Put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him. Colossians 3:5-10
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are those whose hearts are pure. They will see God.
God wants us to live pure lives. To clean up our attitudes and behavior. Recovery is not about personal gain. Recovery is about spiritual purpose.
Your spiritual purpose has nothing to do with where you work and everything to do with how you live. I always thought the two should line up. Wrong!
My spiritual purpose is – to introduce people to Bible-based living through the process of recovery. My employment life has been in a number of different areas since completing the Bridge Program.
All through my recovery journey, my spiritual process has remained dominant. Sometimes it has resulted in me having to leave or change jobs because the jobs I was in have gone against how I live my life.
- What re your life priorities?
Job 31 2-37 “what can I expect from God? What do I deserve from God Almighty above Isn’t calamity reserved for the wicked? Isn’t disaster supposed to strike those who do wrong. Isn’t God looking, observing how I live? Doesn’t he mark every step I take? “Have I walked hand in hand with falsehood, or hung out in the company of deceit? Weigh me on a set of honest scales so God has proof of my integrity. If I’ve strayed off the straight and narrow, wanted things I had no right to, messed around with sin,Go ahead, then—give my portion to someone who deserves it.
“If I’ve let myself be seduced by a woman and conspired to go to bed with her, Fine, my wife has every right to go ahead and sleep with anyone she wants to. For disgusting behavior like that, I’d deserve the worst punishment you could hand out. Adultery is a fire that burns the house down; I wouldn’t expect anything I count dear to survive it.
“Have I ever been unfair to my employees when they brought a complaint to me? What, then, will I do when God confronts me? When God examines my books, what can I say Didn’t the same God who made me, make them? Aren’t we all made of the same stuff, equals before God?
“Have I ignored the needs of the poor, turned my back on the indigent, Taken care of my own needs and fed my own face while they languished? Wasn’t my home always open to them? Weren’t they always welcome at my table?
“Have I ever left a poor family shivering in the cold when they had no warm clothes? Didn’t the poor bless me when they saw me coming, knowing I’d brought coats from my closet?
“If I’ve ever used my strength and influence to take advantage of the unfortunate, Go ahead, break both my arms, cut off all my fingers! The fear of God has kept me from these things— how else could I ever face him?
“Did I set my heart on making big money or worship at the bank? Did I boast about my wealth, show off because I was well-off? Was I ever so awed by the sun’s brilliance and moved by the moon’s beauty that I let myself become seduced by them and worshiped them on the sly? If so, I would deserve the worst of punishments, for I would be betraying God himself.
“Did I ever crow over my enemy’s ruin? Or gloat over my rival’s bad luck? No, I never said a word of detraction, never cursed them, even under my breath.
“Didn’t those who worked for me say, ‘He fed us well. There were always second helpings’? And no stranger ever had to spend a night in the street; my doors were always open to travelers.
Did I hide my sin the way Adam did, or conceal my guilt behind closed doors Because I was afraid what people would say, fearing the gossip of the neighbors so much that I turned myself into a recluse? You know good and well that I didn’t.
“Oh, if only someone would give me a hearing! I’ve signed my name to my defense—let the Almighty One answer! I want to see my indictment in writing.Anyone’s welcome to read my defense; I’ll write it on a poster and carry it around town. I’m prepared to account for every move I’ve ever made— to anyone and everyone, prince or pauper.
Job 31 asks a lot of questions about our character and the way we lived prior to recovery. In the midst of our addictions and problems most of us have experienced loneliness and rejection. Not because people didn’t love us, didn’t like us. But, because our behavior, our attitudes and the way we hurt ourselves and others were too much for them to stand by and watch without interfering.
Job wanted God to show him his failures. He was tired of suffering (if you don’t know the sufferings of Job I suggest you read the book of Job) But Job knew God was merciful and God could show him what he needed to change.
And God can show us too what needs to change in our character to help us become the people He created us to be and living the lives He has planned for each of us.
In recovery we need to take inventory and we need to wrote it down look at verses 35-37 again.
“If only someone would give me a hearing! I’ve signed my name to my defense—let the
Almighty One answer! I want to see my indictment in writing. Anyone’s welcome to read my defense; I’ll write it on a poster and carry it around town. I’m prepared to account for every move I’ve ever made— to anyone and everyone, prince or pauper.”
- We record our sinful attitudes and behaviors so we “can see our indictments in writing.”
- We record our sinful attitudes and behaviors so when it comes to the process of confession to God and to someone that we trust we won’t be tempted to lie or justify them.
- We record our sinful attitudes and behaviors to keep us accountable for what we have done and doing something about repenting and making amends for our past.
- We record what we our sinful attitudes and behaviors so we can see spiritual progress as we walk the road of recovery with God.
- We record our sinful attitudes and behaviors to stop us from falling back into them.
- We record our sinful attitudes and behaviors to help us to deal with the shame they have installed in us and with God’s help uninstall them.
Job says “I am prepared to account for every move I ever made.”
Are you? Because that is what it takes to ‘Take an open and honest inventory of our lives.” and let God show us how to change and help us to do it.
We need to honestly examine our character and pray that God will reveal to us anything that exists in our us that we may not have seen up to this stage of our progress in the recovery process.
Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.
Changes in our behavior mean little without faith. Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6
People say all the time “I have changed!” What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? James 2:14
Believing God’s Word will lead to changed behavior. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the people to get moving! Exodus 14:15
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe. Proverbs 29:25
We can find release through ‘repentance of sin’. We can receive forgiveness through the ‘Grace of God‘ Changing our attitudes and behaviors requires us to learn and implement the steps into our daily living.
At the end of 2015 we have a choice to ‘go on or go down.’ Recovery is a process of growth. None of us can stay where we are now. We either need to ‘move on or go back.’
In Philippians 3:14-15 Paul says “I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above. All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you.”
At the end of another year my prayer for everyone in recovery and in need of recovery is that we will always keep Jesus in view. That we will aim for His presence more than anything else. That we will allow Him to have full control of our lives, accept Him completely as our Lord and our Savior.
As we get ready to kick off a new year I would like to challenge everyone reading this to get to know Him better personally in the year ahead in order that we can all become whatever He has planned for us to be and others will be introduced to relationship with Him through our example.