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
Category: Step 6
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.
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.
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.
Scripture Reading: Psalms 51:1-10
Focus Verse: Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.Psalms 51:10
WE ARE NOT BORN WITH GOOD CHARACTER
Deuteronomy 8:2 You must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands.
GOD WANTS TO DEVELOP GOOD CHARACTER IN US
James 5:11 What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.
2 Chronicles 33:10-12 When God spoke to Manasseh and his people about this, they ignored him. Then Gud directed the leaders of the troops of the king of Assyria to come after Manasseh. They put a hook in his nose, shackles on his feet, and took him off to Babylon. Now that he was in trouble, he went to his knees in prayer asking for help—total repentance before the God of his ancestors.
GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO WORK HARD. HE WANTS US TO WORK SMART
Job 5:17 Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you. Psalms 119:71-72 The punishment you gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws. They are more valuable to me than millions in silver and gold!
1 Peter 2:19 It is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 He [God] told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong.
WHEN FAITH IS TESTED CAN IT BE TRUSTED?
Psalms 73:26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalms 109:31 He’s always at hand to take the side of the needy, to rescue a life from the unjust judge.
Psalms 121:5 God’s is your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Matthew 16:25-26 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
“We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
HOW = Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness
It says in the Bible in Matthew 3:1-2 “While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
Simple but not always easy. Thinking about allowing God to change our character I began reading articles on the process of change and how the changes in my life lined up with these suggested stages of the process of change. I read a number of articles and came across one on https://verywellmind.com which I would like to share some of.
Stage one they say is: PRECONTEMPLTION which includes deciding do I really have a problem”
Stage two is: CONTEMPLATION which includes the weighing up of the pros and cons of actually doing something about my problem.
Stage three is: Preparation which includes gathering all the information and options I have to do something about my problem?
Stage four is Action which includes a decision on what I am going to do, how I am going to do it, when I am going to do it and a commitment to getting done
Stage five is : MAINTENANCE how am I going to keep moving forward? and How am I going to avoid the temptation to relapse?
Stage six is: RELAPSE If I get it wrong and give in to temptation how am I going to get back on the horse?
I must say in looking at the process according to other people’s opinions my first thought was THANKYOU JESUS! There is a verse in the Bible that says “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Jesus says in Matthew 24:13 “the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me now and be saved, people all over the world! I am the only God there is.” To me allowing God to change me was simple ‘turn to God’ The God of the Bible, through the One and only true Higher Power’ Jesus Christ. Get to know Him, understand His will for my life, and change my character to reflect what He tells me to do on a daily basis through a daily relationship with the Holy Spirit and His leading. Simple but not always easy.
After discovering my sinful habits and attitudes and confessing them, I am now willing to let God change me.
To successfully complete Step Six you must:
LET GOD TRANSFORM YOUR WILL AND YOUR LIFE
God says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11
LET GOD WORK IN AND THROUGH YOUR LIFE
The Bible says, “Eventually, God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14
LET GOD WORK HIS WILL IN AND THROUGH YOUR LIFE
We saw that we weren’t making even a dent ……………. and gave up. “It’s in God’s hands now,” we said. “Master, you handle it.” Acts 21:14
Sin may feel and seem right for a season.
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We believe that as we investigate God’s promises for our lives and practice the ‘Spiritual Principles of Recovery’ as outlined in ‘God’s Word’ we will find the strength and freedom we need to live productive and peaceful lives.
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On completion of my list of sinful habits, I will confess them to God and to someone that I trust. Join me this week for week three of Step Five