Welcome to CIR’s Workshop:”Satan’s Role in Addictions and Dysfunctional Behaviors.” This Workshop is presented by noted author Don Umphrey.
note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE
The Workshop will be held two more Wednesdays September 23 and 30 9:30-11:00 PM Eastern Time
We strongly suggest you get a copy of his latest book Seeking Spiritual Clarity
This will help you to get the most out of the workshop.
We recommend this workshop for all aspects of recovery (not just addictions).
We will be posting the transcript from last week’s workshop on the web site….
for those of you who missed it….
Who would like to open us in prayer this evening?
Obie-host GA AlanH
AlanH Father God,
We ask Your blessings upon this meeting…
be with Don as he teaches us…..
enlighten us with Your truths……..
draw us ever closer to You….
in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
I will now turn the meeting over to Don who will speak for several minutes….
after that time we will open up the meeting for questions and comments.
Please go ahead Don.
Thanks, Obie and belated hello to you
and to everyone who is here tonight.
Thanks for your presence.
I’m Don, an alcoholic.
Welcome back to the second week of our 4-week seminar,
Satan’s Role in Addictions/ Codependencies, etc.
I’ll share for awhile and then open it up
for your observations or questions. Okay?
Regarding our topic, I think the whole thing boils down
to a daily decision on our part as to whether we will follow Jesus or Satan.
Jesus represents absolute humility. Satan is absolute pride.
During our stay here on earth, we will straddle
a line somewhere in between those polar extremes.
Pride (Satan)————————————Humility (Jesus)
The closer we get to Jesus,
the more we start seeing the world through His eyes.
If we grow closer to Satan, we get his world-view.
Last week, we saw that Satan’s desire is to be God,
And every temptation we will ever encounter contains an aspect of this.
I call this “playing God.”
For example, in tempting Jesus, Satan said, “All this I will give
you if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:9)
(He wanted God in the flesh to worship him. Yikes!)
In tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, Satan said,
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.” (Gen. 3:5)
Please note that in the above passage, Satan states,
“For God knows…” Who else but someone deluded enough
to think he’s bigger than God would dare say what God knows?
Our attempts to “play God” can include putting something
besides God as number one in our lives, such as booze or drugs
or work or a hobby, the list goes on and on.
Since God is ultimately in control, our attempts to control others
are forms of playing God.
Perfectionists play God because only He gets it right every time.
Our second point last week was that when we do play God,
we take on Satan’s world view of “me-me-me.”
This is an attempt to put ourselves in the middle of the
universe and have everything revolve around us.
It is the same as out-of-control ego, the “Big I.”
This week we will cover two more characteristics
of Satan that also apply to us if we follow his footsteps.
1) Satan is a liar; 2) Satan is in denial.
Jesus called Satan a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
The first time we Satan in the Bible,
he is trying to cast doubt on God’s word.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any
tree in the garden.'” No, that’s not what God said.
God had said that they must not eat from the tree
of knowledge of good and evil because
if they did, they would die. (Gen. 2:17)
The next words out of Satan’s mouth was a lie.
“You will not surely die.” (Gen. 3:4)
This lie was followed by the following statement.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes
will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5)
The idea of being like God was very appealing to Eve.
We already said that “playing God” is behind every
temptation we will ever face.
Let’s now add something to this that is also true:
Every temptation we will ever face will have certain appeal.
In other words, Satan always makes sin look good.
And this is one way that he lies to us.
Let’s look at some biblical passages that back up this point.
“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14)
Check that, evil appears as good– an angel of light.
“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil?” (Prov. 5:3)
In other words, she sounds really sweet,
“but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a doubled-edged sword.” (Prov. 5:4)
Here is another one:
“Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.” (Prov. 23:31
So alcohol looks good. The commercials on tv
sure make it look that way, don’t they?”
But what is it really like?
“In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” (Prov. 23:32)
Here’s an illustration from the Bible:
One night King David couldn’t sleep and
decided to walk around on the roof of his palace.
While there, he saw a woman bathing. (II Sam. 11:2)
How did she look to him? “Very beautiful.”
