In 1987 I entered recovery for the first time and learned the Twelve Steps so well I was made responsible for a Twelve Step teaching group
Spirituality involves things like peace, love, righteousness, forgiveness. Integrity, our relationships and our values and worship. And aligning these things in our lives with God’s Word.
1 John 2:29 You know that God is right and always does what is right. And you know that everyone who does what is right has been born again because of what God has done.
Think About It: God is always right!
Question: Are you communicating regularly enough with God to know how to live right?
When we turn our lives over to God we can sometimes feel pressure pulling us back to our old ways of living.
Recovery requires total commitment to God and His way of living. It means living lives that are guided by God’s standards. Living qualities of lives that are prioritized by what the Bible says.
Our focus needs to be God’s focus. To help us to focus on what God focuses on He gives us a daily relationship with the Holy Spirit. Change requires calling on God often. Listening to Him and following where He leads us.
Romans 4:7 Fortunate are those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate.
Salvation means your sins have been forgiven, the slate has been wiped clean. Forgiven by the Grace of God, not because you deserve it but because He loves you and believes if you are willing to allow Him you can change your attitudes, behaviours and convictions and become a better version of you. That through learning and applying His will to you life you can be blessed.
Salvation means your sins are completely forgiven. Psalms 103:12 As far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.
Salvation means the stain of guilt is gone. Psalms 51:9 Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health.
Salvation means you have received God’s mercy. 1 Peter 2:10 From nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
1 John 4:18 Perfect love drives fear away. Fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love.
God’s perfect love in our lives confirms our salvation.
One of my biggest fears during my addictive years was fear of abandonment. Since high school I have always been involved in a romantic relationship. Some of them unhealthy. Most of them for the wrong reasons.
I did not cope with being alone! Since I have been in recovery I have had one romantic relationship, with my wife.
The difference between my relationship with my wife and the others in my life is acknowledging God’s love and following His guidance in our lives.
Think about this: “Emotions come and go and can’t be controlled so there’s no reason to worry about them. That in the end, people should be judged by their actions since in the end it was actions that defined everyone.” –
When I think back on my past relationships and their eventual ending I realise there end was less about how I felt and more about my actions. Without accountability for our action we get hurt, others get hurt and God is not included in our relationship.
“Lord, lead me as you promised me you would; otherwise my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, which way to turn.” Psalms 5:8
THINK ABOUT IT: Jesus is my One True Higher Power
QUESTION: Is He leading or am I?
God created you. Jesus died for you. And, now you are in recovery He is calling to be your One True Higher Power. He promises Leadership and victory over your addictions and compulsions. He will reveal to you His will, if you ask Him to.
Psalms 139:16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!
He thought about you before you were born. He has a perfect plan for your life. It will only happen if you put your faith and trust in Him and are obedient to His Leadership in every area of your life and go where He tells you to turn. Will you GO?
After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them,
I am now willing to let God change me.
…… What do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today—live a good life. Look around you: Everything you see is God’s—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. Deuteronomy 10:12-14
Often we ask, What does God expect of me?
Here Moses gives a summary that is simple in form and easy to remember.
Here are the essentials:
(1) Live in His presence (have reverence for Him).
(2) Follow the road He sets out for you.
(3) Love Him.
(4) Serve Him with everything you have in you.
(5) Obey His commandments.
(6) Live a good life.
(7) Understand everything above and beyond is His and He is your God.
Focus Verse: Deuteronomy 10:12 “Live in his presence ……… follow the road He sets out for you.”
There are people who would prefer to go back rather than do what needs to be done to achieve recovery. There are others who almost get there but give just before it is achieved. Disappointingly many people turn to God, put their faith in Him only to turn back after a short time. This is a deliberate departure from living God’s way. A backward step backsliding, backing off, and backing down.
God never goes back on His word. 2 Timothy 2:13 “Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for He cannot disown us who are part of Himself, and He will always carry out His promises to us.” When we give our word to God. To follow Him by letting Him lead we too should not turn back but do ‘the work’ of living in His presence and following the road He sets before us. Then and only then can we truly understand and enjoy all He has in store for us and is already doing in us.
After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them, i am now willing to let god change me.
