person that thinks they’re on the outside, unless we realize that is within us as well, then we are gonna forever separate ourselves for those that we think are in a lower place. Cause that’s human nature. We love to separate ourselves. Exactly. We’re a good spot. They’re in a bad spot. We are not in the lowest spot. We’re fine.
At the end of that verse, Paul even says, But now, but I know I have Jesus Christ. Maybe paraphrasing it, but he says, I know, but I know I have Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for me.
Yeah. He says, What a wretched man I am who arresting me from this body that is subject to death, thanks me to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I love that verse. If you don’t mind, , you’re not going anywhere?
I’m not going anywhere . But I really, as you pull it up, I think that is it, Man. I wish we remembered that more often. Possible. Someone that we celebrate, that we raise up as a super Christian is saying, What a wretched man. I am not. What a wretched man I was back when I was killing Christians. What a wretched man I am. And I can’t rescue myself. Who is going to rescue my friends, my travel companions, Peter, James. They can’t rescue me. Who can takes me to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ,
he says in Romans 7:25, at the end of all that, he says, Thank God. The answer is in Jesus Christ, our Lord. So you see how it is in my mind. I really wanna obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature, I am a slave to sin. And one of my mantras is not lovey neighbors like yours, but mine is, I’m not broken. I’m shattered . . .
Yeah. When this, this gives us, man, for someone that’s in the midst of addiction I want them to receive this gift of hope that is in this passage. Because it, it can be really easy to become hopeless or to become dismissive or to think very little of our future trajectory. And Paul is describing himself as someone who was a wretch. He says that in other parts is a wretch that keeps doing the wrong thing, that keeps not doing the right thing. And yet God loves him, right? Yes. This is a guy who killed Christians and God loves him, and he was well into his life when Jesus altered it. And it could be easy for us to think, Oh man, like maybe when I was in my teens, maybe in my twenties, I could have had my life turn around. But now that I’m in my thirties or my forties or my fifties or sixties or seventies, What’s the point now? It’s too late. But man, like the way that God works is not limited by time like we think it is. And you and I were talking earlier about this notion of what state we need to be in order to be used by God. If I’m in the midst of addiction, am I unusable by God? Am I unloved by God? And I love that scripture is so emphatic about who is used and who isn’t used. Jesus talks about the least of these , right? Jesus. ate with the sinners and with the lepers, and with people who, whose bodies were broken and with people whose souls were shattered. Like you noted. Exactly. Not the Pharisees who were high, mighty and like on top of life. He still interacted with them. But what I think Jesus realized through those interactions, Is who is actually able to be effective in the kingdom? Because the Pharisees thought so highly of themselves, had so much pride at times that they couldn’t actually be effective in the kingdom. Cuz their kingdom was their own kingdom. Their kingdom was their own lives, their own understanding, their old goals, their pursuits. But someone who’s lost everything and Jesus approaches them and offers them everything. It’s that’s a not a hard call. I guess like to go from nothing to like something to go from shattered to restoration. And Jesus found more of a willingness to embrace the foolishness of God from those who had been rejected or had who had lost than those who should have known better because they knew all the scripture, right? And so if you are in your lowest place, it’s not a disqualifier. In fact, it may actually be positioning you ultimately to be able to receive what Jesus is offering in a more authentic way because. When you accept it, it’s not gonna be because, Oh, this is the easy thing to do, or, Oh, this makes me look good. It’s Oh, this is, my source of life. .
Exactly. And that’s where you find most of the grace is when people are at the rock bottom. . Okay. And that’s where I have a problem with a lot of these programs like NA and AA, where they pride themselves on this higher power and they don’t clearly define sobriety through Jesus Christ. It’s this higher power. And I can’t begin to tell you how many times when I owned the medical clinic, when I lived in Vegas, and I had that clinic for 24 years. And there was a time where we were helping and assisting patients that were getting through heroin addiction and putting them on a medication called Suboxone at that time. And they’d come out of AA and NA, and this was before I was even saved. And they would say something like, Oh, I, I believe in a higher power through this NA or AA program, and now I believe in Buddha, or I believed in, whatever. And, it’s just, it’s a rinse and repeat because they just repeat the same cycle because there was no substance to it. when they were at their rock bottom, they were very vulnerable for some kind of help. That’s why I really like these celebration for recovery programs. They’re pride themselves on faith-based Christian, and it’s all about Jesus Christ. It’s about the gospels. So I mentioned in my episodes every once in a while and getting back to our point about this whole thing, about putting ourselves in a position of not being this person whose life is perfect, but just to be there as a source of refuge and to witness to someone who is struggling with an addiction about the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is so important. I had somebody just recently tell me they have a real problem with this putting relapse into putting relapse into the title of the podcast 99 relapses, or even into recovery. And the thing is it’s not that I’m putting relapse into the equation of recovery. It’s that we’re gonna relapse. Like I said, we’re all addicted to something and at some point we’re gonna all relapse into whatever it is that we’re weak with. So if we wanna, let’s say, cut down on social media, or we wanna cut down on whatever it is and again, it gets back to the fact in past episodes of the 99 Relapses podcast where I talk about addiction being sin. And it has to do with going to the cross We have to be aware, We have to own our addiction. We have to be aware of our addiction, consciously aware of it. The Lord gave us this brain, and in fact, I’m getting ready to add some more episodes about the biochemistry of addiction. He gave us this brain, this super computer like no other mammal on the planet that we’re able to reason and were able to understand God’s word and we’re able to live by God’s word. And we’re the only, mammals on the planet that, that can do that, have the ability to do that. So we’re so gifted in so many ways, But that gets to our, the question of how can we see God as we are when we feel like we’re at our worst?