It turned out it was Bathsheba, the wife of one of his
very best soldiers. Despite this, David’s lust
look over and he had sex with her. She ended up pregnant.
And this was just the beginning of a host of problems
for David and for David’s family.
As I mentioned earlier, I am an alcoholic.
This started when I was in high school.
I was concerned about my popularity and
found that a few beers before a party or dance
took away my shyness and seemed to propel
me into the fast-lane of social life at high school.
I went away to college with the idea that
alcohol was the solution to any problem I might encounter.
In other words, alcohol became my false god.
Initially, how did alcohol affect me? It was great!
What was it like for me at age 27?
I was on the verge of suicide.
Author Erwin W. Lutzer wrote the following:
Satan’s strategy is to give people what they want but to
make sure they eventually get what he wants them to have.
Our first point:Satan’s lies always make sin look good
but in the longer term, sin is always harmful to us.
Point #2:Satan is in denial about being God.
By believing Satan’s lies, we will go into denial
on a road toward spiritual blindness.
Here is the way I define it:
Denial occurs when people lie to themselves and then believe their own lies.
Here are some examples from the Bible:
Remember the adulterous woman described in Proverbs 5:3-4
“Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.” (Prov. 5:5-6)
She’s in denial. What’s she’s doing is killing her
and she doesn’t even know it.
Do you recall what we quoted above about the
effects of alcohol from the book of Proverbs.
Let’s continue with that same passage:
“Your eyes will see strange sights and
your mind imagine confusing things…” (Prov. 23:33)
In other words, this is a person going insane.
What happens next. This person asks,
“When will I wake up so I can find another drink.” (Prov. 23:35)
So here is a person who is insane from drinking.
But what does this person want to do? Have another drink.
Here is another Proverb about denial:
There are those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth;” (Prov. 30:12)
Speaking of people in this type of situation,
Paul wrote, “They perish because they refused to
love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends
them a powerful delusion so that they will
believe the lie…” (II Thes. 2:10-11)
If you want to believe a lie bad enough,
God will let you.
Of Godless people, Paul also wrote:
“They are darkened in their understanding and separated
from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them
due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity,
they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to
indulge in every kind of impurity, with a
continual lust for more.” (Eph. 4:18-19)
Another passage about denial:
“The God of this age (Note:This is Satan.) has blinded the minds
of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light
of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (II Cor. 4:4)
Hardened hearts. Blinded minds. These are functions of denial.
Here is one way that I was affected by denial:
When I was 26 a doctor told me that I had
an enlarged liver from so much drinking.
I forgot all about that and continued to drink.
Here are four conclusions I have reached about denial:
1) As they walk the murky path toward complete spiritual
blindness, people in denial lose all objectivity in regard to themselves.
This impacts their view of everything in the universe.
2) The person in denial is “always right” and
justifies everything he/she does.
3) The person in denial suffers from a loss of identity.
4) The journey toward spiritual blindness is characterized
by a loss of earlier standards and morals.
It’s time for you to share now. Ask any question about
this material OR feel free to share about how you have
believed Satan’s lies. OR how denial steered you
toward spiritual blindness.
done for now
Don__author_ ga Anne
Anne this was such a great workshop..I’m so glad I could be here
I think I must have said “wow” or “that’s so true!” to just about everything that was said
I identify with it so much
It’s cause me to realize how much I’m still in denial about certian issues
and how much I’ve been playing God
it’s been such a revelation..& I’m so grateful that God has shown me this
now I know it and can choose Jesus on a daily basis
I think one of the lies I’ve believed is that I could just say a prayer
and not have to worry about anything the rest of my christian walk!
I don’t think so!
God’s opened my eyes recently (including tonight) about how much
I am in a battle
and I need to make a daily choice to put my armor on & choose to walk with Jesus
7:02:56 Don__author_ amen and thanks
Don__author_ ga Soli
Soli_Deo_gloria Hi and thank you Don, I’d like to know more about what you mean… about a person in denial loosing their identity.
