Luke 17:5The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
Effective faith in our lives depends on God. It depends on us having total dependence on God and a willingness to do in our lives what He wants us to do.
Over the years of my recovery my life as taken many turns. Not necessarily the way I have wanted it to but always the way God intended it to. There have been times when I have thought to myself and asked God “What are You doing?”
One of the most important character traits we all need to learn in recovery is ’ availability ’ God at some point in your recovery is going to ask you to go where you don’t want to go or don’t understand why you have to go. In those times how you decide will affect the rest of your life and your recovery moving forward.
If God asked you today to move to an unknown destination would you go?
“I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you.” He did not need anyone to tell him what you were like. He already knew.
There is no need to be afraid of the fact God knows you. We can’t keep secrets from Him. We don’t have to sit with Him and answer multitudes of questions about our past. He knows everything about us and that can be reassuring. He knows the bad things about us. He knows the good things about us. Our motives, our character and our behaviors. So, when we come to our senses we can rest assured He understands us and knows what we need to put our lives on the right track.
The Bible says many times “Jesus knew” He knew peoples needs before they came to Him and told Him their stories. He knew when people were careless with the truth, making out things were different than they really were. He knew when His disciples complained behind His back. He knew when people were just playing lip service. He knew the varying needs of humanity as one by one people came to Him for healing and help.
He knew eventually he would be crucified for the sake of succeeding generations. He knew no one else could pay the price of sin and unlock the glory of Heaven. There is no more disastrous words in the Gospels than to hear His words Matthew 7:23 ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
Please don’t play at recovery! Get serious about it and get to know Him as well as He knows you.
In your heart of hearts are you a trifle weary, Is there part of you your better self deplores? Do you want the power to be a better person? If you want it–it’s yours!
Is your mind mixed up and are your thoughts in turmoil? Are you tired of fighting, are you sick of wars? Would you like some peace instead of inner conflict? If you want it–it’s yours!
Are you somewhat sad and wish that you were happy? Real contentment has a special set of laws; Joy is not for sale, it’s only found in Jesus; If you want it–it’s yours!
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Who are you sharing your recovery experience with?
Whilst I understand the need for anonymity early in recovery I believe each of us gets to a point in our recovery where we can openly share our experience, strength and hope with others. It’s called WITNESSING!
If we choose not to share how is anyone expected to find and discover recovery for themselves? Archie Boyle
Examine your motives, test your heart. Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God.
We must allow God’s correction to bring about the kind of behavior in our life that pleases Him.
Prayer: Lord today I give my life to You. Take it, mould it and make it what You want it to be.
Luke 11:35-36Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. 36 Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”
The first time I took an honest inventory of my life, my habits and attitudes was whilst staying in the William Booth Men’s Hostel in Whitmore Square in Adelaide in 1989. I had made a decision if I wanted my life to change I needed to know and understand myself. I still have a copy of that inventory. The language is colorful. A number of times in my spiritual walk I have re read it to remind myself where I begun this journey of spiritual recovery. Some of the things I wrote were not the truth nut at the time I believed them to be true. It is a true expression of how I was feeling at that time.
When was the last time you took an honest look at yourself?
This morning I woke early and I read Luke Chapter 5. I have read it a number of time before but today it raised new, holy inspired thoughts in me and I felt compelled to share them with you tonight.
In Luke 5:1-11 Jesus tells Simon to “Go further out” he did and as a result he caught more fish than he could fit in his boat.
On reading this I thought “Am I fishing in the wrong place?” A big question but think of this, I did. “God can and does the impossible.” So who says He calls us to carry His message to others travelling the road we have traveled? Maybe He has a whole group of people we have nothing in common He wants us to introduce to Him.
Jesus then went on to say “You will be fishing for men and women.”
To me, this scripture talks about being prepared to go into places you may feel uncomfortable to meet with people you don’t understand. As human beings, most of us want to move in circles in areas in which we feel comfortable and we are scared to approach people we don understand.
In my Spiritual walk, I think I have been blessed in that I have had the opportunity to enter into many, many areas of life where I was uncomfortable and didn’t understand anything about. Yet God has used me in different ways in each of them. 6 of the best years of my life were working with the homeless in the City of Melbourne. I learned a lot, I met some of the best people I will ever meet in my life and I built relationships that will last a lifetime.
