Freed from Addiction to Gambling, Drinking and Smoking

Brian - Perth, Scotland


Photo of Brian

Hello everyone,

This testimony is my account of how the Lord set me free from the chains of addiction, and completely turned my life around.

First Steps Before A Fall

I got saved (became a Christian) in 1999 but fell away (left the church) after a few years because I never succeeded in overcoming the flesh; in other words, I struggled with sin and stopped trusting God to change me, which He actually promises He will do for those who trust and obey His word. REVELATION 14:12 – “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” I did love God and in other respects my life was great; I was doing well in my Christian walk but there were underlying problems I didn’t let God help me with.

Compromise and Despising God

Above all, I didn’t let go of my desire for the world. Jesus said that if you are a friend of the world you are an enemy of God because you cannot love both.

JAMES 4:4 “...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

God says we have to choose Him over the world, and hold on to Him no matter what comes our way. MATTHEW 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

It is not possible to compromise and walk with God. Either love God, or hold on to the world. I held on to the world, so I automatically started to despise God! I stopped trusting Him, stopped relying upon Him, and eventually left the church.

Addictions Get Out of Control

I offended pretty much everyone in my life with my behaviour

At first life didn’t seem too bad. I was able to hold down a decent job as a plumber, and even went on to get qualified as a heating engineer. I was working for my brother-in-law who was patient with me when I had bad spells with alcohol. At the beginning of this employment my drinking was really bad. I would take days off because I was hung over, or even a week off to recover from injuries sustained while drinking. I spent time in police custody due to drunkenness and offended pretty much everyone in my life with my behaviour. I was still able to build up a relationship with my daughter, and throughout my life for the past 8 years I cherished my relationship with her. She lived with her mother in a different town and I’d only see her at weekends, but quite often I would disappear out of her life for a few weeks at a time because I chose to drink rather than spend time with her. She was a huge part of my life, but eventually my drunken behaviour was to almost destroy my relationship with her. That is another story. I’m only emphasising this to show that even when your addiction is hurting those around you, it isn’t necessarily enough to make you stop. I love my daughter more than anything in the world, and yet my own need to get drunk took priority over her. It is outrageous, and may be impossible for some to understand. Unless one has been an addict and “been there” it is probably impossible to understand the power addiction can have over “normal” behaviour.

Hitting Rock Bottom

A few years after leaving the church I met a nice girl, my life improved somewhat, and my drinking was restricted mainly to weekends. I seemed to have things under control and my relationships within my family were good, but my alcoholism and addiction to gambling were always just under the surface. I wasn’t dealing with them, but rather restraining them. In 2011 I separated from my fiancé and then my drinking and gambling came back with a vengeance. Things got really bad and I started drinking at every opportunity and gambling whenever I could. I attended Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Gamblers Anonymous (GA). I also had a private counsellor from Addiction Support and Counselling (ASC), who I visited weekly. Nothing worked. My financial desperation spiralled out of control and I was in more debt than I could cope with. I abused every line of credit available to me to fund my gambling habits. This left me feeling depressed, which in turn led me to drink more. My life then got worse when I lost my job. This meant I had a lot more “free” time on my hands which I chose to spend drinking. I gave up the discipline of my routine jogging, and my motivation was deteriorating more and more. I tried setting up my own plumbing business but it was a failure, as I couldn’t keep money in the bank, and I was unreliable.

Remembering God’s Promises

I remembered His promises that if I seek Him I will find Him

During this dark period I felt that God still had His hand in my life, because when I reached rock bottom I knew in my heart that God could turn everything around, if I would only pray and ask Him. I was so ashamed of myself it was very hard to speak to God, but I remembered His promises that if I seek Him I will find Him and if I knock then the door shall be opened to me. MATTHEW 7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. I started searching my Bible and crying out to God. I had lost my daughter, my job, my self-respect and more things besides. I seemed to be so lost in my addictions that I did not expect to ever be able to pull myself out of the dark hole I was in, but I still knew that God could help me.