Don__author_ I was really hoping someone would ask that question
As you know, we are made in God’s image.
Thus, the more like Him we are, the more complete we feel.
I lost my identity because I turned my back on God
and did all sorts of things that I knew were not His will.
After some years of this, I looked in the mirror one day
and asked myself…
Why am I me? Why aren’t I someone else?
Strange question, right?
I now look at that as me having lost my identity of being made
in God’s image.
People who are not seeking God
try to find their identity in all sorts of ways…
I tried to find my identity as being a two-fisted drinker.
But all such efforts are deadend roads that lead to further hopelessness.
Does this answer it, Soli?
Soli_Deo_gloria Yes thank you
Obie-host Who would like to ask a question about what Don shared or feel free to share about how you have believed Satan’s lies or how denial steered you toward spiritual bli
Obie-host GA Grace
grace this is a different question if that is ok
grace When we step into recovery
the person we left behind whe we started using or drinking
the one with all the issues that needed to reach
for those idols in the first place
starts to emerge
those issues are still there if not magnified
Some say it is time to get over yourself
and start from right here and now
and move foreward. I does seem rather me, me, me, focused, but isn’t it neccessary to the
neccessary emotional work
so that the “me” stuff doesn’t keep showing up all over the place, like in depression or abandoment rage etc…
Don__author_ Good question.
When I first joined AA, I was stark raving sober
…an empty vessel that was really hurting.
But the steps get me going in the right direction.
First Step:My idol kicked my butt and will kill me if I keep on going.
Step Two:There is a power greater than me.
IN other words, this takes me-me-me out of
the middle of the universe
Step Three:I will attempt to let Him run my life.
That process is even more basic that the necessary emotional work
you were talking about, Grace.
Then you can go to sthe step 4 inventory and get a start on what’s going on with you
First, we need to say that we aren’t God.
Does this make sense, Grace?
grace yes, it sounds like what you are saying
is that the 12 steps is about doing the emotional work.
But let me say that “emotional work” sounds kind of like
psychology to me.
Perhaps I’m wrong in saying that.
But I think that through the steps, God will take care of
the emotional work for us.
The steps take us from self-centered to God-centered
and I would see that as the goal.
But if you disagree, that’s okay
grace no I don’t , that is indeed the goal.
Obie-host Who would like to ask a question about what Don shared. Or feel free to share about how you have believed Satan’s lies or how denial steered you toward spiritual blindness.
Obie-host GA Alan
AlanH I would like to go back to the loss of identity thing…..
I was so deep into my own alcoholism….
that alcohol became my best friend….
and then my identity became wrapped up in alcohol….
I could not conceive of life without a drink in my hand…..
or doing anything without having a drink or two first…..
it had actually become a part of my identity and who I was…..
I was losing myself to alcohol…..
my essence and my being…..
and now I see that it was satan stealing my identity…..
and all the while I was in denial about all of this…..
thanks for sharing that aspect.
Don__author_ You just told my story, brother.
Obie-host Anyone else care to share a comment or question?
Obie-host GA Soli
Soli_Deo_gloria Ty… Don there was an article that came out this week…
saying that Alcohol and drug addiction is a pandemic in the US
23 million addicted… only 1 in 10 get help.
I guess I would like to know , how we christians in recovery can help in forums
that may not be inclined openly to God and Chirstianity.
That’s a tough order.
Unless someone comes out of denial, he or she will
continue to persist in believing he/she is right
For example, what would the Prodigal Son
have said as he was leaving home…
and you went up and told him
“You’re making a big mistake, Son
, you need to go back to your Father.”???
He would have told you to mind your own bees wax
or something that I could not print in this forum.
But he would have been receptive
to hearing your ideas after he was face-down in
a pig pen.
I had to go to a mental hospital to find my pig pen
and it was only while I was there that I became receptive to new info.
The man who carried the message to me
was a fellow patient who worked as a trash collector.
Soli, I really believe there are plenty of people who have
already hit bottom that we can help.
By trying to reach out to people in denial, it might
prevent them from seeking us when they do need spiritual help.
