Proverbs 20:27 God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out..
A good man says good things. These come from the good that is put away inside him. An evil man says evil things. These come from the evil that is put away inside him. But here is what I tell you. On judgment day, people will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. By your words, you will be found guilty or not guilty. Matthew 12:35-37
What we say matters. The words coming out of our mouths should honour God and please Him. When you speak to other people would you speak differently if you realised God is listening? Before I became a Christian in recovery a lot of what I said was not pleasing to God and certainly didn’t honour Him. Sometimes that is still the case because none of us is perfect. We make mistakes on a daily basis. If we didn’t there would be no need for Jesus to intervene in our lives.
Progression in recovery requires change. We need to change what we think, how we act and how we relate to God and to others. When I came into a relationship with the Holy Spirit through the process of recovery I had to consciously pay attention to what I said and the motives behind it. I had to ask myself the question “does what I am about to say bring Glory to God and build others up?” If it doesn’t then I shouldn’t be saying it and neither should you.
DO YOUR WORDS BRING HONOUR TO GOD?
Prayer: Lord today let me speak only words that bring honour to you
and build others up.
Proverbs 21:2 We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.
None of us set out to do the wrong thing. Generally, we believe we are doing what is right for us. But God sees the motives of our hearts. Often we make choices in areas of life where the right actions are difficult to discern. In our lives, we would do well to learn to take inventory of our motives by asking the question “Would God be pleased with what I am thinking or about to do?” It doesn’t please God when we are living just for our own selfish ambitions.
Take time to investigate your motives for what you did and said today: “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong– then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Psalms 139:23-24 Now ask God to help you do better tomorrow.
Ask God for help
Psalms 40:13 Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
God does not hear our prayers if we are purposely sinning
Micah 3:4 “You beg the Lord for help in times of trouble! Do you really expect Him to answer? After all the evil you have done, He won’t even look at you!”
Prayer should not be a show
Matthew 6:6 When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Jesus taught his disciples how to pray
Matthew 6:9-13 Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Pray with an attitude of humility
Luke 18:9-14 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank You, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Pray in Jesus’ name
John 16:23-24 You will ask the Father directly, and He will grant your request because you use My name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Pray all the time
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Pray without doubting
James 1:6 Be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Pray with the right motives
James 4:3 When you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
Pray according to God’s will
1 John 5:14-15 We are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.
Acts 15:36-41 Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit all our friends in each of the towns where we preached the Word of God. Let’s see how they’re doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John along, the John nicknamed Mark. But Paul wouldn’t have him; he wasn’t about to take along a quitter who, as soon as the going got tough, had jumped ship on them in Pamphylia. Tempers flared, and they ended up going their separate ways: Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus; Paul chose Silas and, offered up by their friends to the grace of the Master, went to Syria and Cilicia to build up muscle and sinew in those congregations.
Recovery is a process of spiritual growth we never complete. A process we can never quit if we want to fully mature and become the people God is calling us and equpping us to be.
In the process we all need to examine our motives and pay attention to the motives of those who walk with us. Mixing with the wrong company whilst is the process of recovery can lead us back to our old ways of thinking and acting. Relapse is a process that generally occurs over a period of time. Taking daily inventory of our lives, attitudes and actions and taking steps to address what we get wrong each day is an important part of the process.
STEP TEN: Now that I am in the process of change, I will check myself daily to make sure I am not slipping back into my old ways and if I am, I will take steps to rectify it.
There is a song we used to sing in The Salvation Army in the early days of my recovery that said “I’ll not go back, whater it may cost. I’m called to live to love and save the lost.” When we come across people with the wrong motives we are not called to ignore them but to include them by doing all we can to teach them the right way to live and helping them to discover God’s pathway for their lives so they to can lead others to a personal relationship with God.
STEP TWELVE: Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to s personal relationship with Him.
Psalm 26:2 Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out.
Proverbs 21:2 We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.
Proverbs 21:8 Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5 It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. I’m not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn’t mean much. The Master makes that judgment. So 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.
Luke 16:15 Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honours is detestable in the sight of God
In the process of recovery, God knows our motives. He knows what lead us to make the wrong choices in our lives and He knows what we need to do to change them.
In the process of step four, it is easy for us to start justifying our attitudes and habits. God wants us to look seriously at how sin has brought us unstuck in the past.
Step four is a step where many people are tempted relapse. It is important in this step we learn to rely on God and keep our motives focused on what will be, not what was or what is.
- Ask God to help you to have the right motives for pursuing recovery.
Only God understands our real motives. God makes it clear why we sin. It’s a matter of the heart. We are inclined to sin from birth. But sin is a choice. We can choose what we do and what we don’t do and if we ask Him, God will help us resist temptation when it comes.
Problems in our lives are usually good cues of wrong motives. Instead of following our feelings we need to learn to ask God for help and trust Him to meet our needs.
Spiritual problems are usually good cues of wrong motives. Do you pray? When do you pray? Do you ask God just to satisfy your desires? Do you seek His guidance before you act? Prayers become powerful when we allow God to have His will in our lives.
On Thursday night in Dandenong join us if you can for our first Living Life Recovery meeting for 2018.