ISAIAH 40:31  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Repenting and Turning Back to God

It was at this point I decided to get back in touch with my friends from the church. The Christian life seemed so far away that I thought it was very unlikely I would manage to change, but I remembered that God CAN and WILL help me if I only ask. Christian friends then prayed in the name of Jesus Christ for my life to be mended and for me to be healed from my addictions. There were no fireworks or ground-breaking earthquakes, but I knew in the depths of my heart that God had heard me, and that He was setting me free. It’s hard to describe. Changes were not instant from one day to the next, but even when I slipped or failed I still felt that - for the first time in five years - I was beginning to get control of my habits. I am now free from any of these addictions, and today I am free from alcohol and free from gambling.

Holy Spirit Cleaning Up My Whole Life

The Holy Spirit has not only freed me from addiction and removed the dark depression from my heart; He’s cleaning up my whole life. My business is doing well, I’m in control of my finances and clearing my debts, my relationships within my family are improving, my friends have been commenting on visible changes in me, and I am actually JOYFUL!!! My depression is GONE, my alcoholism is GONE, my gambling addiction is GONE, and most importantly my feelings of constant guilt are GONE. I AM FREE!!!

2 CORINTHIANS 10:4  “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)“

I can promise you that they aren’t too big for God to deal with

Looking back, I now realise that none of the agencies which I had tried for help, like the AA, could work because I wasn’t asking Jesus for help. They may work for some people, and I’m not undermining these organisations as they can, and do, help some people improve their lives, but true healing comes from God. There are many, many more exciting things I have experienced over the past months, and I’d love the chance to share some of them with you. If you are reading this and you have had similar struggles in your life then please get in touch. I believe there are many people like me out there who need help, and encouragement, or maybe just an understanding ear. Whatever your problems are, I can promise you that they aren’t too big for God to deal with. Nothing is too big for God. LUKE 1:37  “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Thanks for reading.

In the love of Christ,        Brian

Comments

Hi I am writing this as I have just gambled away some of the last money to my name. I have been dealing with this addiction since I was 19 and am currently 28. Almost 10 years of complete chaos and out of control behavior. I am at a breaking point. My family has all but given up on offering me any help and support and even still I keep thinking that my only way out is to win money back. I am a table player and today alone lost basically my last eight thousand dollars. I believe in Jesus and am confident I am saved but this addiction has such a strong hold on me. I attend a church where we only read from the KJV Bible and I was so encouraged to see your scriptures in KJV. If possible I would like to tell you more of my story and find encouragement in speaking with you. Please reach out to me by email or I can send you my phone number.
Thank You for your story Brian

I struggle with a cocaine problem that then triggers me to drink, smoke and gamble, resulting in health and financial problems. I too tried meetings but they never worked for me. I have always believed God was the only true answer. I have never lost faith in God...I pray daily and I ask Him for His help regularly. However this struggle is my own little secret up until just now. Maybe I just need others to pray for me too. I really want to live the life I know He intended me to. Please pray for me. Thank you!

Dear Friend,

I just prayed for you to be deilvered from your cocaine addiction. Believe that God does not want you to destroy your body with that poison and have always a sound mind, making decisions that lead to life and not death and despair. Read also the article about drugs and smoking on our website.

2. Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

God is willing and promises to heal you and save you IF you believe and follow him. God's will is full salvation. Not just a healing or a little freedom here and there. God doea not do half things. You ought to bear your cross and deny yourself daily. That means also you say no to your lusts/temptations. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Also, you need true Christian friends around you, who know your problem and can ask you the awkward questions and help you to get out of the stranglehold the devil has over you. You need to confess your sins (to a friend in Christ) and ask for prayer (in Jesus' name).

James 5:13-16 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Hope you take the right steps and get in touch with true believers, seeking the Lord and resisting the devil.

God bless

Please I need God's intervention in my life. Gambling has ruined my life. I know God can save me from this horror and set me free from this demon called gambling.I will be 42 soon. Am only working to feed my gambling addiction.

