Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.” Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of GOD, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet. But his servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?” So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new. 2 Kings 5:10-14
Naaman reluctantly agreed to follow Elisha’s instructions; and when he did he was healed.
When you look at yourself in the mirror what do you see? When we were caught up in our addictions and compulsions we avoided looking in the mirror. As we grow in recovery and in our faith in God looking at ourselves should become easier. However if our unwilling spirit refuses to humbly yield to God’s process of life-change we will still be tormented with who we were, not who we are now of who we are becoming.
Naaman was reluctant at first he didn’t want to yield to the crazy ideas proposed by a man of God. He believed there was some other way to be clean than bathing in the uninviting River Jordan, But, persuaded by his advisors he did as he was commanded. Although he was humiliated nothing short of a miracle happened. His leprosy was cleansed and he was made healthy,
Not until we go all the way with God and do all He commands us to do, regardless of how humiliating it is will we experience true recovery and true freedom. The Holy Spirit of God will probe our lives and reveal to us the things we need to change in our character to keep moving forward. The Twelve Steps are steps of self-discovery of character. A chance to see who we really are and who God is calling us to be so we can become of service to Him/\.
Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. Romans 14:22
Some things are unlawful, some things are lawful but not good for us, others though lawful are morally wrong. The Bible condemns things that are by nature evil, not just for a set group of people but for everyone.
these things can be wrong because they harm us or their use can harm others. To live life in recovery we need character change. Character change can be realized only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and putting Him where He belongs in our lives. Things that lead us to live unholy character in our lives must be abolished. Nothing condemned by scripture can be acceptable in our behaviour. Jesu came to set us free, to live lives according to His will and His word.
As we progress in the process of giving care of our wills and lives to God we need to take inventory on the things we have been doing that go against the lives God is now leading us into and we need to learn to LET GO of our old sinful nature and behavior and LET GOD transform us into the people He is calling us to be,
STEP THREE WE MADE A DECISION TO TURN OUR WILL AND OUR LIFE OVER TO THE CARE OF GOD.
To be a child of God has nothing to do with human parents. Children of God are not born because of human choice or because a husband wants them to be born. They are born because that is the way God planned it.
How? I hear you asking. By creating circumstances and opportunities in our lives to get us to a place where we open our hearts and minds to His way of living.
God brings us to recovery. It’s in His plan, and in His hands. He brought me to recovery and He brought you to recovery, for a reason. He knows what He is doing. He knows how we are going to act and react before we do. He takes care of us through the process once we make a conscious decision to turn our wills and lives over to Him. He creates circumstances beyond our understanding for our spiritual growth. And He patiently waits for us to seek His will as we grow in our knowledge of Him and how He wants us to live,
Recovery for me is a result of going to a Salvation Army Bridge Program in South Australia. It amuses me that just before I went to South Australia to end up on the Bridge Program I spent a number of nights sleeping on the streets of Perth in Western Australia in the carpark of the Salvation Army Detox Centre. To me it proves God knows is best for me and what I require to make me seek His guidance for my life. Had I. Gone to, and completed the Bridge Program in Western Australia I do not believe I would be where I am now. Nor would I have met and married the girl He had planned for me. Everything that happened to me and in me I believe was His will in order to put me in the direction He wanted me to go, Bring me to the place where I realised I was incapable of changing my life in my own strength.
Worry! Worry! Worry! It’s how I used to spend my life. It’s not anymore. Because I have learned to ‘Rely on God’ It wasn’t easy, it took time, it took practice, but I finally learned it. Relying on God doesn’t mean do nothing. It means do the best you can with what you have available to you and leave the outcomes in His hands. Most of the worry I experienced in life was about things I had no control over.
Step Ten in the Twelve Steps says WE CONTINUED TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY. I try daily to analyze my day. My method of daily inventory has changed through the years> at the moment I use the SERENITY PRAYER:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I ask myself each evening the questions. 1. What things did I try and change in my own strength that need God’s intervention. 2, What things could I have changed but didn’t? and WHY?
Courage to change the things I can. The questions I ask for this one are. 1. How did I allow fear to stop me today? 2. How can I overcome my fear tomorrow?
Wisdom to know the difference. What stopped me from allowing God to be God in my life today? How will I submit to His will tomorrow?
Blessed are you who give yourself over to God, turn you back on the worlds ‘sure thing’. Trust God absolutely people. It’s far better to take refuge in Him than follow the ways of the world. Trust Him from the bottom of your heart. Don’t try to figure everything out on your own. Listen for His prompting in everything you do. He is the one who will keep you on track. Those who think they can work it out on their own end up measuring their own moral muscle and never get around to putting into action what the learn.
When we trust God we are open to the truth. God does not give up on us so we should not give up on Him,
Just for today Lord help me not to worry about the things I cannot change and to act on the things I can.
Life is full of change. If you are like me and a creature of habit that is not always easy. Throughout my life, I have lived a lot of places. In adulthood the main reason was to escape from my life, always looking for a fresh start. My fresh start came when I decided I needed recovery and was willing to go to any lengths to achieve it. My life today is nothing like it used to be. That is thanks to my Higher Power, Jesus Christ who I decided to get into a relationship with as a matter of necessity.
