Step Four ~ Week Two

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Job 31 2-37what 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.

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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.

Trust God

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I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. Trust Go absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in God

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Step Four ~ Week One

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“I WILL INVESTIGATE MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES”
In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help – my sinful habits and attitudes.

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.
                                                                                                                             Lamentations 3:40

Take a good look at yourself

Luke 11:36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.

The only way to work out what in your life is stopping you from following God is to take inventory, Step Four says “In order to help me change, I will investigate and record with God’s help – my sinful habits and attitudes.”

The first time I took an honest inventory of my life, my habits and attitudes were whilst staying in the William Both Men’s Hostel in Adelaide. I had decided before I ever got to recovery if I really wanted to change my life I needed to know and to understand me.
I still have a copy of that inventory. The language is colourful. Some of the things I wrote were untrue but I believed them at the time based on how I was feeling back then.

~ When was the last time you took a good look at yourself?

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Psalms 26:2 Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out.

Psalms 17:3 Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night– You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.

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Within five days, the Chief Priest Ananias arrived with a contingent of leaders, along with Tertullus, a trial lawyer. They presented the governor with their case against Paul. When Paul was called before the court, Tertullus spoke for the prosecution:”Most Honorable Felix, we are most grateful in all times and places for your wise and gentle rule. We are much aware that it is because of you and you alone that we enjoy all this peace and gain daily profit from your reforms. I’m not going to tire you out with a long speech.I beg your kind indulgence in listening to me. I’ll be quite brief. “We’ve found this man time and again disturbing the peace, stirring up riots against Jews all over the world, the ringleader of a seditious sect called Nazarenes. He’s a real bad apple, I must say. We caught him trying to defile our holy Temple and arrested him. You’ll be able to verify all these accusations when you examine him yourself.” The Jews joined in: “Hear, hear! That’s right!” The governor motioned to Paul that it was now his turn. Paul said, “I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you, Governor, knowing how fair-minded you’ve been in judging us all these years. I’ve been back in the country only twelve days –you can check out these dates easily enough. I came with the express purpose of worshiping in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and I’ve been minding my own business the whole time. Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets.

Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses. “But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that’s my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am. “Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do. Acts 24:1-16

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Recovery always takes place in the context of relationships. So taking our personal inventory in the recovery process must lead us to make improvements in how we relate to others. We may not be in a position of leadership, but we are always an example to others.

When we are taking inventory on a regular basis, everyone wins: We do because we grow; others do because they are encouraged.

A successful recovery will lead to the healing of our broken relationships.

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1 Corinthians 11:28 Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe. (Talking About Communion)

1 John 4:1 My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Jeremiah 11:20 I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies, you’re a fair judge. You examine and cross-examine human actions and motives. I want to see these people shown up and put down! I’m an open book before you.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

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I WILL TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES
and with God’s help, I will do what I need to do to change them.

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES DON’T BECOME BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES OVERNIGHT

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH GOOD HABITS AND ATTITUDES

BAD HABITS AND ATTITUDES CAN ONLY BE CHANGED WITH GOD’S HELP

THE HABITS AND ATTITUDES WE NEED TO IMITATE IN OUR CHARACTER ARE THE HABITS AND ATTITUDES OF JESUS

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Luke 4:16-19 He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place.When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.

Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.”

 

 

 

Step Three ~ Week One

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I AM MAKING A DECISION TO LET GOD HELP ME CHANGE

Jesus said, “I’ve come to change everything, turn everything right-side up!” You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right 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.

God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.

Luke 12:50 ~ Luke 12:56 ~ Acts 3:19 ~ Romans 2:4 ~ 2 Peter 3:9

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made a decisionPodcast here tomorrow.