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Who are you sharing your recovery experience with?
Whilst I understand the need for anonymity early in recovery I believe each of us gets to a point in our recovery where we can openly share our experience, strength and hope with others. It’s called WITNESSING!
If we choose not to share how is anyone expected to find and discover recovery for themselves? Archie Boyle
Examine your motives, test your heart. Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.
We must allow God’s correction to bring about the kind of behavior in our life that pleases Him.
Prayer: Lord today I give my life to You. Take it, mould it and make it what You want it to be.
Luke 11:35-36Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. 36 Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”
The first time I took an honest inventory of my life, my habits and attitudes was whilst staying in the William Booth Men’s Hostel in Whitmore Square in Adelaide in 1989. I had made a decision if I wanted my life to change I needed to know and understand myself. I still have a copy of that inventory. The language is colorful. A number of times in my spiritual walk I have re read it to remind myself where I begun this journey of spiritual recovery. Some of the things I wrote were not the truth nut at the time I believed them to be true. It is a true expression of how I was feeling at that time.
When was the last time you took an honest look at yourself?
This morning I woke early and I read Luke Chapter 5. I have read it a number of time before but today it raised new, holy inspired thoughts in me and I felt compelled to share them with you tonight.
In Luke 5:1-11 Jesus tells Simon to “Go further out” he did and as a result he caught more fish than he could fit in his boat.
On reading this I thought “Am I fishing in the wrong place?” A big question but think of this, I did. “God can and does the impossible.” So who says He calls us to carry His message to others travelling the road we have traveled? Maybe He has a whole group of people we have nothing in common He wants us to introduce to Him.
Jesus then went on to say “You will be fishing for men and women.”
To me, this scripture talks about being prepared to go into places you may feel uncomfortable to meet with people you don’t understand. As human beings, most of us want to move in circles in areas in which we feel comfortable and we are scared to approach people we don understand.
In my Spiritual walk, I think I have been blessed in that I have had the opportunity to enter into many, many areas of life where I was uncomfortable and didn’t understand anything about. Yet God has used me in different ways in each of them. 6 of the best years of my life were working with the homeless in the City of Melbourne. I learned a lot, I met some of the best people I will ever meet in my life and I built relationships that will last a lifetime.
Luke 5:12-16 to me is all about ‘HEALING’ It says “If you want you can cleanse yourself.” I believe strongly that most of us don’t get well in the process of recovery cause deep down we don’t really want to. We are comfortable in our squaller because we understand it and it allows us to believe we are where we are because of circumstances outside of ourselves. But we are not! I believe that anyone who truly wants to recover will. Because they will be ‘willing to go to any lengths’ to get it.
Jesus also says in this passage “Don’t talk about this.” In the story of the paraplegic for me anyway it teaches us:
Regardless of the circumstances in our life ‘GOD WILL MAKE A WAY’ If we are willing to put our faith and trust in Him and do what we can to start the ball rolling in doing what we can to bring ourselves before Him.
The doubt of the religious scholars and Pharisees demonstrates a) we don’t always understand what we claim to understand. b) no matter how much we know it means nothing if we don’t put it into practice.
“Get up and walk.” Doubt can only be changed into belief when we start to trust in Him and commit to doing what He commands us to do.
Everybody needs recovery from something. “We all fall short of God’s standards for living in faith.” To that end I for one want to commit to “Stepping out in faith and trusting Him.” Even when I feel uncomfortable or don’t undeerstand.
Once we were God’s enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives.Romans 5:10
I hear you saying, “I was never God’s enemy.” If you weren’t His enemy were you His friend?
Proverbs 17:17tells us “A friend loves at all times.”
No, I hear you say “I wasn’t His friend.”
So I ask you were you indifferent to Him? Did you ignore Him? Because God says we can’t be indifferent in our obedience to Jesus. Revelation 3:15 ‘I know what you are doing. I know you aren’t cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other.’
When it comes to recovery you are either in or you are out. There is no middle ground. If you are in, then step three requires a commitment to doing the work to change your life.
TRUE FRIENDSHIP IS BONDED BY LOYALTY AND COMMITMENT A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.Proverbs 17:17
After 56 years of life, 32 years of recovery I don’t have a lot of true friends. A lot of acquaintances, a lot of people I associate with on a daily basis but not a lot of true friends. I also don’t have any real enemies so I guess that’s a bonus.
