Matthew 7:24Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock.
The Twelve Steps are foundation stones for the recovery process. Foundation stones are designed for building on.
We are all unique. God created us all in His image but He also created us as individuals. Today I want to encourage everyone to find out what works for you. There is only one way to achieve recovery as far as I am aware. That is God’s way!
Do not be pressured by others to do what they did. You are not them. Take time to get to know god and His plan for you and then establish your foundations built on how He guides you. God will not guide you in any direction that goes against his Word,
What is God saying to you about His plan for your life?
Matthew 5:8Blessed are those whose hearts are pure. They will see God.
God wants us to live pure lives. To clean up our attitudes and behaviour. Recovery is not about personal gain. Recovery is about spiritual purpose.
Spiritual purpose has nothing to do with where you work and everything to do with how you live. I always thought the two should line up. Wrong!
My spiritual purpose is – to introduce people to Bible based living through the process of recovery. My employment life has been in a number of different areas since completing the Bridge Program.
All through my recovery journey my spiritual process has remained dominant. Sometimes it has resulted in me having to leave of change jobs because the jobs I was in have gone against how I live my life.
What The Bible Says
God made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included—but for judgment. Proverbs 16:4
We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails. Proverbs 19:21
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11
The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope. The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. Colossians 1:5
Proverbs 28:13Anyone who hides his sins doesn’t succeed. But anyone who admits his sins and gives them up finds mercy.
It’s time to stop hiding our faults and flaws.
A lot of the faults and flaws in my life were things I developed to protect me. I no longer need to protect myself. Why? Because God protects me. He has the power, knowledge and wisdom of heaven and earth and He is my heavenly Father.
He promises he will never leave or forsake me. He will take care of all my needs and He will equip me to deal with whatever comes my way in life.
Why would I want to hide from Him? He loves me unconditionally and I trust Him.
Your recovery depends on dealing with the grunts, groans, and murmuring that became your every day living. How often did you refuse to confess your addiction ? Everyone on this planet, at some time, has agreed with the enemy’s lies and kept their secrets and frustrations locked inside
When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. Psa 32:3
Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Psa 18:21
Don’t, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction.Pro 3:11
Prayer: God help me today to let You see the real me and make changes if You need to.
Page 58 – Chapter 5 The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We tought we could find an easier softer way but we could not. Remember we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now.
How far are you willing to go to achieve and maintain your recovery from addiction and compulsion? Have you tried and failed in the past? Do you get so far, seem to be going well and then relapse? Thinking you were going well as you became complacent, stopped attending meetings, implementing what you have learned?
Tonight, I want us to take an honest look at our willingness to go to any lengths. What are we doing to discover God’s will for our lives and seeking His power to carry it out?
I. TRUST GOD IN EVERYTHING 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. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7
II. THE ENERGY YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS GOD’S ENERGY That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.Philippians 2:13
III. PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Matthew 26:41
IV. KEEP MOVING FORWARD Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. 2Corinthians 8:11
V. WORK AT IT Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. 2 Timothy 2:15
VI. RECOVERY REQUIRES CHANGES Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
VII. THERE IS A PURPOSE TO RECOVERY We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:10
2 Corinthians 10:3I do live in the world. But I don’t fight my battles the way the people of the world do.
Recovery causes conflict. You will find that because of what you are learning in recovery you no longer think like other people. You no longer act like other people. For some of those people that is going create conflict.
In Luke 12:51 Jesus says “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you. I have come to separate people.”
There is no middle ground in recovery. You are either in or you are out. It requires commitment. Even when conflict arises. Conflict for me in the process of recovery meant moving away from everyone and everything I knew and loved. It added a new dimension to the phrase. If you love it set it free.
ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO OBTAIN AND MAINTAIN RECOVERY
Proverbs 16:7When the way you live pleases the Lord, he makes even your enemies live at peace with you.
In the process of recovery, you will always have mockers.
As I have matured in recovery, especially in the early days it is surprising how many people have wanted to take credit for my development. I have often wondered how many of them would still want to take credit if I fell in a heap? One of the hardest things I had to do in my life is accept that I only have to please an audience of One. One of the best messages I ever received from God came from a throwaway line by Pastor TD Jakes who said ”What if God wants to do something totally different right now and He wants to do it through you?” I think about that question often
What The Bible Says
God is pleased when you are faithful to Him. It demonstrates you commitment.Joh 6:29 Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
God is pleased when yo obey Him. It demonstrates your love.Joh 8:29 “The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”
God is pleased when you trust Him. It demonstrates your faith.Heb 11:6It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
Proverbs 27:17As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
What we do affects other and what they do affects us.
Recovery is not a part-time process and God will not be happy with us just doing the right thing some of the time.
That means not only paying attention to ourselves but also paying attention to others. And when we have to challenging them about the wrong things they are doing. Personal accountability is important in the recovery process. That means obedience to God at all times is important. As our Higher Power he is in control. We gave Him that position in our recovery and lives and we need to continually monitor our beliefs, actions and behaviors to ensure they line up with His
What The Bible Says
A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others. Pro 12:15
Am I a God who is only in one place and cannot see what they are doing? Can anyone hide from me? Am I not everywhere in all of heaven and earth?Jer 23:23-24
How can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to? Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.1Jn 2:3-4
What things are you doing in your life that don’t line up with God’s plan for you?
Proverbs 21:2Everything a man does might seem right to him. But the Lord knows what he is thinking
None of us intentionally set out to do the wrong thing. We do what we believe is right. Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t.
I first made a decision to recover from addiction in 1987. I entered a rehab, I attended A.A. I learned and applied the Twelve Steps according to my understanding to my life. I thought I was doing okay but eventually I relapsed because God wasn’t involved in the process.
My goals and thought process during that time were very much focused of what I wanted.
Recovery became a reality when I asked God what He wanted and shaped my life around making His reality my reality,
What The Bible Says
Jesus said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.Mat 18:3
“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,”Act 3:19
Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation.Rom 10:9
Proverbs 16:18If you are proud, you will be destroyed. If you are proud, you will fall.
With humility comes wisdom and with wisdom comes honor.
Before coming to The Salvation Army Bridge Program I was also in a rehab in Rockingham in Western Australia. Where I learned all the right things and did all the wrong things. I remember the Director saying to me “I hope I am around when you finally get serious about recovery. It will be something to watch.”
I never knew what he was talking about but I do now. I was so proud of my achievements I was a relapse waiting to happen. When it did I fell further than I have ever fell before. The glory for my recovery today goes to God. I am just a guy who made a decision to stop and trust Him
What The Bible Says
If anyone respects and fears God, he will hate evil. For wisdom hates pride, arrogance, corruption, and deceit of every kind. Proverbs 8:13
When pride comes, shame follows. But wisdom comes to those who are not proud.Proverbs 11:2
From within, out of men’s hearts,come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly.Mark 7:21-22
Are you proud of your recovery or thankful to for it?
You made me and formed me with your own hands. Give me understanding so that I can learn your commands.Psalms 119:73
With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. Comfort me so I can live, really live.
God is one and there is no other. Loving Him with all our passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as we love ourselves is the true purpose of recovery.
Christ living in you as you open the door and invite Him in you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!
Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.Ephesians 5:15
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. Proverbs 3:21-26