Dear friend,

I just prayed for you to be freed from this addiction. Now it is up to you. 

Please read the scriptures and references in this testimony. Pray to God, the creator and father of all mankind, to help you in Jesus' Name. Particlularily, to find people that are able to help you and are able to keep you away from your 'normal' lifestyle. I gather that you are not strong enough to resist the temptation alone, so keep away from it. You need assistance and you need to build up good habbits, getting rid of your old. 

Find a good Christian church, one that preaches the full gospel (no compromise). Obey the gospel, gain Godly fear, making sure of your salvation, resisting the devil (evil in all forms). This way the enemy of your soul (the devil) is not able to overcome and bind you through addictions.

If you drink alcohol, stop it as it will inhibit your will and self-control and drag you back to gambling at the next opportunity.

For more information please check our website the comments and replies below.

God bless

 

My son in law, Steven, still has all these addictions after 40 years. He is aged 58 now and will not listen after so long, about Jesus being able to set him free. Way back, when I was saved at aged 42 in 1978, I used to tell him that God could free him from all of these things. He ignored the advice and now has many sicknesses and diseases etc. Pray for Steven, please. Most of his large family are all the same. Several dying from cancer, dementia, and poverty due to gambling. Generational curse I believe. His younger sister just died from lung cancer and smoked till the day she died, that was 2 days ago. His mother is the same and his younger brother died a few years ago from all these and alcoholism. So, tell me, what does it take? It breaks my heart and surely it does with GOD. I have grandkids and great grandkids in these families, watching the same happening to them??
Perth Western Australia

Dear friend, 

Many thanks for writing your lines below and asking of what it takes for a person to stop these addictions? As in your son in law's case, he doesn't, even though he and his family suffers so heavily under them, including terminal diseases.

I have listed below three things which I can think of immediately in regards to your question, that come from without of the persons own will, but will need his eventual consent to help. More depth or consideration may be needed in each case, however from a more general point of view, these may suffice.

There is no arguing about parents being an example for their children and the power they have in influencing each of them in their character, development and instilling habbits. Secular educational scientists and psychologists agree on that, though they may differ on a possible solution.

Agreeing to get help, understanding that they are sick, is vital for all who want to stand a chance to fight and overcome these addictions and sicknesses. To be clear, we are talking in general about people having no or not enough will or power in themselves to overcome, else they would have done it. They may have tried many times. We are not just talking about some minor habits or little ailments; these are addictions and serious sicknesses.

Luke 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

Same as it is impossible by man to enter into heaven (without God / by themselves), it is not possible, in a human sense, for such a person to overcome the addiction. There are two main reasons for it. Firstly, sin abides in the heart of man and it is stronger than the knowledge of doing the right thing (avoid evil in all its forms, care for each other and love each other more than themselves). Note, that this is regardless of the power of 'habits', which can be broken. It is the inherint sin that works death and destruction in us, though we may wish to be free from it.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Romans 7:23-24 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Secondly, there is an enemy that is out to destroy the souls of man by dragging them into hell with him. The devil and his demonic cohorts are fighting to drag each soul to hell. This enemy is invisible, but has visible agents, alcohol, gambling dens, drugs, and other 'promises' of fulfilling peoples lusts/wishes that bear the sting of death (poison). I could see over and over again that the enemy will also draw the effected person into a cycle 'friends/family' that are having a detrimental influence on him, thereby binding him emotionally in his day to day life to the addiction.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

Luke 11:26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

If we are true believers, we know that it is no longer just up to them to get out the cycle, but it needs at least a twofold if not a threefold intervention (The third is through the gift of God to a believer).

Firstly, we ought to pray for the person (daily) in Jesus' name to be freed from the bondage and addiction, get help willingly (change of heart), get to know the truth through the Word of God (free mind and strengthen their will, gain hope and faith in God) and finally get saved as the bible tells us to (fully converted as in Acts 2:38).

