Isaiah 41:10 Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
It’s been a little while since I posted a daily reflection. I have been busy, with work and with other things. But tonight as I sit alone in a motel room I read the above verse and it motivated me to write.
Addiction is factual. There is no denying it. We can get addicted to so many things. Things that appeal to our ego’s and give a false impression that we are doing alright. Things that life without them seems so unappealing and unbearable to us we can’t do without them. Things that can cause us bearable pain and acceptable discomfort. Things that if we want to live life differently and grow spiritually we need to consciously deny ourselves.
Physical adaption of self-denial is always rewarding, and morally character enhancing. we may ask ourselves “will I ever overcome _________? ” Adopting an attitude of defeat when it comes to self-denial is a way to certain failure. Challenging our innermost spirit is the way to bring about physical change and spiritual growth in our lives.
Remember “WHEN I CAN’T GOD CAN.” He can make chaos disappear. He can bring order into our lives and give us the power to resist whatever temptations may present. He can become our motivation not just for living life overcoming our addictions but to living lives that excel above anything we can ever expect to achieve in our own strength. Personal, daily relationship with Him needs to become the central factor in our recovery and spiritual progress.
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now those things happened as examples for us. They are supposed to keep us from longing for evil things, as the people of Israel did.
God has made a way to escape; He encourages us to flee from sin and to be faithful to Him. The Bible is full of examples of people rightly or wrongly making choices and the consequences of those choices.
Making good choices in our lives will lead to positive long-term outcomes. Every choice for good sets into motion new opportunities for God. Every choice for evil follows the same pattern but in the opposite direction.
Every decision we make to continually move forward in recovery brings order, safety, and security to our lives.
- What positive examples are you following from the experiences of others?
Colossians 3:8 You know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Backsliding is common in the process of recovery. I am not talking about relapse but of falling back into your old was.
Most backsliding in my experience is caused through selfishness. Wanting things to be back the way they used to be because you understood them better then.
Recovery is a continual process of self-discipline.
Prior to coming into recovery I had a good excuse. I didn’t know any better. Now I do and I need to keep a close eye on what I do and say at all times.
- What bad habits are you still struggling with?
Ephesians 5:10 Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
Recovery is about developing good-moral character. Which is possible only with God’s help.
Knowing God’s standards is not enough. We have to live them. As human beings we are all prone to failure because it is human nature to live by our own standards.
One of the things I did as part of my step four list was to include in it God’s standards of right living. What I ended up with was a list o direction for changing my defects.
What I did with that list in steps five and six was to get alone with it and God and pray for God-pleasing change.
- When was the last time you reviewed your step four list and asked God to help you change?
Proverbs 2:2 Let your ears listen to wisdom. Apply your heart to understanding.
Growing up we learn to hear. Maturity comes when we understand and apply what we have heard to our lives.
Now, not everything we hear is wisdom, nor good for us so we need to practice through the process of recovery to discern between what to apply and what to reject.
In the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous I would hear the words ‘take what you want and leave the rest.’ Which basically left me to choose what I accepted and rejected from the program. A dangerous option for someone who had spent their life doing just that.
Recovery is not about taking what you want. Recovery is about understanding you need to do what God wants.
- Are you ready to accept your need to do what God wants?
Matthew 5:8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
Every sin soils our soul. Purity of heart is a part of spiritual growth preparation for the things God has done, is doing and will do in and through our lives. Step Ten says “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.”
It is important in the process of recovery we learn the value of daily character check-up. We are all human and we are all subject to temptations. It is up to us always to keep watch for things that can trip us up and where possible avoid them.
Step ten is a maintenance step. For anything to continue to work right it needs continual maintenance,
- How often do you take time out to review your progress in recovery and adjust where you need to?
Psalms 51:14 Take away my guilt. Then my tongue will sing about how right you are no matter what you do.
Guilt comes from giving in to our temptations. To eliminate guilt in our lives we need to eliminate the cause of our guilt. Because of who we are, where we have come from and what we are going through now all of us have some degree of guilty feelings. In the past, we have hidden them behind our problems and defects.
As we go through the process of recovery and especially in the process of repairing relationships we need to learn to lean on God. We need to learn recovery is a process of daily confession our sin to God to avoid the temptations around about us.
Guilt in our lives comes from a failure to do what God expects us to do. Learn to live what you believe.
- Do your actions match your beliefs?
- If not, why not?
Philippians 1:9 I pray that your love will grow more and more. And let it be based on knowledge and understanding.
God reveals truth to people who will act on it. Some people can’t understand the truth because they are not ready for it. When you go to talk to people about repairing relationships don’t be surprised id they don’t understand when you talk about God and what He is doing in your life. Be patient with them and remember because you are in recovery doesn’t mean everyone else is.
Take time to pray that the Holy Spirit will open their minds and their hearts to receive the truth and to act on it. And take time before meeting with anyone to read what the Bible says about repairing relationships and making amends.
- Have you read what the Bible says about making amends, restitution and forgiving others?
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com
Galatians 6:7 Don’t be fooled. You can’t outsmart God.
Many people in recovery learn to say the right things and do the right things thinking that is what recovery is all about. It isn’t. Recovery has nothing to do with what we say and do and everything to do with what God does in and through us.
Foolish attitudes and behaviour have no lasting value in our lives. The most foolish thing any of us can do is think we can achieve recovery on our own. We all need His forgiveness and we all need his help to change our lives and repair our relationships.
Before deciding to embark on any missions of repairing relationships we need to spend time alone with God and ask Him to prepare the way forward for us.
- Have you prayed over your list of people and asked God to prepare you to meet them?
1 Corinthians 8:3 Those who love God are known by God.
Most of us appreciate good character qualities in others. We appreciate people who are wise, powerful, kind and generous. God puts a higher priority on knowing Him personally and living right than He does just on good character qualities.
Knowing God is about continuous, personal, intimate relationship with Him through the saving grace of Jesus and daily interaction with the Holy Spirit. Knowing God is about knowing the triune God who is there to help us every day in every area of our lives.
- Where is God in your life?
- If He is not where He should be who moved?