Galatians 5:1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
Romans 6:12-14 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Scripture says “Do not let sin control the way you live.” As we progress in the process of recovery and life change we will face a large number of problems related to our character defects.
We can’t overcome them on our own. But, we can ask God to help us with the destructive patterns we have adapted as self-protection. As He does we need to replace them with healthy patterns and desires that helps us to overcome them and ‘keep moving forward!
Let Jesus strengthen you to embrace the Holy Spirit and live in freedom. ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Galatians 5:13-23 You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers, and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
WE FIND PURPOSE IS FOLLOWING JESUS
Galatians 5:13-15 You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29
Our calling us to become like Jesus. A gradual, lifelong process that will only be completed when we get to heaven. 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. To be worthy of being like Jesus we need to have a desire to do the right thing in every area of our lives. Joyce Myer says, “I am not yet where I ought to be but thank God I am not where I used to be.” Our lives are a process of continual spiritual progress. Which means we need to be continually seeking to find and do God’s will in us.
COMPROMISE LIMITS OUR ABILITY TO DO THE RIGHT THING
Galatians 5:16-18 I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
To pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. Mark 15:15
When we are under the influence of our own selfish will and desires it can be very self-destructive. When things don’t work out the way we want them to, or think they should it can be too easy for us to say, “This is too hard, I don’t think I’ll bother.” Or it can be easier to just go long with the crowd than do what God wants.
Jesus was innocent according to Roman law, Pilate caved into political pressure. He paid more attention to the crowd than he did to what he knew was right. When we ignore God’s will in our lives and make decisions based on the preferences of others we compromise our faith and our relationship with God. Life is about making God happy not making others happy.
CONVICTION MEANS STANDING ALONE WHEN IT’s NECESSARY
Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Daniel 1:8
The world wants to squeeze us all into a mold, to get us to compromise our beliefs and values. In the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it says, “We tried to find an easier, softer way.” It can be like that when it comes to living up to our convictions in our lives. It takes courage in our lives to set boundaries and hold to the no matter what.
That’s what Daniel did. He made a commitment to stand on his convictions. We rad in Leviticus 11 God gave specific instructions to Moses and Aaron about wat people could eat and what foods were forbidden. By eating the king’s food Daniel made a decision to live by his convictions, stick to his lifelong commitment to do the right thing and not give in to peer pressure.
Sometimes we have to show the same commitment in our lives when we are pressured by others to go down a path we know is wrong and God does not approve of.
CONVICTION REQUIRES HUMILITY!
Galatians 5:22-23 The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—the moon and the stars You set in place—what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? Psalms 8:3-4
Many of our problems are rooted in our own lack of self-esteem. Things in our past that haven’t worked out the way we have hoped they would have left us more sensitive to the opinions of others than we probably should be. We see in this verse above how much God cares about us. The Creator of the stars, the moon and the night sky has made us fantastic beings of great honour and authority. Based on what He thinks of us, none of us should ever feel we are not up to the tasks God puts before us.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
Sometimes we allow minor disagreements, issues, beliefs or traditions to stop us doing what God wants us to do. Like Paul, we need to remain firm in our convictions but sometimes not be too afraid to compromise the unimportant things for the sake of following Jesus.
Gal 5:1 Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom, and don’t become slaves again.
Through the process of recovery, we are continually faced with a choice ‘follow the spiritual principles of recovery’ or ignore them. ‘Obey God’s leading’ or disobey them. Freedom from sin in Christ or slavery to our addictions and compulsions.
Our choices define how we move forward in relationship with God and the amount of power we have to overcome our bad decisions and behaviours. Making the right choices affects the rest of our life.
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners.
Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything–and I do mean everything–connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life–a God-fashioned life.
When you come looking for God, you’ll find Him. When you get serious about finding Him and want it more than anything else, He’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. He’ll turn things around for you. He’ll bring you out of exile. You can count on it.
The Spirit of the Lord and King is on me. The Lord has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts have been broken. He has sent me to announce freedom for those who have been captured. He wants me to set prisoners free from their dark prisons. He has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free. He wants me to announce the day when he will pay his enemies back. Our God has sent me to comfort all those who are sad. He wants me to help those in Zion who are filled with sorrow. I will put beautiful crowns on their heads in place of ashes. I will anoint them with oil to give them gladness instead of sorrow. I will give them a spirit of praise in place of a spirit of sadness. They will be like oak trees that are strong and straight. The Lord himself will plant them in the land. That will show how glorious he is. Isaiah 61:1-3
Recovery puts us in the unique position to share out experience, strength, and hopes with others in the process and still experiencing the negative effects of addictive and compulsive behaviors. God has anointed us to ‘Share our Vision’ with others. Join us this week for Living Life Recovery at our Hastings (Monday 7:30 pm) or Dandenong (Thursday 7:30 pm) meetings as we look at ‘Sharing our Vision through Sharing our Stories’
Step 10: 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 and if I am, I will take steps to rectify it.
Hebrews 2:1 We must hold on all the more firmly to the truths we have heard, so that we will not be carried away.
Freedom comes from God dependency. Complacency can come from lengthy periods of self-sufficiency, resistence or refusal to indulge. We need to guard against complacency.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5 There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God. Through our addictive and compulsive behaviours God has humbled us and pointed us to Him instead of dependency on ourselves.
It’s easy to slip: Never lose sight of God. The sacred hands of Jesus are forever open to welcome us into personal relationship.
Relationship with Jesus is an important part of the process.