Ecclesiastes 3:1 in The Message Bible says “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on earth.”
Since 1987 I have been in recovery from alcohol addiction and drug abuse. Since 2005 I have written blogs around the process of recovery. I believe I am one of the most fortunate people on this planet, having discovered at an early age there is a better way to live. To live without drugs and alcohol and all the problems that go with them.
Over the years I have been involved in many ‘Recovery Fellowship Groups.’ as well as led many. I have been privileged to work with many people one-on-one in their quests to overcome the struggles of everyday life. And, I have taken many different approaches to the recovery process.
In 1989 I discovered The Way to recovery is through a personal relationship with the One True Higher Power, Jesus Christ.
Tonight I changed the header on my blog from ‘Living Life Recovery ~ Church For People With Addictions’ to “Living Life Recovery ~ What I have learned about recovery.” You see, I believe the slogan I have heard many times in recovery meetings that says “You can’t give away what you don’t have.”
All I have in the process of recovery and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is my own experience.
In the ‘Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous,’ it says “our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now.” It is my hope and prayer that from this point forward that is what will be contained in this blog. I encourage anyone reading to “take what you want and leave the rest.” None of us has all the answers for recovery and none of us can solve all our problems on our own. The ‘Good News’ is we all have access to ‘The One.” who can. His name is Jesus and I hope that through this blog you may identify some of the things He has taught me and be encouraged to share them with others as you walk the daily path of “Living Life Recovery”
1 Corinthians 8:3 We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.
Knowing that God loves us is a good place to start the recovery process. Our pasts filled with bad choices, wrong decsions and broken realtionships can begin to heal when we accept how much He loves us and has already done for us so we can become ‘New Creations.’
1 John 2:9 Suppose someone claims to be in the light but hates his brother or sister. Then he is still in the darkness.
Not everyone you meet on the journey of recovery is on the right path. In the Bible hatred and love as moral qualities are not primary emotions. They are attitudes expressed by our actions. In recovery knowing who’s on the right path is expressed in how the live, not what they say.
1 John 2:26 I’m writing these things to warn you about those who are trying to lead you down the wrong path. Recovery requires repentance and repentance needs to be accompanied by action.
Recovery means more than just knowing the process. It means putting the process into daily living.
- How are you applying the processes you are learning in recovery to you daily life?
Hebrews 2:1 We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard. Then we will not drift away from it.
Continually looking at and adjusting what we have learned and how we apply it to our daily living is an important part of the recovery process. Ignoring it will lead us backward. Maybe not to the point of picking up our drug-of-choice but certainly to a point where we start traveling on a road to character destruction.
A problem for a number of people I have shared within recovery has been the opinion “I now know what I need to know so I don’t need this anymore.” Wrong opinions lead to relapse.
- When was the last time you attended a meeting or spoke to someone in recovery about your recovery?
On Monday night at #LivingLifeRecovery in Hastings, we will be looking at the topic #StinkingThinkingLeadsToDrinking
Romans 2:4 Do you make fun of God’s great kindness and favour? Do you make fun of God when he is patient with you? Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is meant to turn you away from your sins?
How serious are you about God? Are you committed to the process of recovery?
Commitment to God and the process must be consistent. In the process of recovery, we made a commitment to obey God, to trust Him. The way we live now shows others our strength and commitment to the process.
Commitment to God and the process of recovery need to be lifelong commitments. God expects our commitment to the process of spiritual growth to be permanent, not temporary.
- Are you committed to the recovery process and continuing to change what needs to be changed in your life?
Prayer: God if anything gets in the way of my commitment to the process of recovery help me remove it.
Our life has been unmanageable and out of control. When we admit our powerlessness and turn our life over to God, we not only start the recovery process but also take the first steps toward finding true joy.
STEP TEN 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.
Make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. Romans 13:11
Psalms 32:8 I will guide you and teach you the way you should go. I will give you good advice and watch over you.
God has a plan and a purpose for us all. Just as He created us all in His image as individuals His plan for our recovery is individual.
One of the most important aspects of the recovery process is the subject of sponsors/mentors. We all need one, but they need to be the right one. Sponsors/mentors in the process of recovery are special individuals. Whose God-given task is to guide and support people on God’s path for them. It is not to create carbon copies of ourselves.
The carbon copy of recovery is Jesus Christ and our goal through the process of character change needs to be to become more like Him.
- Do you have a Sponsor or Mentor who is helping you in recovery?
- Are they Christian?
GOD PROMISES US A NEW LIFE WHEN WE SURRENDER OUR LIVES TO HIM
Colossians 3:10 You have started living a new life. It is being made new so that what you know has the Creator’s likeness.
SURRENDERING OUR LIVES TO HIM MEANS LIVING TO SATISFY HIM
Galatians 6:7-8 You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
Hosea 10:12 ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
SATISFYING HIM INCLUDES LISTENING TO HE SAYS AND ACTING ON IT
Proverbs 4:20-23 ~ Ephesians 3:17 ~ Hebrews 10:22 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
James 4:6 God continues to give us more grace. That’s why Scripture says, “God opposes those who are proud. But he gives grace to those who are not.” (Proverbs 3:34)
As God pours out His grace on us daily we get bolder. It is easy in that boldness to start taking credit for what God has done. God opposes us when do. Continual spiritual growth is dependent on continual relationship and reliance on Him.
I am sure we have all heard the expression “Too big for his boots”
We need to make sure in the process of changing our character defects our new character is in line with God’s character and His purpose for our lives. nWe need to take time regularly to do a spiritual check-up on our lives and our character.
- When was the last time you conducted a spiritual check up on your life and character?
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:10 “Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.” Step 7 in the ‘Life Recovery Twelve Steps’ says “Through acknowledging God’s supreme power, I humbly ask Him to help me change my sinful habits and attitudes.”
We are all responsible for our attitudes and actions as we walk the road to recovery in a relationship with God. In Celebrate Recovery they have a saying “If you could change on your own you would already have changed.” Recovery is a process that requires not only God support but also the support of ‘Accountability Partners’ and ‘Sponsors’ A sponsor is someone more spiritually mature than you are and an accountability partner is someone who will keep you on track and challenge you to live the life God has called you to live in order for you to become all He [God] intends you to be.