Yeah. One, one thing before I answer that, that as you were talking about the limitations of something like NA or AA, I think this is what it is. One, I think there is an initial value, right to this idea of an a higher power, cuz it touched it, what I said all the way at the start. This, when we’re able to recognize that life is bigger than ourselves, right? There, there’s this value to that. But here’s where the limitation is if we don’t define what that means, what higher power means, then it’s gonna be hard to move forward into that. And I think this is where we can have trouble is if we don’t define it or if we, or depending on how we define that, is going to shape what that recovery looks like. And so to your end, one of the things that you and I are talking about is we believe that just as the Apostle Paul believed, And I’m gonna read that verse again. Thanks. Be the God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. Like we believe that because we’ve come to understand that higher power as a God who created us, but who also loves us, who sees us, who knows us, who recognizes us when we’re in the Meyer, in the muck and stoops down to lift us up, right? And so that understanding of higher power can then shape what our, what recovery looks like. Because then we realize, okay, while God does desire better for me, he’s not rejecting me like he, he remains at the table with me. Okay, I relapsed, or I relapsed again, or I relapsed again. If my understanding of God is a God of love, then I’m gonna be more prone to believe that there’s still hope, even after the 99th relapse, right? Whereas if I haven’t defined that higher power or that higher power is a condemning God or an entity that isn’t intimately connected, then when I’m at my worst moment, I might end up feeling alone or rejected. So I think that’s ultimately where the issue can come in. And so to that end, to this question of, if God’s, if the way that God sees me is his child made in his image whom he loves, like how can I get to the place where I I could see that too. And man, there’s this skill that we learn to build as humans where we choose to step towards something even if we don’t understand it. Like when you’re a toddler, you don’t understand much of the world and your parents invite you. To do something or to recognize something, and you have to take basically a step of faith. This makes no sense to me, but because my parent is saying to walk towards them, I guess I’m gonna do it. Or because my parent is saying it’s safe to jump into this giant body of water, I guess I’m gonna do it. Or my parents saying, Don’t walk across the street, even though I see the playground on the other side, I guess I’m gonna listen. Like we have to take these steps of faith, of trusting something that doesn’t make sense to us, that we don’t understand. And you would think that when we hone that in, that we’re good for the rest of our life, but we continue to wrestle with this because you do. We get to places where we get an idea of our identity. And even if God says otherwise, God says, No, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are dearly loved. We could say, But I know what I’ve done . I know what I’m thinking right now. So there’s no way I’m fearfully and wonderfully. There’s no way I’m dearly loved. There’s no way. and the invitation is to choose to believe that what God is saying, even if it’s hard for us to believe, or even if it’s scary or even if it’s risky. Man. Steps of faith are often not easy because there is always the risk of if we’re wrong, what could happen. And the classic biblical example of this is Peter and the waves. And he knew as a fisherman, he knew fishing, he knew the sea. He had experienced waves like those before. He had lost people, I’m sure, friends, family to storms. So when they were going through the water in the storm, he knew the deal, he understood the situation, the risk. And then they see this figure walking on the water. Now they’re so in tune with the reality that those waves mean death. The only explanation is that’s a ghost because the storm is deadly and no one can walk on water. So that’s a ghost, right? But then they realize, oh, it’s Jesus. And he has this moment, this beautiful moment where his human understanding is suddenly confronted by this spiritual reality. And it’s just enough, 51% at least, where he recognizes Jesus for who he is. He recognizes the supernatural thing happening. And he says, Invite me out on the water. And Jesus says, Come. And Peter goes, and he actually walks on water, right? He does something he has never done before, and that was absolutely impossible, right? But then what happens? He begins to think and see things as a human would logically, right? Oh my goodness, these waves are deadly. Oh my goodness. People can’t walk on water. And he starts to. The hilarious thing is right before he sank, he was literally walking on water. He had disproved the thing that he was so convinced of now, and we had that happen in our lowest moments, right? We may feel good about ourselves, we may believe that we’re loved by God, but the moment we get trapped up in some kind of vice or sin or addiction, we suddenly believe the other thing. I’m a wretch. What is there? But, and this is the beautiful thing. Jesus knew this would happen. He knew that we would have 99 relapses. He knew that, like the apostle Paul said, that we would continue to do the things we don’t want to do and the things that we should do, we don’t do. He knew that. So he knew when Peter started walking on the water, he knew that there was a good chance that Peter could sink, right? That he was right there ready to pick him up. Now, did he just brush it off, just not say anything about it? No. He like, he called out the reality that in that space, Peter was practicing what it meant to take steps of faith and then suddenly decided not to anymore. He called that out, but he also rescued him. He also still loved him. He still walked with him. And so there is a grace when we sink into the waves, but there that’s also matched with an invitation to recognize. But we could have taken another step, which means next time we can take another step and if we sink again the next time we can take another step. because the reality is, Peter could have kept walking on the water. Did that make him bad? That he didn’t No. Made him human right. But man, if we could recognize the in invitations of Jesus, then in our worst in moments, that opens up an opportunity for hope. Where we see only death, there could actually be full life.
