Early in my recovery I remember many people who spoke like they knew what recovery was all about.
Category: Discussion Starters
Matthew 9:28 When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!”
Seeing isn’t always believing. Often when we start attending recovery groups we see what is going on but we don’t believe it. There is a saying “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” For some of us until we start experiencing changes in our lives because of recovery we just don’t believe it.
This scripture tells of some of the miraculous healing powers of Jesus. In the featured verse, Jesus asked two blind men “do you believe I can do this?”
Do you believe Jesus can heal people?
A question we all need to answer as we progress in the process of recovery.
- Do I believe Jesus cares enough about me to heal me?
Prayer: Just for today, Lord help me to believe that You love me and care enough about me to heal me
“The health of the apple tells the health of the tree.” You must begin with your own life-giving lives.
We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now.
Jesus said to His disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. “ Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.
Recovery is not always going to be easy
But it is always going to be worth it
Throw out anything tainted with evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
I learned bad habits by doing bad things. I did bad things because they felt good. Notice I said ‘they felt good’ not ‘they were right.’
Recovery is about doing the right thing. We are all born knowing the difference between right and wrong. Most of us end up in trouble because we choose to do wrong. I did.
In recovery and in life the best source I have found to learn the right thing from is the Bible. God created us in His image and He gave us His Word as a guide of how to live life as He wants us to.
- Do you read the Bible?
- Do you Pray?
- If not, why not?
- Are you willing to start?
Prayer: God today give me a desire to do the right thing. Give me a thirst to know Your Word and to apply it to my life.
don’t take God for Granted
Psalm 18:21 Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.
bad habits are as bad as vandalism
Proverbs 18:9 Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.
listening to god is a good habit to adapt
Romans 6:17-18 Thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
prayer is a good HABit to adapt
Acts 10:1-2 There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer.
James 1:19 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.
I remember when I first came to recovery my sponsor said to me ‘take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth.”
The best advice I ever received. None of us ended up here, in recovery because we wanted to. None of us got up one day and said “it’s a nice day, the sun is shining I think I will go to recovery.” We ended up in recovery because God knew it is where we need to be.
My advice to everyone reading this today is to listen to those who have been here longer than you. They know more because they have traveled the road longer and have more experience.
- How did you arrive in recovery?
- Are you willing to learn from others?
Prayer: Just for today Lord open my ears and my mind. Teach me to listen to and advice and apply it?
People who talk all the time tend to think less. Usually interested in their own satisfaction than those they are speaking to. Lack of restraint is a condition in which sin loves to work.
It says in Proverbs 13:7 “A pretentious, showy life is an empty life.” Proverbs 14:2 says “An honest life shows respect for God.” And, Psalm 146:3 says “Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing about life,”
One of the most important steps in the recovery process is to get a ‘sponsor’ or ‘mentor’ They need to be God-selected and they need to be living a life that pleases God. Otherwise, they are just going to teach you their bad habits, wrong beliefs and encourage you to follow their words instead of Gods.
RECOVERY IS SIMPLE BUT NOT ALWAYS EASY
“Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” Matthew 18:18-20
There is safety in numbers.
Growing up I was not a very sociable person. Not because I didn’t want to be but because I really never learned growing up how to belong. My parents tried encouraging me to join clubs and events to get me to mix with others but I never really fitted in.
Recovery rescued me. I attended meetings and groups where there were people just like me. People who understood my struggles. Who were patient enough to give me time to discover who I was. Who encouraged me to discover my gifts and abilities and put them to good use.
- What are your gifts and abilities?
- How are you using them to help others?
Prayer: Just for today God show me the real me and use me for Your Glory.
YOU ARE NOT ON ALONE
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20
YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK IT OUT ON YOUR OWN
Be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Deuteronomy 5:32
APPLY WHAT YOU LEARN
If I hadn’t come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. John 15:22
All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and, then missing out myself. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
How are you traveling? Are you feeling good about your progress in the recovery process? So often people get into recovery, get a few rungs up the ladder, and want to tell everybody how it’s done. Recovery is full of experts. And, some people who do this crash because they spent so much time on other people’s recovery and not enough on their own.
I have heard it said so many times, “if you don’t go to meetings you are going to relapse!” And, I agree with that. The Church is not a substitute for recovery meetings. Most people in the Church are either in need of recovery or, in recovery from my own personal experience. When asked about attending recovery meetings many will say “that’s for THOSE PEOPLE, and IAM NOT LIKE THEM!” When I hear people respond in that way, my response is usually “YET”
It says in the scripture above “ALL good athletes train hard!” The prize in the recovery process is TRANSFORMED LIFE. It is achieved through spiritual growth, which is achieved by daily prayer, reading the Bible, Meditating of it. Seeking daily the will of God for your life and His power to catty out His will.