Soli_Deo_gloria Ty Don
Obie-host Any other questions or comments?
7:31:55 BobR !
Obie-host GA BobR
7:32:18 BobR One mistake I think people make is thinking that Satan is in charge…..
that somehow he runs the world…..
I have to remind myself that God is in charge…
that Jesus has won the victory……
when I was deep in my addiction I honestly thought that Satan had won…..
that is a lie …..
and like you said Don, Satan is a liar…..
we have to be careful who we believe and what we believe….
Don__author_ The evil one came pretty close to claiming me, Bob.
thanks for sharing
Obie-host Any other questions or comments?
Don__author_ Going back to Bob’s comment…
One author wrote that God has Satan on a leash
and that Satan has so much power.
We also are promised that we will not be tempted
beyond what we can bear.
I see some old friends out there who haven’t yet spoken up.
Obie-host Anyone care to share?
Obie-host GA G3
G3 ty Obie
I have a question about what i call the boom-a-rang effect of denial
if you would Don speak to the issuse of coming out of the denial and being drawn back
into again further down the road. We know the truth but again choose to follow a lie
Don__author_ Interesting topic.
Don__author_ The sequel to the Seeking Spiritual Clarity book
that is due out next year addresses this very issue.
In it, I use the children of Israel as an example of what you just said.
They had been slaves all their lives
G3 this was not a set up believe me
Don__author_ It looks like a setup to me, G3
As I was saying…
their parents had been slaves, g-parents, etc.
for 400 years.
So God performs all sorts of miracles and then
they start on a trip to the Promised Land.
But when things started getting tough on the journey,
they started thinking about how good they had it as slaves.
Continually, they talked about returning to Egypt.
Finally, they never did go into the Promised Land
and they all wandered around aimlessly until they died.
We are on that same journey.
God has set us free from the slavery of our sins.
But yet when the going gets tough and we take our eyes off of God,
we start thinking about “the good ol’ days.”
When I joined AA, they told me that God would keep me sober and not to take my
But when I forget about those things,
slavery starts looking good again.
Your check will be in the mail tomorrow, G3.
Obie-host Who else would like to share a question or comment?
Obie-host GA Moonsong
Moonsong I would just like to say how much I am enjoying your book Don…
and i am grateful to be here for this workshop…
I would like to ask you about how much of this process is our footwork…
and how much is God’s work in us…
you know faith works…
Step three says make a decision to turn my will and my life over…
My battle is with feeling overly responsible to fix me and others…
I know that is crazy but it is a struggle..
Any way maybe you can help me clearify here…
This is a tough one.
I think it is our responsibility to suit up and show up
But we have to leave the results in God’s hands.
Prayer makes all the difference here.
Applying the Serenity Prayer is also helpful.
That’s about all I can think of for now.
Glad you like the book.
Obie-host Here is the link to Don’s book:
Seeking Spiritual Clarity:The Murky Perspective or Evil
It is a great read.
Obie-host Last call for shares……anyone?
Obie-host GA carieln
carieln first I want to say thank you to Don for all your wisdom
and especially that last one in response to moonsong
I have been struggling with trying to fix myself
and my beloved
for so long that I had given up and just let things fly as they may
until God got hold of us and started working
I think I needed to get out of the way so He could work
Don__author_ Thanks, carieln
But let me say if there is any wisdom here
I got it from God or someone just like you.
Obie-host Don would you care to close us in prayer this evening?
Don__author_ Yes, Obie.
and thanks to you for hosting again tonight.
Don__author_ Our Father in Heaven
We are grateful to be your children…made in your image.
Sometimes we get discouraged
from living in this fallen world, Father, and
through the problems associated with falling into
the me-me-me syndrome.
Please relieve us of the bondage of self
and guide us in the footsteps of our loving Savior.l
We’re grateful that your son, Jesus Christ, defeated Satan, sin and death
on that cross
and arose victorious–the greatest victory in history.
Thanks for His grace, Father. and guide us this week
in seeking to see the world through the eyes of our Lord.
It is through Him that we pray.