Good evening minister,
I was saved when I was a teenager, about twenty years ago. Once I was saved, I found myself walking in darkness instead of the light. I started drinking, smoking and doing drugs for many years. My life was a nightmare. The enemy could have killed me a long time ago, but I know that he didn't because God never left me. Even though I left the hand of God, God stayed by my side. I was a drug addict and alcoholic who always stayed in prayer -- high or sober -- because I knew I was in bondage and needed to be delivered. I was delivered five years ago and my life has never been the same again. I'm a new person. It's as though I had never done the things I did. I haven't even craved a drug, drink or cigarette in five years.
My question is: Why did I fall into darkness after becoming born again? I know my choice plays a big part in my falling into darkness; yet, I also wonder: Can being a newborn Christian without having the spiritual guidance from an elder play a part, or can it be that sometimes God allows us to go into dark places, so that He can use us to help those with similar problems?
I can't answer why it happened to you, but I can share some things I've observed over the years. Many times people who realize they are heading in a bad direction will reach out for God, which is a good thing. But once they obey God's requirements for salvation they mistakenly think the fight is over. "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). Satan doesn't give up that easily. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall" (I Corinthians 10:12). When you let your guard down, you become a target.
Having good advice from experienced Christians definitely helps, but advice is only as good as it is heeded. I've seen people who reject sound advice because of their overconfidence. This is why elders in a church must not be "a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil" (I Timothy 3:6). But what we need to notice is that being a new convert can lead to pride. "The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding" (Proverbs 10:21). A fool is a person who refuses to learn and a person who thinks he knows everything he needs to know is a fool.
It is so good to hear that you've come out of a bad past. "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation" (I Thessalonians 5:4-8). Therefore, keep your guard up. Never think you have conquered any sin, but remain soberly alert so you don't fall.
Thank you. I understand your answer. It makes perfect sense.
I also want to thank you for this site. It's through following your suggestions that I received deliverance five years ago. Both my husband and I were addicts. My husband used to manufacture drugs. I reached out to you for help at a time when I didn't know what to do. I did exactly what you told me to do, I left my husband, found a safe place for my kids and I and stayed on prayer for the salvation of my husband.
My time away from my husband and the dangerous environment for my kids and I was the best thing I could have done. It's during this time when God moved with fire and changed our lives from the old to the brand new. My husband has also been delivered, our marriage is restored, we are both taking classes offered by our church, and we also do missionary work, sharing our testimony. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to death" (Revelation 12:11).
Thank you for your godly advice. May our good God continue holding His gracious hand of mercy over your life. Remain blessed. I love this site.
I don't often hear back from those who write to me, so it is a special blessing not only to hear from you but to know that pointing you to the Scriptures made a difference in your life. Continue to always put God first and life will work out for the better.