In Alcoholics Anonymous you are encouraged to ‘take what you want, and leave the rest and to ‘look for the similarities’ There a verse in the bible that says “Test everything. Keep what is good, and stay away from everything that is evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
When I first came to recovery in 1987 I wanted none of what AA ad to offer. What I did want was to stop drinking and change my life. It never happened because the option was given to me to ‘leave what I didn’t want The Twelve Steps are not a menu, where you can pick what you want and live happily ever after/ We are in a spiritual war. A war for our sanity and well-being. We live in a sinful world so staying away from everything evil is impossible. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
What we can do is learn, apply and live the directions of the Twelve Steps and the Bible to not give the ‘devil a foothold’ by making changes in our lives that do not ‘lead us into temptation
HOW TO AVOID TEMPTATION
Proverbs 7:1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion. They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress— that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.
GOD IS NEVER THE SOURCE OF OUR TEMPTATION
James 1:13-14 Don’t let anyone under pressure give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. 2 Corinthians 6:12
- We need to stop defining ourselves by our addictions and compulsions and take up our new identity as Gods Children
nrlldGf edihdGf ediCdGf ediC
AFTER DISCOVERING MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES AND CONFESSING THEM,
I AM NOW WILLING TO LET GOD CHANGE ME
Welcome to the third week of step six. Today I want to talk about a subject some of us may find difficult to associate with letting God change us. difficult because many of us through our addictions and compulsions have spent our lives intentionally not allowing people into the most personal areas in our lives for fear of getting hurt, fear of looking weak, and fear of others taking advantage of us. What I am talking about is vulnerability. Vulnerability by definition is the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.. There are areas in our lives, as we walk this path to recovery where we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable,
It is essential in our lives when it comes to allowing God to change us into becoming all He is calling us to be our hearts and our lives are fully open to Him. Our days of keeping secrets are over. If we hold back when it comes to being open with Him we will stunt our spiritual growth and possibly relapse into our old ways of thinking aand behaving
Psalm 139:23-24 says Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life. David asked God to search for sin and point it out, even to the level of testing his thoughts. This is exploratory surgery for sin. How are you going to recognize sin in the hidden areas of your character unless God points it out?
Hebrews 4:12-13 The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. God knows and sees everything we do. He understands all our actions and our motives and He wants to guide us and to help us to change our bad habits and develop good habits that align with His Word and are pleasing to Him.
When it comes to allowing God to change us we need to accept that others may not understand how we have changed or why we have changed and they may ridicule our new way of living.
Early in my recovery my wife and I used to run a ‘kids club’ at the Salvation Army and one of the local papers came to do an article on it. It was part of The Salvation Army’s National Alcohol Awareness week. There was another local paper approached about also running the story. The editor of the paper at the time refused to allow the journalist who was interested to run the article. The journalist explained the reason the story was rejected like this.”Sorry, the editor has his own alcohol and drug issues and to run the story is a bit close to home.”
In recovery, we all have a responsibility to help others see and understand not just what God has done for us but also what He wants to do for them if they will let Him. We do this by treating them with mercy and kindness and providing what we can to help them to walk the road God has planned for them. In Psalm 12:5 the Bible says Into the hovels of the poor, Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks: “I’ve had enough; I’m on my way To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”
Recovery comes with a purpose and a plan it is found in Step 12 Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of an individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to a personal relationship with Him. Step six is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be so we can help others become what He wants them to be.
Join me through the week at livingliferecovery.com as we progress in the process of becoming more like Jesus through understanding of His calling on our lives,
Ephesians 2:11 Says “Don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways”
Sometimes we forget where we came from, how we got here and in who’s grace our life has changed. The Bible tells us to be strong and courageous in order for God to use us to lead and influence others in their spiritual journey. Joshua 1:6
There are times in our spiritual journey we feel anything but strong and courageous. At those times God prompts us to lean on Him in the process (remember the footprints in the sand.)
I have walked this road, in God’s presence since 1989. I have changed, dramatically. Not because I wanted to but because I had to. Had I not I have no doubt my life by now would either be over or ruined. God in His wisdom chose me to be His ambassador here on earth. Not because I was the best choice but because I am His choice and He loves me more than I am worth.
Today if you are experiencing doubt, feeling sorry for yourself I encourage you to trust God, let Him lead, let Him change you and let Him remove the doubt in your heart and mind and enable you to become all He is calling you to be.