Not all in recovery
Matthew 6:14 “Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you.
One of the problems with the process of recovery is – not everyone is in recovery, even though we all need it. We need to remember this fact when it comes to repairing relationships..The purpose of recovery is to help us live better lives through personal change with God’s help. It is not to make others love us or accept us more and it is definitely not for others to change because we have.
The fact is as we grow spiritually and change our habits and attitudes we may still come across people who will treat us badly. In those instances, we need to stop, say a prayer and leave them in God’s hands.
- Are you ready to let God deal with the people you can’t deal with?
Prayer: God help me today to accept that recovery is about
You helping me to change myself not others.
Time to forgive
Matthew 5:44 Here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.
Forgiving others isn’t always easy. Often the pain is still real and raw. But forgiving is necessary to moving on in the process of recovery. The degree we are willing to forgive those who have hurt us is an indication of how much we have grown spiritually.
I grew up with an aggressive and abusive step-father. My resentment towards him was far greater than any other resentment I carried in my heart. When I entered recovery He was the hardest person for me to forgive. So much so that a couple of times my resentment for him threatened to bring me unstuck.
Through prayer, meditation, residing in the presence of God and understanding of my step-fathers faults I forgave – but it was hard.
- Are you carrying resentment that will lead to relapse?
Prayer: Lord help me to forgive.
Love Your Enemies
Matthew 5:43-48 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best–the sun to warm and the rain to nourish–to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Loving our enemies is recovery progress. That doesn’t mean we have to like them or approve of their begaviour. it does mean we have to love them the way that God loved us (while we were still sinners) Anger and resentment are recovery killers and stunt our spiritual grwoth in recovery. The only person those emotions hurt is us. So we need to grow up (mature) if we want to truly live the lives God has planned for us and e the people He created us to be.
Recovery is not about living a perfect life (we are only human) but it is about following God and allowing Him to shape our character so we can make the right life choices according to His will for us.
Prayer: Lord help me today o accept eberyone for who they are.Remove any anger, resentment of ill feeling towards others I may be holding onto today.
Recovery takes TIME!
Philippians 1:6 I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.
Spiritual growth like physical growth takes time. When we first come to recovery we tend to want to change everything immediately. When it doesn’t we sometimes get frustrated and through frustration tell ourselves “the old way was better” “I got quicker results then.” When we come to our senses and realise this new path we are on is an unfamiliar one and it takes time to understand it. It takes time to walk it and the way forward is far better than anything we could have imagined for ourselves in the past we realise the destination (Christlikeness) is worth waiting for.
Recovery requires patience and persistence. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “There is a time for everything. There’s a time for everything that is done on earth.” We need to remember as we move forward in recovery we made a conscious decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God. That includes the timing of everything.
Prayer: Lord help me today to be patient as I wait on You.
Teach me patience and persistence and keep me focused on Your will for my life.
Friend of God
Proverbs 18:24 Even a man who has many companions can be destroyed. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I am a friend of God: It is unlike any other friendship I have ever been in. I trust Him completely and I know no matter what happens in my life, even when I get it wrong He will not let me down, criticize me or hurt me, Because He loves me, unconditionally.
Friendship involves loyalty. For many of us we haven’t received a lot of that in the circles we have mixed in pre-recovery. But as Bob Dylan says “The times they are a changing.”
He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and I am glad He calls me His friend.
- Are you a friend of God’s?
- How often do you get together?
Prayer: God help me to understand the value of friendship with
You and help me to stay loyal to it.
Psalms 119:133 Teach me how to live as you have promised. Don’t let any sin be my master.
I love this verse in the Bible. I have one prayer I pray every day, sometimes several times a day and it is “God show me the next step.” The next step in my recovery, the next step in my relationships, the next step in my work etc.
In my life back in 1989 God and I reached an agreement. He leads I follow. From that day to this day that is how my life has worked. He opens doors and I walk through them. He creates opportunities and I grasp them with both hands. He shows me the next steps to take in my life and I follow them. Even though I can’t see the whole picture this much I am sure of: God didn’t bring me this far to drop me.
- How disciplined is your prayer life?
- When you pray do you give God time to answer?
Prayer: Lord help me today by showing me the next step I need to take.
Psalms 103:2 I will praise the Lord. I won’t forget anything he does for me.
Colin Buchannan sings a children’s song that says: “Remember the Lord. Remember that He is in control.”
Good advice for people in recovery! Knowing that God is in control brings me a lot of peace.
This verse is a call to praise God for all He has done for me. I can tell you honestly without God’s intervention and my faith in Him I would not be here today. All through my life since the day I surrendered my will and my life to Him He has done great things in my life. Some of them I didn’t feel like they were so great when they were happening to me have been the best things that could have happened. The right things. God initiated and God controlled
Standing where I am now, looking back where I’ve been it is easy for me to praise God.
- What can you praise God for today?
Prayer: God help me today to take time to thank You for helping me
Trust God always
Psalms 91:14 The Lord says, “I will save the one who loves me. I will keep him safe, because he trusts in me.
Recovery is about finding safety through personal relationship with God.
God promises that He will keep us safe if we love Him and trust Him. That means that sometimes in relationship with Him we are going to be wrong. After all He is God, He knows everything, He created everything and He has all the power.
Mistakes in the process of recovery are inevitable. I do not know anyone who has got it all together because of recovery. Problems in life are a fact of life. We will all have them and sometimes we will respond or react wrongly to them.
That is why we need to put our faith in God. Not in ourselves, that’s how we ended up in trouble in the first place and not in other people or relationships.
- Where is your faith based?
Prayer: God help me to trust You, even when I don’t understand
Read the Bible
Psalms 79:9 God our Saviour, help us. Then glory will come to you. Be true to your name. Save us and forgive our sins.
If others offer you advice that goes against the Word of God, it is the wrong advice.
A large part of my personal life with Jesus revolves around making sure I am doing what He wants. I do that through prayer, reading the Bible and meditating on what the Bible says.
The beauty of the Bible is the more you read it, study it and meditate on it the more you understand the character of God.
Recovery is a consistent process of spiritual growth so is understanding the Bible.
You need to read the Bible as often as takes for you to understand it.
- How often do you read and consult God’s Word?
Prayer: Lord help me to develop good Bible reading disciplines.
John 4:42 “We no longer believe just because of what you said. We have now heard for ourselves. We know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
We are slow to believe that which if believed would hurt our feelings. – Ovid
In the process of recovery it’s not enough just to believe that God exists. Romans 3:28 says “We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith.” We are saved by faith, not by what we do. True faith always results in changed lives as does honestly implimenting the Twelve Steps to daily living. True faith involves commitment of every area of our lives to God. It includes seeking to now His will for our lives and asking Hom for the power and resources to carry it out.
Luke 10:19 says “I have given you authority to walk all over snakes and scorpions. You will be able to destroy all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you.” Last night at Living Life Recovery in Dandenong we talked about fear and how we often don’t do what we know God wants us to do because of fear (or is it doubt?) The Bible tells us clearly God has given us authority to do all and be all He calls us to be. We need to learn everyday to fearlessly trust in His faithfulness to us in all tha we do.
Prayer: Lord help me today to completely trust You,
and equip me to do all You are calling me to do.