And that’s where it gets to your point about being present for somebody in a, in the midst of that addiction. Because the thing about the 99 Relapses podcast, it’s not only targeted towards Christians, but non-Christians alike who are looking for that hope. And they’re looking for that, way of coming out of that, rut. And that’s why I mentioned that, we all hear this through mainstream media about, addiction primarily being drugs and alcohol. But what we have to realize is that we are all addicted to something. And, you’ll see people, and I actually had previous episodes where I talked about desire and addiction, that personal desires for for what we want, but at some point in a lot of people’s lives who don’t have faith there’s that missing piece. They may have all the resources financially, they may have what the world has provided them, but then there’s always that, missing piece in their life that fulfills their life completely and that’s of course Jesus Christ. Yeah. It’s the starting point of, like I said, when someone’s in that quandary, they’re in the middle of that addiction and we have to step away, or at least I have to step away at a lot of times and not be so much an expert, but just be present, like you said, because a lot of people have this notion that. If you’re helping them in the name of Christ, your life is all put together and, and everything is all good for you. But it’s what about me? And then they think they’re being judged, you’re a Christian, you’re self righteous and this and that. No, the message that I, I try to get across is that Jesus Christ was crucified at the cross for our sins. And we have to own that and be responsible for that. But there’s also this loving God who sacrificed his son for us, for our life. And it’s just, it’s, it could be tricky at times. Definitely tricky.
And ultimately, Because, yeah, we can think about who would be the best person in that position. And our default response is the person who has their life together that’s theologically trained. That’s all these kind of things, but definitely not a person that’s wrestling with something. Because we see that as a disqualifier. And I had a recent episode on my podcast with a pastor who has wrestled with depression for his whole life. And he was actually coached by someone that if he talks about his depression, he should talk about it in the past tense, not as an ongoing thing, because otherwise it, it could disqualify him as a spiritual leader. He had come to a realization that this depression was something that may actually be with him for the rest of his life. He was learning ways to navigate through it to thrive in the midst of it. But when he recognized that this was a piece of something he had to carry, much like you. Forget the individual in scripture who had the limp for the rest of his life, or even the Apostle Paul, the thorn in his flesh that God didn’t take away right. That this depression was something that he would have to carry. He decided to own that, and he actually shared that with his congregation. And so normally a pastor will go before a congregation and not talk about their faults, not talk about their weaknesses. Some will do it in a prideful way and try to make themselves look really good. Some will just not talk about, they won’t try to put a spotlight on themselves, but they just won’t be honest. But he took the risk and opened up. He didn’t know how it’ll go. He didn’t know if he’d be accepted. And what happened, and this was beautiful when he told me about it, is that he gave an invitation that if anybody else wanted to show they could, he thought maybe one or two people. He said dozens, how people began to openly call out things that they were wrestling with, weaknesses that they had and he was blown away. And so what he could have seen as a disqualifier, what many people saw as a disqualifier, actually qualified him to be able to serve that body of people in a much richer way. Because up until that point, they did not feel safe to open up. Sure. I talked earlier about this community bible study that I do, and our human thinking would say the best person to lead a Bible study would be someone who’s got their life all put together and doesn’t have any vices or anything like that and, but what I’ve shared is that I feel like God’s inviting me to not be the leader, but to facilitate that space. Because I don’t know what God may want to do now. I always try to do my due diligence, come with something to share, but I always hold it loosely in case God does something different. On this one particular day, you know I mentioned earlier that we’ve had times where somebody comes in that was. Currently high. So we had one person come in that was in that state and they said that they saw the doin and they saw something about Bible. And so they felt like they just wanted to come in but they weren’t sure why and so we like, come on, take a seat, get some pizza. They said that oftentimes they felt unsafe or uncomfortable going into churches. So they felt good about being able to come in. And it was this interesting moment for me because I had planned whatever I could say about with the Bible study. Up to that point, I realized, Oh, this is about to go in a different direction. But I felt like I was telling me to keep my mouth closed and to wait. And there was a guy across the table who earlier before she had arrived, this guy was talking about how a couple months before he had recently got outta prison, he had wrestled with different addictions. And, but he felt like I was calling him to support and care for others who were in that similar space. Little did he know that not long after this woman would walk in, who shared a similar story to him, and I have, I, they’re very, This is short list of most beautiful demonstrations of the gospel being shared. Like it wasn’t him like pulling out a track or evangelizing, like he looked her in the eyes, like he had tears in his eyes. She had tears, and he’s talked to her in such an authentic way because he knew, he saw her. Like I could try to understand her situation, but I hadn’t experienced a lot of the things that she had, right? He had. So he was able to see her more authentically than the rest of us. He was able to love her more deeply than the rest of us, and he was able to say the words she needed to hear in a way that she could receive it because he knew how he had needed to hear it originally. So many people would look at him and disqualify him for ministry because of his criminal record, because of his active addictions. But in that moment, he was the most qualified person in the room. Of course I needed to sit back and it was such a beautiful display because Yeah. Addiction, whatever, it’s to can be and often is destructive, can be painful, can hurt us, can hurt others. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. But the capacity for God to work through what little we offer out , you have Gideon in scripture is one who when God reached out to him, said, Hey, I got a task where you get in. He’s whoa. Not me. Cuz I’m the least of my family and our family’s the least of the tribes and we’re the least of, I’m the least of the least you. You can’t use me. God’s no, I can’t . We can disqualify ourselves so often, but man, what God can do through anyone who’s even just the tiniest bit willing is amazing that guy was not planning on pouring into this woman’s life that day. Yeah. But he had already expressed a willingness to do if God presented the opportunity and God’s like, All right, here you go, sooner than you thought. Man, the things we think dis qualify us in God’s hands we just couldn’t believe it. But there’s 1 Corinthians 3:19 says, For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. And then there’s another one that says, Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world for, since the wisdom of God, The world, through its wisdom, did not know him. God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Yeah. Yeah. That’s it. beautiful. Yeah. I was just gonna say, and it goes back to what we were saying earlier, it we do not realize how limited our perspectives and our understanding are. And it’s so limited that even something that could look like foolishness could actually be wise, could actually be true. Walking on water is foolish, but was actually the most incredible thing Peter could have done in that moment. And so how can we all of us become more willing, one to step in faith towards invitations of God, but two, to do humble introspection. And whether that’s the person who’s prone more to pride and thinking that they got their life together to be humble enough to. I, maybe I’m actually like the apostle Paul and I’m a wretch, but by the grace of God, right? Or the person who thinks I’m just a wretch, but to be able to say, but maybe I’m actually loved by God, even though I feel unlovable. Like how can we be humble enough and willing enough to embrace things that seem like foolishness, but may actually be utter truth? Yeah.
And I’ve actually struggled with that in the past with, helping, clients get through addiction and recovery is, I’m like second guessing myself am I really that qualified? And then I think to myself, okay, I’ve been through this and I’ve been clean and sober, and that doesn’t mean anything at all because I have maybe addiction. I had to, have addictions to other things, certain foods or whatever. But then when I think about it, it’s like you said, God’s grace is amazing and it’s, and that moment like. Gentleman that came into the Bible study and he was still high and stuff and he was helping that gal. That right there just shows you that it’s God and we have to take our hands off the wheel and let him. He’s in control. We’re not in control. Yeah. His will be done not ours. And it’s interesting too because the other factor that comes into play a lot of times with for all of us is, and I even illustrated this in previous episodes, is that when we do have faith and we are saved and we’re indwelt with the Holy Spirit, that it’s a precious gift that we have. And I made that a point in about four episode. Where I brought up Satan, because we live now in a time that there’s a lot of temptation, there’s a lot of the world’s trying to pull a lot of people in different directions and get people away from faith. And I think we even had this conversation on the phone about how the world is pulling people away from faith with this, this contemporary Christianity and and it’s okay to, live with your boyfriend or it’s okay to live with your girlfriend and they’re just opening up that door just a little bit to allow the enemy to come in. And then legalizing drugs and things like that. These are real issues that. People who are in a middle of an addiction have to realize, and it’s hard that this world is being run by the enemy. And it’s that temptation and it’s the world. It’s good versus evil, So that’s a challenge for a lot of people.
And one of the big opportunities too, is again, going back to that similar simple perspective thing. One thing we see a lot in scripture when it comes to the enemy and it talks about the enemy being the deceiver, is, you and I have talked about how we believe that God created us and loves us deeply. What the enemy wants to do is convince us of the opposite. That and in sneaky ways when you have, there’s a, there’s scripture where Jesus is in the wilderness and it talks about the enemy coming and trying to tempt him. And it wasn’t even these overtly bad things that he was saying that we could have definitely said, Oh yeah, that’s bad. Like he was hitting Jesus at his hopes and desires and using scripture to do but Jesus was so honed in on who he was in his father, that he was able to hold strong. He was, he hadn’t eaten in 40 days, and so the enemy’s you could, Scripture says you could turn this stone into bread and eat, so like, why don’t you fulfill your hunger? But he was able to say man doesn’t live on bread alone. And so it wasn’t so much about a scripture battle or anything like that. It was. More the recognition that man, they’re one of the greatest threats. There’s a passage I thought about as you were talking, Ephesians 6:12, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers, over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil and the heavenly places. The hard reality is we really do wanna make most of our battles against flesh and blood. Like my issue is that person or that place or that thing. But meanwhile, there is this enemy that’s bringing deception, trying to pit us against each other, trying to diminish our understanding of ourselves, of others, of God, and in such sneaky ways that we don’t even see it, right? So I think if we can get to a place where our starting point again is that humble introspection of this is who I think I am, but right God, how do you see me? And then listen, or this is how I feel about that person, but how does God see that person? And again, like for the person who is, feels like they don’t have any addictions and they’re looking at someone who does you have to do that work. Otherwise you’re gonna see that person as the enemy. You’re gonna say that person’s addicted because of this, and this. And when real addiction can come about for so many different reasons, it does. From circumstantial to biological, right? And the more aware we can be of that reality and the more aware that we can be, that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, , the more effective we can be in this space of loving others. Because otherwise we’re just working off our own understanding and our own motives and our own goals, but God’s inviting us to something better. Like he’s inviting us to full life, to abundant life, to joy, where it doesn’t make sense to foolishness because man, the way things work in eternity is different than the world. And he wants us to get a taste of that. Right?