Luke 5:12-16 to me is all about ‘HEALING’ It says “If you want you can cleanse yourself.” I believe strongly that most of us don’t get well in the process of recovery cause deep down we don’t really want to. We are comfortable in our squaller because we understand it and it allows us to believe we are where we are because of circumstances outside of ourselves. But we are not! I believe that anyone who truly wants to recover will. Because they will be ‘willing to go to any lengths’ to get it.
Jesus also says in this passage “Don’t talk about this.” In the story of the paraplegic for me anyway it teaches us:
Regardless of the circumstances in our life ‘GOD WILL MAKE A WAY’ If we are willing to put our faith and trust in Him and do what we can to start the ball rolling in doing what we can to bring ourselves before Him.
The doubt of the religious scholars and Pharisees demonstrates a) we don’t always understand what we claim to understand. b) no matter how much we know it means nothing if we don’t put it into practice.
“Get up and walk.” Doubt can only be changed into belief when we start to trust in Him and commit to doing what He commands us to do.
Everybody needs recovery from something. “We all fall short of God’s standards for living in faith.” To that end I for one want to commit to “Stepping out in faith and trusting Him.” Even when I feel uncomfortable or don’t undeerstand.
Once we were God’s enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives.Romans 5:10
I hear you saying, “I was never God’s enemy.” If you weren’t His enemy were you His friend?
Proverbs 17:17tells us “A friend loves at all times.”
No, I hear you say “I wasn’t His friend.”
So I ask you were you indifferent to Him? Did you ignore Him? Because God says we can’t be indifferent in our obedience to Jesus. Revelation 3:15 ‘I know what you are doing. I know you aren’t cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other.’
When it comes to recovery you are either in or you are out. There is no middle ground. If you are in, then step three requires a commitment to doing the work to change your life.
TRUE FRIENDSHIP IS BONDED BY LOYALTY AND COMMITMENT A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.Proverbs 17:17
After 56 years of life, 32 years of recovery I don’t have a lot of true friends. A lot of acquaintances, a lot of people I associate with on a daily basis but not a lot of true friends. I also don’t have any real enemies so I guess that’s a bonus.
Everyone, if they are honest wants to have a real friend. But not many of us are willing to put in the work and the effort that comes with true friendship. Strong, lasting friendship takes time and I am happy I have one true friend and His name is Jesus Christ and He promises He will never leave me. And He wants to your friend, Hebrews 13:5God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,”
Prayer: Lord help me today not to be hot or cold but to be committed.
We must listen very carefully to the truths we have heard, or we may drift away from them. Hebrews 2:1
We can only be assured of continuing freedom by GOD-DEPENDENCE. Self-sufficiency can follow attempts at periods of refusal to indulge. This is something we need to watch out for when we are standing on our fee enjoying feelings of recovery and success.
The Apostle Paul says “In ourselves we are not able to claim anything for ourselves. The power to do what we do comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 Paul knew that in his self-sufficiency God allowed a thorn in his flesh to keep humbly dependent on Him.
It is easy to relapse. Even after we have walked tall and begun a relationship with God. Our text today prompts us to listen to God’s truth. We need to learn His truths and apply them to our lives on a daily basis if we want to keep moving forward in faith to become all He is calling us to be.
Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally–not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! Let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.
Now that we know what we have–Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God–let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all–all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Lord teach me self-reliance is futile. Hold me so tightly that I feel the hish of Your Presence always. This will guard me from relapse and You.
Acts 2:21 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
This verse gives me goose bumps. Think about it! Everyone on this earth, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they are doing can have their life transformed through simply calling on the name of Jesus.
He has a solution to every problem that exists in the world today. He will solve them all if we will just put our faith in Him, decide to let Him help and commit to letting Him.
Recovery is simple, but not always easy. When Jesus spoke to me so long ago and told me “you don’t need to live like this anymore, follow Me and I will lead you.” It took some time after committing to let Him help before I actually did. Why because pride always gets in the way.
Pride undermines faith. Jesus can do anything in our lives but He won’t as long as we think we can solve our problems on our own.
Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life. n honest life shows respect for God.
God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out. on’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires your total attention.