Proverbs 13:20 says we “Become wise by walking with the wise.” One of the cliche’s I heard often in the rooms of recovery over 30+ years is ‘STICK WITH THE WINNERS.’ and Proverbs 14:18 says “Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion.”
True wisdom begins when we ‘Decide to let God help us and commit to working with Him to change.’ (Step Three)
True wisdom begins when we ‘Ask God what He will have us do and His courage to do it’ (Step Eleven)
True wisdom begins when ‘We apply the principles of recovery to every area of our lives on a daily basis to the best of our ability at this time.’ (Step Twelve)
True wisdom is the ability to see our lives from God’s perspective, identify the best course of action to take and do what we need t do to change our ways.
You won’t find out who ‘THE WINNERS’ are until you get involved and start building a supportive recovery network for yourself. And you put an end to your ‘FOOLISH DREAMS,’ until you ‘Investigate and record with God’s help your sinful habits and attitudes.’ (Step Four)
When we lack wisdom, the storms of life can be devastating. After our lives are in pieces, we may realize that we have acted unwisely and want to change, but where do we start?
“How can men be wise?” the psalmist asks. “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10). God has given clear instructions for life. When we have enough reverence for God that we are willing to accept his instructions as the basis for all of our decisions, we have a good starting point.
Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock” (Matthew 7:24-25). Listening to what the Bible says is the next step toward walking in wisdom. Filling our minds with God’s teaching will lead us to follow them.
This will also help us turn away from those things God says are wrong. Job tells us, “This is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding’” (Job 28:28).
Turning our lives over to God is a wise move! Like most aspects of recovery, walking in wisdom is a process that we grow into. These three elements are the groundwork: fear of the Lord, listening to his teaching, and following them.
We apologize. Due to the timing of Easter, the 4oDays of Recovery series will be postponed for one week and will now commence on 8th April 2018.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. So, Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2~ Ephesians 2:10 – Romans 8:28
As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?” Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God–ha! The Chosen–ha!” The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” Printed over him was a sign: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him–he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” Luke 23:26-43
Through His suffering, Jesus fully identified with us. Through suffering, He completed the work necessary for our salvation. Our suffering can make us more sensitive to the suffering of others. People who have experienced pain to oy=thers are able to reach out with compassion to the hurting and lost of this world. Whatever suffering you have experienced ask God how you can be used to help others on the road to recovery.
Jesus, tortured and weak from loss of blood, carried his cross to Golgotha. He persevered to the destination where he took upon himself all our sins, shortcomings, and character defects. Each nail driven into his hands and feet, every insult yelled, and each gob of spit was ours. The soldiers threw dice for his garment. The first words of reverence spoken to Jesus since being taken prisoner was by a criminal next to him. His seed of faith knew Jesus had done nothing wrong, and his request to be remembered was honored.
Jesus cried out to his Father in anguish as he was forsaken. The light of the Son died, as the light of the sun darkened. God, being perfect and just, couldn’t look at his Son because our sin was on him. In death, he was separated from his Father: the spiritual desolation of the darkness and silence more agonizing than the physical torture.
Joseph, Nicodemus, and others took Jesus’ body and laid it in a tomb, sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. The Pharisees thought the problem of Jesus was taken care of.
Lord, thanks for honoring your Father. I’m so grateful for your great love—to accept agonizing torture and die so that I might live. I’m humbled you endured separation from your Father for me. Amen
The men in charge of Jesus began poking fun at him, slapping him around. They put a blindfold on him and taunted, “Who hit you that time?” They were having a grand time with him. When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. They said, “Are you the Messiah?” He answered, “If I said yes, you wouldn’t believe me. If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.” They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?” “You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said. But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.” Luke 22:63-71
Gethsemane means place of crushing. The name comes from an olive press located there. Jesus came to the Garden to be crushed. The agony, horror, and deep distress he experienced was so humanly unbearable that he asked his Father if it were possible to avoid the suffering. In a glorious moment, he reaffirmed why he had come to earth as a human: he chose the Father’s will over his own, and he did it for you.
Satan’s incessant, unrelenting attacks against him were all lies: How can one man do this? Do you really believe you can bear the full burden of sin? Saving their souls is too costly. No one, never, ever! Who is your Father? All were attacks against God’s plan of salvation and the very essence and identity of Jesus.
Jesus fell face down to the ground, and an angel from heaven came to strengthen him. He was in such agony of spirit his sweat fell to the ground as great drops of blood. Jesus’ identity gives you a new identity in him.
Lord, I’m so touched by what you endured for me. I pray, by your grace, I will endure the devil’s attacks against my new identity in you. Amen.
MARK 14:32-36; LUKE 22:43-44
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep. Lord, you alone keep me safe.
In recovery we need to feel safe and secure in order to be vulnerable enough to change what we need to change without fear.
The root of most of what is wrong with our character is fear. We all have areas in our lives where we are weak and afraid.
Recovery is about learning first of all to deal with the fear, then to do what we need to do to overcome it. To do that we all need help and the hep we need is Jesus Christ.
He kept me safe by walking through my fears with me. I needed to including Him in changing my life.
I had some pretty big issues to deal with in step four. I had tried to change them on my own before and failed.
- What issues are you experience you are having problems changing on you own?
I’m ready to tell my story of failure, I’m no longer smug in my sin. Anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up. Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.
Psalms 38:18 ~ Galatians 3:10 ~ John 9:41
Success or failure can be pretty well predicted by the degree to which the heart is fully in it. John Eldredge
Never imagine you can be a loser by trusting God. C.H. Spurgeon
Remember: Failure isn’t permanent – unless you let it be …..