Yeah. It’s so complex, this whole addiction thing, but there’s so much hope in sobriety through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as I was telling this other gentleman I was talking to a few days ago, I says, I’m not the one who is going to change someone. It’s God who’s gonna change that person. All I could do is just be the messenger and be there for that person and lend. It’s some, an empathetic ear to them. , and I did mention, like I said in a few episodes where I said, addiction is sin and it’s something that we have to own and we have to go to the cross and we have to repent for. But there’s love for that act that, for that sacrifice that was made at the cross, But it’s just, like I said, it’s just so amazing and I just hope and pray that a lot of people who are struggling with addictions, and it doesn’t just have to be drugs and alcohol. It could be pornography, food, gambling, it could be anything, everything. Obsessive thinking all that, that they overcome it and they overcome it through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s just it’s wonderful. It’s beautiful.
Yeah. And the good news is, and it goes back to what you were saying earlier, is it can start today. Like this idea of coming as you are, right? God is already like he already knows, He already sees you. And so if somebody is hearing an invitation to trust God, that means God has allowed that invitation to go. It’s if we were throwing a birthday party and we didn’t like someone, we wouldn’t extend them an invitation. Or if they did something after we sent the invitation, we would revoke it. But if you’re, everyone who’s listening right now is receiving an invitation to accept this love from. And you don’t have to disqualify yourself and you don’t have to fix yourself, you don’t like before you can accept it. It’s this idea of stepping into that. And just like you said, you’re not gonna be the one to fix somebody. We’re not gonna be the ones to fix ourselves as much as we want to, and so you don’t have to fix yourself before going to God because you can’t fix yourself before going to God. And that’s not what he’s looking for. He’s not looking for fixed people. He’s looking for his creation. Oh scripture talks about the prodigal son. There’s this past, this parable of a good father, loving father who had two sons. And one of ’em is You know what? I want my money and I’m out it takes his inheritance. And he goes, and he squanders it, spends it in all the wrong ways. Likely dealt with a lot of addictions, right? Lost all his money. So whatever he was doing, he wasn’t making wise decisions. And lost all his money, found himself in one of the lowest jobs where he was feeding the pigs, and he was he had lost so much that he’s looking at what the pigs are eating and he’s I want to eat that . That’s, And he got so low that he is like, You know what, I think my only hope now is to go back to my father and be a servant because I would be in better shape as one of his servants than I would on my own in this place right now. And so he made the hard decision, that step of faith to walk back to his father. He knew it would cost, it would be humiliating. He knew he would go from recognize every day. He went from being a son to a servant. Like he, he knew all these things. The shame he could feel, the guilt he could feel, but he chose to walk towards it anyways. And how is he. Received. The father was watching for him, waiting, ran out to him and celebrated him. Exactly. His son had just come from feeding pigs. So when this wealthy father hugged him, the son smelled like pig droppings. Yeah. The son was covered in dirt and mud. He was not clean. He did not smell good. He was not in good shape. He was probably exhausted from walking. He was probably in the worst condition he had ever been in. And the father embraced him as he was like, That’s the invitation for us. That’s the, and our worst condition ever. And God is I’ve got the hug, ready for you, .
And what did his brother do? His brother resented him. He was telling his father why are you embracing him? He was the one that,
He doesn’t deserve your love. He doesn’t deserve your love. Yeah.
And that’s what’s so beautiful is the love. Was not contingent on whether or not we deserved it. Because actually, like the Apostle Paul said, I’m a retch. Like the apostle Paul didn’t deserve God’s love. He didn’t deserve Jesus’s love because Jesus said to him when he inter interacted with him on the road, Damascus, you’re persecuting eep Paul. Paul didn’t deserve God’s love. Jesus’ love. And yet it was given anyways. Yeah. And so the older son got it wrong, like the brother. He thought love was contingent on actions, but the father’s love was contingent simply on the fact that it existed. God’s love for us is contingent on the reality that it simply exists right now. So it’s not up to God to love us. He already does. It’s up to us whether we will receive it and sometimes we don’t. Cuz we decided we don’t deserve it. We decided that we’re not ready yet for it. We decided that whatever. Meanwhile, the love’s still there. Yeah. And it will be there tomorrow too.
