Delivered from Drinking and Smoking Addiction!
Hi, I’m Erwin and I would like to share with you the testimony of how I was delivered from my addiction to drinking and smoking through the grace of God and His wonderful power and salvation.
At the age of 14 I was allowed to smoke tobacco and drink a glass of light wine every now and then at home. My mother didn’t want me to drink and smoke in public so I had to promise only to do it at home. Even though I didn’t like the taste in the beginning, I started smoking lots of cigarettes and enjoyed drinking a glass of wine. But soon this was not enough and I longed for something stronger!
On the weekends, I started hanging around with friends at local clubs, concerts, and discos. We discussed the latest music releases from our favourite bands, but often got bored and ended up dancing until early dawn. After awhile I was introduced to marijuana at a party. I only had a few draws, but I was high the whole evening. I couldn’t wait to have my next ‘joint’ and experience this feeling again!
Worldly pleasure became my main driving force and inspiration.
From then on, and for the next ten years, my life was one big party. Worldly pleasure became my main driving force and inspiration. I couldn’t give it up as I enjoyed it too much. Of course, it had a destructive impact on the rest of my social life. The relationship with my Mum worsened, I was expelled from school, and I ran away from home a few times. Things started to get out of hand, but I didn’t care. I simply waved my problems away by getting drunk or high, or both at the same time. I believed that I could get away with it all because you only live once! Slowly I began to realise that my life wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be. My friends had gotten on with their lives, and I was still fooling around! Others achieved things, but I had no goal. I felt very miserable and low, knowing that I only had myself to blame. I knew it was time for a change, but didn’t know where to start. I started to visit different churches looking for some comfort and answers. I began to read in an old Bible that I once got from someone, but it didn’t make sense to me. Even though the people I met at church were friendly and helped me, it just didn’t feel right. I still felt desperate and deep inside I cried to the God of the Bible: “If you are there, please help me!”
One evening, when I was 24, I was looking through a drawing book that someone wanted me to have a look at. On one of the pages there was a leaflet that had an invitation to come to a Christian meeting. I asked the guy if I could have the leaflet and he said, “yes”, as he was not interested in it. So I read it and phoned the number that was on the invitation. The next evening I was picked up by one of the people from the meeting and was taken to a flat where people from different countries were having dinner. The atmosphere was really nice and I felt at ease. At the end of the evening I was shown some scriptures about the power of God and receiving the Holy Spirit. I decided to look the scriptures up in my own Bible as I had never heard or read about speaking in tongues before then!
Right away I knew in my heart that this was true!
When I got home I looked for the scriptures and found them! This convinced me that I had been shown the truth! The next week I phoned again as I wanted to know more. I couldn’t reach anyone, but a week later the guy phoned me again and wanted to meet for a cup of coffee and to show me some more scriptures in the Bible. I agreed, surprised that someone showed interest in me. He showed me that I needed to be baptised, to be forgiven for all my sins. Right away I knew in my heart that this was true!
So finally, after a long search, I made the decision to follow God and was baptised by full immersion in water. Receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in a new tongue was an amazing experience for me!
“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptised? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied”. (ACTS 19:1-6)
The next day, although I was still excited about my new life, I felt the need to smoke a cigarette. I thought “there’ll be no harm done, I’ll have one last cigarette”. At the same time I knew this was wrong. I stood there and started to smoke the cigarette. Right then, I felt a strength overtaking me, which I had never experienced before. It was the Holy Spirit urging me to stop. I had to throw the cigarette away. As soon as I obeyed, I felt at peace again. I simply had a big smile on my face and could only say “WOW”! I felt relieved and free.
That was in 1989 and the urge to smoke or drink has never returned. It was a wonderful miracle and I have experienced many more since. I am thankful for His mercy and loving care! You, too, can be set free.