‘I will confess my sinful habits to God’
If we admit our sins–make a clean breast of them–God won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9
If we admit our sinful habits to God and make a clean breast of them God is faithful.
Proverbs 28:13 says “You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.”
It is easy to think we have arrived. That because we are now in recovery everything is going to be fine. But that is not true: Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” Recovery is an ongoing process that requires ongoing self-examination and correction. It requires continual dependence on God and continual confession of our sinful habits as they become noticeable to us as the fog of our past clears and we remember more of our past mistakes and character defects.
Jesus paid a debt for our mistakes and our defiance of God in the past and because of that debt, now fully paid God promises us ‘forgiveness of our sinful habits’ With forgiveness of sins also comes His promise to take away the guilt we feel and introduce us to ‘peace beyond our understanding’ not because we deserve it but because He loves us and wants the best for us and from us.
Thomas Fuller said, “A clear conscience can bear any trouble.” Recovery is a process of finding new and living ways to walk in the faith we possess in our One True Higher Power – Jesus Christ so we can bear any trouble that presents as we walk through this new way of living without giving in and going back to our old ways.
“He’ll purge us of all wrongdoing.” Psalms 27:3 says “When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.” Are you? When something presents that catches you off guard, how do you react? Do you turn to your old sinful habits or do you turn to God and tell him openly and honestly: “God I am not ready for this. I can’t handle it in my own strength. Help me, guide me and give me your strength to what I need to do to put it right according to your will for my life”
Step Five is the beginning of putting into action all we have learned in the first four steps and letting God lead.
- Confession clears the way for real forgiveness
David confessed to Nathan, “I’ve sinned against God.” Nathan pronounced, “Yes, but that’s not the last word. God forgives your sin. You won’t die for it. 2 Samuel 12:13
- Confession clears the way for real fellowship
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. James 5:16
- Confession clears the way for real freedom
If we admit our sins–make a clean breast of them–he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9
Confessing our sinful habits to someone we trust is the next part of this step. Which we will discuss next week. But remember this ‘confessing our sinful habits to someone we trust gives them the heads up on what they need to pray about on our behalf to help us move forward in the recovery process.’
12 Step Podcasts will resume next week (Archie Boyle)
Step Five:- On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and to someone that I trust.
Acts 2:1-6 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force–no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck.
Conflict resolution is vital to recovery today, just as it was to the early church. The early believers acknowledged their limitations, set their priorities, and laid out specific tasks that would fulfill their needs. In this case they sought God’s wisdom and selected seven Spirit-filled, well-respected leaders to administer the food program. No problem in recovery is insurmountable. With God’s wisdom, together with a network of godly support, we can work through old dysfunctional patterns and find healthy, balanced ways to rebuild our life and meet the needs of the people around us. (Life Recovery Bible)
In Acts 5:29 is says Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men.”
Recovery is about establsihing and keeping priorities:
- Romans 12:18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
- John 15:18 “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me.”(Jesus)
- Luke 6:22 “Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.”
Sometimes in recovery conflict is inevitable.
- We need to learn to ‘Love God and love others.’
- We need to remember not everyone we encounter is in recovery so they aren’t going to agree with what we are learing and implimenting in our lives.
- We need to always remember where we came from, how we got here and that God has our future in His hands.
Step Five:- On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and to someone that I trust.
Luke 6:43-45 “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree.The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.”
Spiritual health is more important than physical health. We work hard at our outward appearance, saying the right things, doing the right things. We want to remain acceptable in the eyes of others, but what is in our hearts is more important. The way we are when others can’t see us matters more to God.
Eventually if our lives are not right from the inside we will stumble in the recovery process and begin lose ground on our progress.
IF YOU STOP GROWING YOU START ROTTING
Step Five: On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and to someone that I trust.
Psalms 18:6 I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence– a private audience!
As a result of life’s problems life can seem impossible. We need to face it. Many of our problems are self-inflicted due to bad choices, attitudes and actions. Trying to ignore, hide excuse them any longer, continuing to live a lie will stunt our spiritual growth. We need to abandon that attitude. Total honesty is a requirement of successful recovery, however distressing it may seem now.
Accepting and acknowledging our brokenness before God is the distress signal He awaits. He will respond with gracious support. He is unfailingly wonderful when we completely unburden ourselves, openly confessing everything and seeking His restoring power to our lives.
Total honesty is a requirement of successful recovery.
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
[The Life Recovery Devotional]
Step 5 – Day 11
- Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.
- Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.
- Your sayings on life are what give me delight; I listen to them as to good neighbors!
We can never progress in recovery in isolation. We need ‘OTHERS’ ,who are further along the road than we are to help us and [rovide healthy relationships of support us as we move forward together in fellowship with God,
Bible Reading: Luke 15:11-24
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
That brought him to his senses. He said, “All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.” He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:17-20
The Story of the prodigal son reminds us that confession can be a stepping-stone to renewed fellowship with God.
The son had used up all his resources and those of his fathers in order to establish his own identity. He returned home filled with shame and confessing in his heart “Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son.”
The father’s response to his son is a mirror of God’s response to our open and honest confession. The son expected rejection and abandonment, he found love, compassion, acceptance, and renewed relationship. As we confess our brokenness to God, expecting rejection and abandonment we too will find love, compassion, acceptance and renewed relationship as He welcomes us home.
On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess
them to God and to someone that I trust.
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.
Now in possession of a list all the things about my character I needed to change and bring into line with God, His Word and His purpose I had to share it with someone else. An opportunity to unload the negative, release the guilt and shame that had troubles me for so long. Things I had never shared with anyone else.
For me he was a Salvation Army Officer, my counsellor on the Bridge Programme, the person who I did the ‘Navigators Bible Studies’ with. I trusted him more than I had trusted anyone else, ever in my life. We arranged to meet, I gave him the list of things I had written down and we went through them one by one, investigating resolution and solution for each one. The reason I gave him the list is because I am human, and if I hadn’t I may have been tempted to leave things out.
This step for me, got rid of the feelings of isolation the barriers and secrets my addiction had created in my life. Helped me to understand I was not unforgiveable. Helped me to accept that recovery requires rigorous honesty and if I was going to move forward from this point I needed to be honest about the things I had done, how that made me feel and I needed to find a way to fix the mistakes of my past.
1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he [God] won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.”
1. Learn and obey God’s standards for right living.
Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. (Pro 7:2)
2. Always look for, learn and apply improvements.
Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family. (Pro 7:4)
3. Stay focused.
Don’t let your hearts stray. (Pro 7:25)