Yeah. And that’s why when it comes to addiction, that you’ll find a lot of people are at their very low and they have to be at the very bottom to find it. But it’s just, it’s amazing. Let me ask you, so another question I have are, what are some simple ways and steps toward God, even if we are struggling? What are some of,
I think that’s an important question to ask because our go-tos can sometimes be inaccessible, right? Like you, some people say you gotta spend, 30 minutes in prayer every day and you need to breed your Bible every day and you need to this, that, and the other. What if you have a substance abuse addiction and that’s brought you to a place where you are unsell? So you don’t have a home, therefore you don’t have a place for belongings. Therefore, you can’t consistently have a Bible with you, right? And so you can’t read scripture every day. Or what if it’s not an addiction issue, what if it’s, there are people in the world who are working six, seven days a week to feed their family. So they come home to a house full of kids, or like a shack full of kids even. And so it’s like busy and loud and you’re exhausted and you don’t have time to go for 30 minutes with God. And even if you did, it wouldn’t be quiet. And like we put these parameters around what engaging with God looks like. And I think embracing the simple the, as a pastor of mine once said, the low hanging fruit can be the thing that we need. Because if the steps to God seem inaccess yeah, inaccessible, unattainable, then are we gonna even try to reach for it? But if it’s low hanging fruit, if it’s right there, we still might reject doing it, but that accessibility can at least get us to take that first step. And I’ve thought about it a lot in terms of since I’ve had young kids, my rhythms of what it looks like to engage with God have changed because young kids mean there’s a lot of my time is filled with them and there’s no silence in the house. And so quiet time isn’t a thing. And so I’ve had to embrace what could it look like to give even a little bit to God, even if it’s one minute I can sneak out on the porch and just sit with God. And so what I would encourage somebody to do, one is to think about if you’ve ever connected with God before. What were some of the easiest ways to connect? So some people it is prayer. Some people connect well with God through scripture. Some people connect well with God through. Singing through worship songs, through things like that, right? Some people connect with God through silence, right? Think of a way that it’s not hard, hasn’t been hard for you in the past. Connect with God and then find a small way to do that today, right? Even if it’s just one minute out of today, Boom. Because from my perspective, what God’s desiring from us is to step towards him. And so every step towards him is a beautiful thing. Whether it’s a giant leap or a tiny toe nudge forward, right? And so if today the only thing somebody did was they got a verse of the day widget put it on their phone. So it’s on their home screen. So whenever they turn on their phone, it’s there. And all they did today with scripture is they read that one verse that’s still a verse that you’ve read and you’ve taken step towards God. There definitely is a place. For building up disciplines, for pushing us into things. And I’m not saying don’t do that, but I think sometimes we get over focused on that and then we miss, we just, we drop completely. , if we’re in a place where we’re wrestling with a lot of hard stuff, if somebody’s in the midst of addiction, those high level things can just seem miles away. So let’s just take a simple step forward. So that’s what I would encourage people to do. Think of what a simple step towards God could be. Don’t pressure yourself for it to look like someone else or even look like your own expectations of what you used to do. There’s this passage in Psalm where David is like lamenting and he is like, Why are you forsaken me God? And everything’s falling apart and everyone’s mocking me. And that he talks about how there was a time when he led the congregation towards God, to serving God, to worshiping God. And now he feels like everyone’s saying, Where is your God? But that Tom was a simple step, an act of stepping towards God. For him it was lament, it was crying out to God, but it was still engaging with God. Cuz that’s what we’re talking about this. This is a simple engagement with God. That’s what I would say. Find a simple step towards God and take it. And then take another one. And then another one.
Yeah. And I think a lot of times too, a lot of people don’t know where to start. Cause I think when I start. We started talking earlier in this episode. I mentioned, it’s easy for us as Christians to encounter someone who is struggling with an addiction or something, or even grieving for that matter, and just say I’ll pray for you, or, or, just read the gospels. And I think that the important thing is that when someone’s struggling with something let’s say depression for instance, or something like anger, an anger issue or something, a concordance in a Bible is so wonderful because they can reference verses strictly based on those specific items. But I also think too, again, Is that, especially when it comes to struggling with addictions is a and I keep going back to this, that addiction is sin. Okay? And it leads into a multitude of other sins because it’s a very selfish act. And we have to own that. We have to own that addiction. We have to, And when I say we own it, we have to realize that, okay, am I’m not just affecting myself, but it’s affecting other people around me. And I know it’s, it sounds harsh and it sounds like, I’m taking this bandaid off somebody and it’s gonna hurt, but it also comes back to repentance too. So part of that prayer life of, asking. God for something, God, free me from this addiction or whatever. That’s okay. So you’re asking for yourself, but you gotta also, I think the important thing is to realize that, hey, you know what? This addiction is not only affecting me, it’s affecting everybody around me. It’s leading me to do things that I normally wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. So I think part of that prayer life has to also include some repentance and some asking for forgiveness and asking for God. And the ultimate price that was paid at the cross for that, for those sins is realizing that through the gospels, and I know it sounds a little harsh, I don’t want, Cause I start sounding like some worldly therapist or something about, Oh, it’s okay. you’re just enabling someone. You know what I mean? We’re not really experiencing the full essence of what God could do for us if we do go to the cross and if we do repent and we do ask for forgiveness, does that make sense?