Before offering to help others – CHECK YOURSELF!
Prayer: Just for today Lord I thank You for all You have done in and through me up to now in my recovery progress. I also thank You for what You are going to do as I put my faith in You, Seek Your will and Your power.
EXERCISE SPIRITUALLY – DAILY
Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! 1 Timothy 4:7
LET GOD TRAIN YOU
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training. Hebrews 12:7
TRAIN YOURSELF IN GODLINESS
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7 ESV
1 Corinthians 10:13 You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.
It is common when we fail in recovery to blame our circumstances or other people.
The bottom line is “I am responsible for my actions.” No one else can make me relapse unless I choose to. We don’t want to hear that but it’s the truth.
Recovery is not easy. Many times it would have been easier for me to turn back to where I felt comfortable than it was to continue in recovery. I choose not to, because ‘my worst day in recovery is far better than my best day when I was using’
- What was your best memory of using?
- How does that compare to your life now?
Prayer: Please God help me always to remember where I came from.
To develop self-control we must first know God’s life guidelines
An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. 2 Timothy 2:5
We need to guard our speech
Post a guard at my mouth, God set a watch at the door of my lips.
God wants us to be disciplined in our habits
Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 2 Peter 1:5
The Bible says God’s power is greatest in our weakness My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. Isaiah 41:9-10
I have watched more people walk away from recovery than have completed it, all because of ‘fear of the unknown.’
We have all heard the saying ‘it’s better the devil you know.’
I want to tell you it isn’t. Recovery is a scary and sometimes thankless process. I want to tell you today, having spent many years in recovery. It is worth it.
Do not quit! The smallest step forward is still a step in the right direction. I heard many years ago the slogan: ‘You only fail when you stop trying’ So just keep moving forward and I promise you – It will get better.
- In what ways has your recovery been worth it?
Prayer: just for today Lord help me today to keep moving forward.
CONTINUE TO PRAY:
Study God and his strength, seek his presence day and night 1 Chronicles 16:11
AVOID DISTRACTIONS THAT LEAD AWAY FROM THE GOAL:
Let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time. we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Galatians 6:9
Rely on the Power of the Holy Spirit :
Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 6:18
2 Corinthians 4:1-3 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention.
As I read these verses in my morning devotions this morning I also looked at some of the past notes I had written in my Bible.
I have highlighted four things that jumped out at me as I read these two verses. Things I think are important in the process of recovery:
we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.
- Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. Don’t panic. God is with you. There’s no need to fear He is your One True Higher Power. He will give you strength. He’ll help you. He’ll keep a firm grip on you. For those who love God, all things work together for good. We can call to God for help when ywe are in trouble. He promises He will help us when we put our faith in and give the glory to Him.
We refuse to wear masks and play games
- One of the things I wrote down in my Bible was – Just be yourself and remember it’s not all about you. We need to take arealistic view on the recovery process. Why we came here in the first place? – The circumstances that got us here? – Who is looking after us and keeping us here? 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.“
A lot of the trroubles in my life were my own doing. Tryingto fit into and create an image I wanted the world to see me in. It wasn’t till I dropped al;l the acts and started being myself recovery became a reality in my life.
WE KEEP EVERYTHING WE DO AND SAY OUT IN THE OPEN
- Honesty is one of the most necessary characters of trur recovery. Without it we won’t make it. The Truth brings healing in our lives. Only Jesus can bting us true freedom. Proverbs 19:9 says The person who tells lies gets caught; the person who spreads rumors is ruined.
Why do we always think “I’ll get away with it.” Lying to ourselves, to God and to other people will be our undoing. we need to learn to tell the truth. I know this is a subject I touch on regulary. That is because it is an important on. The Bible says “God hates lies.” if we are ready for recovery and prepared to commit to going to any lengths we need to lear to tell the truth.
people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention.
- Don’t get discouraged when people don’t believe you are on the path you are on or understand it. 2 Corinthians 10:13 says “We’re sticking to the limits of what God has set for us.” We need to remember in the process of recovery no-one is changed by waht we do or say. They are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit moving in and through their lives.
Prayer: Just for today I pray that God will help me to stay the course, to be myself, and to be honest in all I say and do.