The first (prayer for them) is of foremost importance. They are blind and know not what they are doing. You can pray for them to be 'open' or listening when you talk to them again about their state and also that they have outside help, people that are willing to open their eyes to their plight.

Secondly, it needs a messenger (person) to bring the good news to them. This can be someone else then yourself. It is sometimes better an outsider to testify of the Lord, as a prophet is not regarded in his own house, family or by his kindred. It can be also a vision, dream etc. that will trigger in them a wish to know and hunger and thirst for righteousness and salvation. Still, it needs a person to lead them to full salvation (instructing them according to the Word of God, baptizing them by full immersion and in water and with the Holy Spirit).

John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 1:5-8 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. … But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Thirdly, every believer has been given power to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. That also means, they should receive prayer by laying hands on them (if they agree and allow) and praying with authority in Jesus’ name. If you can find a church near you with true believers who do believe in prayer and miracles in the name of Jesus, ask them to pray for the person (obviously they would need to agree to this). They would at that point need to receive/listen the gospel with an open heart and believe that God indeed is willing to heal them from all their sicknesses and trespasses.

Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16-18 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

After that it is up to the person himself to keep away from temptation of the addiction. Avoiding the circle of friends (and family if they are bound by the same addiction) seems necessary. Best is to stay with somebody knowing their problem and away from people of bad influence. However, caution is required as you well may know.

Hope you find the above helpful?

Please keep praying for your son in law and your grandchildren. You may be their only hope to get saved out of the death spiral.

God bless.

I just want to say I am dealing with these issues as well right now. However, like you say, God is there to guide me, along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Addiction is a stronghold that comes in many forms but is rooted in cheap fleeting temporary pleasures of the flesh.
It wasn't until I grasped 2 Cor 10:4 recently, that I was finally able to overcome my addiction to marijuana, 25yrs of daily use!!
I had overcome anger, Unforgiveness, lust, easily but this stronghold was one I enjoyed and I always rationalized my "need" for it.
Then I heard something that helped me understand why I felt like I needed to get high...in doing so, I was actually "feeding" the spirit of addiction!
I was in bondage because I choose to keep this evil spirit "alive" by "feeding" it...wow what a revelation.
I really didn't enjoy getting high anymore as it didn't have the same effect as before I was saved. It only made me feel rotten and fake inside.
The enemy would fill my head with things like, "you are such a great Christian aren't you?" Or " do you really think Jesus loves you now?", etc.
I felt spiritually weak and really did not want to read my bible as I felt the conviction quite strongly.
I knew that it was keeping me from living in the richness and fullness of my destiny with God, to be a faithful servant.
I tried many times to stop on my own, sometimes for a few days or weeks but I kept going back at it like a dog that returns to eat its vomit.
I discovered deliverance and knew that this was something that needed to be cast out....it took me 2 mos to cast out the spirits of the occult, I wanted to get this done immediately.
I discovered a Deliverance Prayer by Derek Price on YouTube and also by Win Worley, both are ANNOINTED men of God.
I was set free, All The Glory To JESUS for He gave believers the SAME POWER to cast out unclean spirits by His work on the cross.
The cross breaks every stronghold, the enemy cannot stand the Blood of Jesus.
I felt very empowered to "starve" this spirit, whenever I felt the urge to smoke, I resisted it. It was easy because I knew that I could starve it to death.
The bible tells us if we resist the enemy, then he will flee. Praise God, I have not touched it, I do not miss it and I feel so good in knowing that my temple is clean and pure, the Holy Spirit is thriving inside me and I am excited for God to bless me with gifts to use for His Glory And His kingdom.
It is very important to understand that this is a spiritual battle, that involves the flesh. Study Ephesians 6:11-17.
I recommend this great website called w w w . great bible study . c o m
It has a wealth of information about strongholds , deliverance , etc.
I know that if I can overcome a 25 yr addiction to marijuana, then any one can beat their addiction too.
Give JESUS a chance, he will amaze you and his Holy Spirit will teach you and give you strength.
He who is set free, is free indeed!! God bless!!!