What’s hard is there, We’re talking about our deep truths. Again, we talk, we’re talking about the foolishness of God, right? So we’re trying to make sense of these deep things that can look like foolishness to us. And what you’re saying, what’s interesting is sometimes in order to fully understand the truth, we have to come at it from a few different directions. Sure. But sometimes we resist that because we do broad suites. And you talked about the person who. Doesn’t like the relapse being in it because maybe that person thinks, if that person’s relapsing then that means they’re not trying hard enough or they don’t care enough and so you should have a relapse and then and there’s actually this resistance or fear of messing up again. That’s, But the apostle Paul said, I keep doing the thing I don’t wanna do. But at the same time, to your point, the Apostle Paul didn’t say, I do not understand what I do. Cuz the thing I hate to do, I do, but it’s okay. He didn’t say that. Like he recognized the destruction that I could bring, but he also realized the love and grace of God in the midst. And I think to pair what you’re saying with something, there is a verse I was looking up, I actually pulled it up. I didn’t pull up this verse, but you were talking about the beauty of a concord. This is also the beauty of the internet. Like whatever you’re working through, you could just type in versus about blank. So I just typed in versus about addiction and the internet delivers. You always gotta be careful with the internet, but yeah, you can find some good stuff. And so the second one on the list I was glancing at it as you were talking, it’s second Timothy one, seven. For God gave us a spirit, not a fear, but of power and love and self control, right? And so to your point, the reality is the deep truth. The foolish reality is that addiction is a destructive force in all of us. It is can cause us to hurt ourselves, dishonor God, and hurt others. But also, even though that exists, we haven’t been given a spirit of peer fear. What God has given us has offered us. Is one of power and love and self-control. And the moments where we’re wrestling the most with addiction, sometimes it’s because we’re operating outta that spirit of fear rather than a power and love and self-control. And so there’s this invitation here alongside this recognition of we’ve gotta own the hard reality. We also had to make sure we own the beautiful gift, right? And how do we do these things in tension? Because again, if we do broad sweeps, then we could veer too much on condemnation or veer too much on grace. But holistically, god’s Look without me, you’re gonna find yourself like Paul, feeling like a rich unable to fix yourself. But I am that father standing on the road ready to hug you while you. Pig feces on you, . Like it’s the tension and it makes no a sense to us because we don’t always operate that way, but we’re not God, thank goodness we’re not God right? But God operates in a very different way. And yeah. You say that because there’s a verse as well where Paul talks about that and he talks about the grace of God forgiving us. And then he says, and he, and again, I’m paraphrasing, but then he says something like does that mean that we keep sinning?
No. He says, No, by no means by no means. So coming to terms and when I say owning your addiction, that means realizing that what you’re doing is probably not the wisest thing, not only for yourself, but for the people around you. And that one of the episodes that I did, and I know up until now when you listen to my solo podcast, I probably sound like some hardcore evangelist, condemning people. But that’s not what I’m trying to do. What I’m doing is I’m not this enabling, I don’t want to be some enabling person. I want people to realize that there is beauty in accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, and there’s just this vast floodgate of love and forgiveness that God has given us through his son Jesus Christ. He gave us this precious gift, and even when I talked about the enemy in, in, in four episodes, you know what I, what I. Was making a point was, don’t get distracted by this world. We don’t, we live in this world, but we don’t belong to this world. We have the precious gift of the Holy Spirit and indwelt in us. Yeah. And the other thing too is that when we commit these addictive sins, cuz that’s what they are, we’re defiling the Holy Spirit that lives within us. Cuz the Holy Spirit does live in us. And even Jesus talks about that. He talks about blaspheming, the Holy Spirit. He says, You can blasphemy Me. He says, But if you blasphemy me the Holy Spirit, there’s no forgiveness for that. He says that. That, that’s why I bring up that point in, in those episodes. And I’m, like I said, I’m not here to condemn people for their addiction. They have to realize that there’s more of a precious gift out there and there’s hope out there with accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Yeah, and to your point, and I think the thing that can help us to navigate this is you noted the start, we all wrestle with addiction. So even shifting our mindsets to say we like, instead of it could be easy for me to say man, people who are wrestling with addiction, they, but if I get better at saying, we then I can recognize, man, my own addictive things are big or small, have the same ramifications. And, the, I had to pull up that verse again with the Apostle Paul because he says, so I find this law at work with me. So I find this law at work, although I want to do good, evil is right there with me for my inner being I delight in God’s law but I see another law at work in me waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a rich man I am who will rescue me from the body that is subject to death, thankss me to God, who delivers me through Christ Jesus, our Lord. So then I myself, in my mind, am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature, a slave to the law of sin. So it’s what you’re talking about. There’s this reality that we could simultaneously want to seek God, but there is this sinful nature that keeps on trying to imprison us. And you mentioned that phrase in and not of the world, and one of the ways that I found myself starting to weak that a little bit, or at least that it helps me to understand it, is this idea of being in a place but not controlled by that place. There is scripture about the Israelites or individuals being in captivity but not controlled by that captivity. Daniel was in captivity and they were telling him what to do and he is But God’s telling me to not eat your food. So I answer to God or shadow me check into Bendigo. I know you’re telling me to bow down, but God says I can’t. So they were captive but not controlled by that captivity. We can be surrounded by sin and sin, nature and the laws of sin and in our humanity, it could be really easy to let ourselves be controlled by that without realizing it sometimes, cuz that’s the trap that a lot of people who aren’t wrestling with the overt definitions of addiction, that’s the trap that we could fall into is we just don’t, we don’t think that falling into any kind of sin, any captivity, but we’re being fooled by it. . No,
we are. Especially like even with politics and stuff in this day and age. Oh yeah. those are addictions, those are idolatry. I went to a church service, I don’t know if you can call it a church service. This friend of mine invited me to, but they talked about a certain candidate that was in office two years ago. We know who that is. And and that’s all they talked about. And I said to my friend, I says this, what this is idolatry. We’re at, we’re supposed to be at a church to be worshiping and adoring Jesus Christ, our Lord, and savior it’s one of my addictions is nuts. Almonds and peanuts and stuff. Sometimes, And I like pizza too.