Jesus said, “I’ve come to change everything, turn everything right-side up.” Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, Did you think that because He’s such a nice God, He’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but He’s not soft. In kindness, He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life change. Before you knew God personally, you were enslaved,. Now that you have found God (or I should say, now that God has found you), how can it be that you want to go back again and become slaves once more?
Just for today Lord, help me to change the things I have been holding off changing so I can become all You have called me to be.
SPIRITUAL FOUNDATIONS WEEK SIX
PROCESS IS PROGRESS
1 Corinthians 4:5 Don’t get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “Well done!” of God.
Recovery is a lifelong process of spiritual progress. We will not get it overnight. But there are three things we need to do if we want to continue to mature spiritually and progress to becoming all God has planned for us to be and to do.
- Stay in communication with God : He will reveal the right times to us for everything.
– His timing is perfect.
– He communicates what we need to know, when we need to
– He has the process and our progress in His hands.
- Do regular spiritual check- ups on ourselves: It is easy to get caught up in the process of recovery and forget about living life.
– Daily inventory is necessary to our spiritual growth.
– Correcting the mistakes of today is important for tomorrow.
– Live each day according to His purpose for your life.
- Do what needs to be done to keep us moving forward: Process is progress, and we need to keep moving forward.
– Do not Quit.
– Learn as you go.
– Take time to enjoy where you are now.
Prayer: Just for today Lord help me to keep moving forward in recovery.
- TIME IS IMPORTANT
Philippians 3:12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
James 4:14-15 You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
Ephesians 5:16-17 Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
2. CHANGE IS IMPORTANT
2 Corinthians 5:17 We look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 We’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times; the lavish celebration prepared for us.
3. OPENNESS IS IMPORTANT
Psalm 32:8 Let me give you some good advice; I’m looking you in the eye and giving it to you straight:
James 5:16 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.
Hebrews 4:12God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying
1 Corinthians 6:9 Don’t you know that an evil person will not receive God’s kingdom? Don’t be fooled.
In my early years of addiction, I looked up to and followed all the wrong people. My heroes were those that could drink the most, those that won the most fights, those that didn’t care.
In recovery that changed! I realized being a hero has nothing to do with how macho you are and everything to do with what you believe and how committed you are to your beliefs.
Recovery is about facing the truth about what you believe and changing your beliefs if you need to.
- How has what I believed in the past got me in trouble?
- Which of my beliefs do I need to change?
- Am I ready and willing to change?
Prayer: God help me today to learn and follow what You believe about me
God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones: GOD KNOWS WHO BELONGS TO HIM. 2 Timothy 2:19
Some of the people we meet in recovery distort the truth. Some dilute it, others like to spout their own truth. Or some simply want o delete God from the recovery process.
The solid foundation of God’s Word never changes. “He’s the same today as yesterday, My great unchanging friend.”
When we read, meditate on and follow His truth we will know His will for our lives.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 says “In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.”
Paul urged Timothy to be the kind of person God can use for His purpose. As we grow spiritually in the process of recovery, we need to allow God to use us to get His message across to those still suffering the negative effect of their addiction and compulsions.
Staying close to God and keeping His commandments as we grow in His strength and His power as we work through the Twelve Steps of Living Life Recovery needs to become a daily priority in our lives.
Prayer: Just for today Lord show me Your will for my life, learn what I need to learn and apply what I need to apply for You to use me.
GOD IS GOOD
God’s plan for the world stands up, all his designs are made to last. Psalms 33:11
God’s plans are God’s plans. They don’t change because we change. I don’t know about you, but my life pre-recovery was full of inconsistencies. I couldn’t trust myself, let alone trust anyone else. Trusting others in recovery came slowly for me.
I knew I could trust God. I have always known it, but I choose not to. He was for weak people, and I never saw myself as weak. I knew if I was going to trust Him it needed to be “ALL IN’ I have never been a half-full type person it has always been all or nothing.
Reading the Bible, I realized the promises of God were good and perfect. Two words I had never known in my life. James 1:17 says “Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven….. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.” I knew if I was going to follow Him I had to change my attitudes, beliefs and, commitments.
I did and here I am 30+ still following Him, still committed to finding, and doing His will on a daily basis in every area of my life. God is good.
Thank you, Jesus, for trusting me and using me in your mission. Teach me how to use the gifts You give me to maximize the reach of Your Kingdom here on Earth.
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Living Life Recovery is a safe place where people can come, share and investigate the realities of God’s promises for themselves.
We believe that as we investigate God’s promises for our lives and practice the ‘Spiritual Principles of Recovery’ as outlined in ‘God’s Word’ we will find the strength and freedom we need to live productive and peaceful lives.
We welcome anyone who has a sincere desire to change their lives. To rise above the pain and turmoil caused by dependencies and compulsive behaviors their own lives or the lives of a loved one or friend.
Responsible Trust in God requires seeking His will and His power to carry it out. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://livingliferecovery.com/2022/05/28/2022-day-148-discussion-starter/