Help me. I want to settle down with Jesus. I've been a Christian since I was a kid and I even an active musician in church. But I never win to deal with alcohol and smoking. And I've been fighting emotionally with God and I even challenged him personally. My family, friends are one by one leaving me. I lost.

Dear friend,

Thanks for reaching out. God does not quit on us and so should you neither on yourself. That does not mean to be blind to the truth or water the issue down. Living with regret does no good unless it worketh godly sorrow in us: 2 Corinthians 7:10 - For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of...

Understand that God is not mocked. so what you sow you will also reap. You seem to get troubled with your circumstances, understandably. But, there is no way round bringing the fruit of true repentance. It is a complete turnaround, no holding on to the world with it's quick 'pleasures' that destroy your life and rob you of your relationships.

Get help, seek God about this subject (see our themesheets about alcohol and smoking and also other drugs). Consider that God has giving you this life and that God will judge you also about what you do to your own body (life) and not only the moral decisions you make daily. You are responsible for your body as an adult.

You can always get in touch with me or some of my brethren if you like. The 'Contact Us' part will show you where we are based in various countries and cities and you could check if anyone is close to you or can meet up with you in your town.

I am praying for you. In God's ensduring love. God bless.

Just thought i would leave a comment because i know i have a gamberling problem but i will not accept help off my partner and i dont feel like speaking will help me overcome it. Im not in debt but i know i could soon end up that way. I wouldnt class myself as really religious but i know god as helped so many people and now i would do anything to be happy again as im always depressed. I want to learn the bible and see if it can actually make me happy again and save my life before i cant take the depression and demons i seem to be faceing everyday.

Hi Brian

I am an alcoholic and a smoker for the past five years. I tried to stop drinking and smoking but i am still failing. Pls Help

Dear Martin,

Firstly I'd like to commend you on seeking help. Quite often it is the case that people (including myself for many years) refuse to do anything about it until it's too late and their lives are impacted by some illness or other debilitating circumstance. Not only are you seeking help but you are doing so by seeking the Lord and that's what has brought you to a Christian website. This is definitely uplifting as you are now making steps on the right path to not only recovery, but to healing in your whole life as this is what God promises through His son Jesus Christ who died to set men free.

Perhaps you'd like to tell me a little about yourself? What age are you? Do you have a family who are affected by your addiction?

Kind regards,

Brian

Hi Brian,
Im an alcoholic and suffering from depression. I have tried for the past8 years to stop drinking but always seem to fail. Pls help

I think this is such an inspirational story I struggled with drugs for a year now and desperate to give them up as it has a massive effect on my life ad family.

Hi Brian
My brother I thank God for helping you and I thank you for sharing your testimony. I too suffer from depression and negative thoughts and destructive habits. Today I chose to worship God and hope returned. Your testimony encourages me and will meet you one day in Heaven.
Love
naren, singapore

Pls pray for me.
I'm desperate to stop gambling.
It is so very hard

Hi i am writing as i have read your testimony and can relate in many ways. I have been a christian for many years and have tried very hard to give up smoking and drinking. I have raised 3 sons who are all struggling with the same adictions i see these addictions robbing us all of vision purpose hope and destiny. I went for many years feeling so condemed and guilty and full of shame. I have successfully stopped smoking many times only to find myself taking it back up. I long for complete freedom I no that God is with me and he doesnt comdem me but in my spirit I long to be free and i long for freedom for my sons and my husband. God has been so good to us on our journeys and I am aware that its not by my own power or stenght but by his spirit. It breaks my heart to see my teenage sons going down the same paths of robbery these addictions are robbing me and my house of finance peace health and joy. I have spent many hours in prayer and Im at the point of trusting God is with us and He has begun a good work in each of us and He will finish it He will and can make a way where there is no way but you are still left with the grief that addictions cause and the loss of money and time and life. It is encouraging to read of what God has done in other lives to set them free. Thankyu

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