Yeah. And even, one big addiction for Christians that I’ve been thinking about often that we don’t want to acknowledge is we are addicted to the way that we understand life. Yeah. And we see it the most when God gives us a foolish invitation, when God calls us to something that could be costly, our addiction will cause us to continuously do something counter to that. I know God wants me to do this, but I ran into this when I lost my job and I felt like I was calling me to trust him with my finances. My wife was pregnant with our third child. Like I. I needed income, right? I needed money. But what God was saying is don’t operate out of financial fear. But I had a lot of people that were addicted, like good while, meaning Christians addicted to the way that they understood the world worked, and they were trying to force a different will me, Paul, you need to do this. You need to get, you need to think about your family. You need to, And I had to make the hard decision of do I go with what makes logical sense? Or do I trust the foolishness of God? And by the grace of God, I was able to trust him. And for the last four years, I’ve gotten a traditional paycheck and we’ve never missed a bill. Never missed a meal, but if I had fallen into, it would’ve been really easy to fall into financial fear to fall into the addiction of this is how life works, this is how money works, this is how life works. Reputation was a big one. You lose your job, man. That hits you. It hits you hard internally. Yep. And so there could have been a lot of reasons I would’ve gotten a job just to prove myself or to prove I applied to an executive director job. I felt like I was calling you to it. But part of the reason God called me to it was so that I could acknowledge like basically what God was saying. Look, I could give you this executive director job, but I want you to see that the main reason that you want it is because then the executive director that fired you could then feel bad about what they did. Like I wasn’t overtly thinking about that, but I recognize Yep. That is a draw, like reputation could have been a pull for me. And so we are addicted to these things that keep us from doing the healthy thing of seeking God as Christians. That’s our biggest addiction. And we are blind to it most of the time. But then,
yeah, I did an episode on that about identity and how God identifies us that we’re not to allow the world to identify us. We’re not allowed we don’t allow people, places and things to identify us. We have to trust God. And believe me, I struggle with that too. Big time, a lot. at 59 years old, getting a job, and me and my wife are very blessed in many ways. And we don’t live beyond our means. But, you get caught up in this identity thing of, oh my gosh am I gonna survive? And what’s gonna happen a year from now? What’s gonna happen a week from now, or two days from now? And it’s foolish. It’s foolish because there’s no guarantees. And you don’t, we, it’s only depend on God. That’s it. And it’s easier said than done a lot of times. we all get caught up with that. it’s what you’re talking about, Peter, coming out of the boat, And he gets distracted by the world and then he falls in the water,
yeah. But and here’s the wildest thing. The wildest thing is like he was actually right on, on most levels, he was right that he can’t walk on water. He was right that the waves are bad. Like logically he was right. But for this small but massive truth that Jesus could do, the supernatural that the wisdom of gospel is just demand. And so I think that’s important for us to realize too, is in these moments we could be actually right about certain things, but that doesn’t mean that’s the direction that we should go. Like we could be, right? If somebody’s in the depths of substance abuse addiction, they could actually be right about how many people will view them or the limitations on their life the impacts that certain choices have had. But it doesn’t necessarily. Mean that you can see what’s next , right? Like God can surprise us or sometimes he can invite us. Like Joseph. Joseph stayed in prison for a long time. Like he could have been freed, but he wasn’t because God was after something different. God was doing something different. And yeah it’s this invitation to release our understanding. Proverbs three, five and six and it’s been a lifetime love verse of mine is trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding and all your ways submit to him and he would set your path straight. It doesn’t say don’t have your own understanding. It’s saying have your own understanding, but don’t lean on it. Like you could think what you’re thinking, but what could it look like to trust God? Even as you’re thinking that, what could it look like to submit to God? Submission is a word we don’t like. We don’t like to submit. Cuz if that person we’re submitting to isn’t a good person, it could hurt us. There’s risk in submission, but. In all your ways, the commit to God, and he will set your path straight. Like he will blaze a path forward that we couldn’t have on our own. We’d be lost in the woods meandering around, right? And man, yeah, it’s this invitation. Are we willing to release what we understand, what we think we know, where we think we’re going, And say, Could it be possible that there is a God who created me? Could it be possible that he loves me? Could it be possible that he’s invited me today? And how can I step towards that in a little way right now? And see. And see, right?
Baby steps of getting through faith, baby steps. Beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing. Yeah. So my guest, Paul Gringer, he can be found at, https://wwwWhereDidYouSeeGod.com and again, as I mentioned when I opened up this podcast episode, he lives and serves his local community with the motto, Love thy neighbor. And I hope to have you back on the show. We can talk about some other things. Paul, this has been an awesome experience. Awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Yeah, really appreciate the opportunity. I always love pressing into these things with someone. This is great. Yeah. Thank you, Paul. Appreciate it. God Bless.