Everyone, if they are honest wants to have a real friend. But not many of us are willing to put in the work and the effort that comes with true friendship. Strong, lasting friendship takes time and I am happy I have one true friend and His name is Jesus Christ and He promises He will never leave me. And He wants to your friend, Hebrews 13:5God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,”
Prayer: Lord help me today not to be hot or cold but to be committed.
We must listen very carefully to the truths we have heard, or we may drift away from them. Hebrews 2:1
We can only be assured of continuing freedom by GOD-DEPENDENCE. Self-sufficiency can follow attempts at periods of refusal to indulge. This is something we need to watch out for when we are standing on our fee enjoying feelings of recovery and success.
The Apostle Paul says “In ourselves we are not able to claim anything for ourselves. The power to do what we do comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 Paul knew that in his self-sufficiency God allowed a thorn in his flesh to keep humbly dependent on Him.
It is easy to relapse. Even after we have walked tall and begun a relationship with God. Our text today prompts us to listen to God’s truth. We need to learn His truths and apply them to our lives on a daily basis if we want to keep moving forward in faith to become all He is calling us to be.
Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally–not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! Let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.
Now that we know what we have–Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God–let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all–all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Lord teach me self-reliance is futile. Hold me so tightly that I feel the hish of Your Presence always. This will guard me from relapse and You.
Acts 2:21 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
This verse gives me goose bumps. Think about it! Everyone on this earth, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they are doing can have their life transformed through simply calling on the name of Jesus.
He has a solution to every problem that exists in the world today. He will solve them all if we will just put our faith in Him, decide to let Him help and commit to letting Him.
Recovery is simple, but not always easy. When Jesus spoke to me so long ago and told me “you don’t need to live like this anymore, follow Me and I will lead you.” It took some time after committing to let Him help before I actually did. Why because pride always gets in the way.
Pride undermines faith. Jesus can do anything in our lives but He won’t as long as we think we can solve our problems on our own.
Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life. n honest life shows respect for God.
God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out. on’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires your total attention.
This is the truth and everyone should accept it. We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe it, for our hope is in the living God who died for all, and particularly for those who have accepted his salvation.1 Timothy 4:9-10
A big-hearted God awaits our willingness to open up, to cry in despair, to rush into His welcoming arms, to place our lives in His hands. When we are wrapped up in self-pity, or hemmed in by frustration. When we are sick and tired of being sick and tired He is waiting.
Adverse circumstances contribute to adventure in faith. They are stepping stones to enrichment, We need to be shit up with ourselves at times. Confinement assisting concentration in God-consciousness.
Philippians 4:6 says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Why? you may ask “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.“ Philippians 4:7
What The Bible Says
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.Romans 8:26-27
We have divine assistance from and through the Holy Spirit as we seek to commune with God. Indeed, He intercedes on our behalf to express prayer needs that escape our own awareness or that exceed the language of our human vocabulary
Eternal life is to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent. John 17:3
Lasting, growing, spiritual recovery comes from not only knowing who Jesus is but from being in close, intimate, personal relationship with Him – FOREVER!
Jesus is The way, The Truth and The Life. There are many other philosophies in the world that tell us they have the answers. They may have some answers but only Jesus has all the answers to solving life’s problems.
People look everywhere for the answers to life and in doing so they usually miss Jesus – the only true source of eternal life.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me and I have made a conscious decision to stay with Him – FOREVER!
Especially when I feel confused, lonely and afraid.
Hebrews 12:1 We must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.Hebrews 11:1
Seeking approval from others is a constant battle for some of us. The beginning point of faith is believing in God’s character. He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Believing His promises, even though they may not have happened yet is demonstration of our trust in Him.
God helps us to overcome doubt. Psalm 42:5-6 says Why am I discouraged? “Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You.” Focus your thoughts on God’s ability to help you rather than on your inability to help yourself. Read the Bible’s accounts of God’s goodness, and meditate on them.
During these trying times, we need to not be shut up with our own flimsy faith when God loves to break in with revelation of a ‘New and Living Way.’
The person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive. Through Jesus we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Him. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
PRAYER Lord, scatter unbelief, gloom, rebellion, and doubt. Show Yourself again to me and come in the might of Your saving power, through Jesus Christ,