Permalink 08:01:17 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 355 words   English (US)


Having been in recovery since 1994, I have to wonder if God has restored me to sanity yet. What exactly does it mean to be sane? Albert Einstein once defined insanity as, "Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." I sure did a lot of that while practicing my addictions, but am I still living my life like that? By God's grace and power, I no longer practice my addictions, but does that make me sane?

Is there anyone that is sane that I can compare my life to? Well, there may be others, but the only person I know for sure that is sane is Jesus. And, when I compare my life with His, I come up wanting... So, does this mean that God hasn't restored me to sanity, as I hoped for?

I don't think sanity is like a light switch that's either on or off, but more like a light control that God turns (with our cooperation) from darkness to more and more light. When I look at it that way, I can honestly say that God is restoring me to sanity, and this is greatly encouraging :-) But, unlike the light control on my wall, God's "light control" has no limit as to the brightness of light (sanity) that can be dialed up.

So, am I sane or not? Maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe a better question would be, "Am I continually allowing God to turn up the "light" of my sanity?" When I look at it that way, I see that it's really about my own choices. God isn't the limiting factor. He's cranking that "light control" up, giving me as much "light" as I will accept. It's me that that limits the "light" of God's sanity in my life, by my poor choices. And it's me that allows God to improve my saneness, as I choose to trust and obey Him.

Even when I don't have the power to trust and obey, somehow God makes it all possible, as I choose to trust and obey Him. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2Corinthians 4:6). "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)


Permalink 08:10:52 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 160 words   English (US)

Lord Have Mercy

"And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him." (Matthew 20:30-34)

Just as our gentle, loving Savior opened the eyes of these blind men, so does His amazing grace work in our hearts to restore us to sanity as we recognize our powerlessness and persistently pursue His healing touch. But, it is so often the case that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Jesus says, "ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24). "For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

It is hard to admit my powerlessness and then humble myself further to ask for help from my Higher Power. My human tendency is to want to be the master of my own destiny. But, I've come to realize that this pompous attitude got me into my helpless state in the first place. So, it certainly is not going to save me now. It is only as I humbly submit myself to God -- seeking His will -- that I have any hope at all of restoration.

"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Galatians 1:3-5)

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)


Permalink 07:21:18 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 348 words   English (US)

Abiding In The Vine

Jesus said (in John 15), 1-3 "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

4"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me."

5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples."

9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love."

11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father." (John 15:1-15) Quoted from "The Message" Bible.

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)


Permalink 08:35:26 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 671 words   English (US)

Secret Fears About God

Have you ever been treated inappropriately by people who seem to be, or even claim to be, God's chosen vessels on Earth? What about the abusive parent who tried to put the "fear of god" into you? What about the look-good-on-the-outside church member who gossips behind your back about you? What about the church officer who won't help you in your time of need (Luke 10:30-32)? And, what about a church pastor who accuses you of the unpardonable sin because you question his theology?

Have you ever wondered why so many bad things happen to you? Have you asked, "Where was God when...?", or wonder, "Why did God let that happen to me?", or even dare to think, "Why did God do that to me?!" As a Christian, it may seem unthinkable to to voice these questions, but I have discovered that these concerns are common -- even among seemingly devout, church going, Christians.

It is a great temptation to distrust God when things like these happen. It's easy to start believing that God really doesn't care about "me". We may even come to believe that God is abusive. Because of this, Step 2 is a difficult step for many -- even for Christians.

Yet, we feel this great need for help and comfort from a power greater than ourselves. In Step one, we admitted that we were powerless and out-of-control. So now, we really need a greater power, who will restore us to sanity (Step 2). But, is the God of our understanding willing, or even able, to do that for us? Maybe not.

But wait. Is the God of our understanding really the true God? Is it possible that the powers of evil have used their servants, masquerading as Christians, to convince us that God is evil?

If that is true, then one might ask, "Why doesn't God do something about it?" Why doesn't he step in and remove that pastor who teaches lies and makes false accusations? Why doesn't God stop the abusive parent from harming his/her children? Why doesn't He remove those unhelpful church officers from their positions? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE!! In considering possible answers to those questions, it may be helpful for us to look at a bigger, more encompassing, question: When Adam and Eve first sinned, why didn't God just wipe them out and start over again with me? Certainly I would have made better choices... or... would I?

More and more, I am coming to believe that God values our freedom of choice above most everything. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to serve a god who doesn't give me a choice as to whether I serve him or not. I am trying to see more of the big picture -- the great controversy between Christ and satan. It is satan and his servants that bring evil to us in this world. Those people who should be examples of God's love and mercy (professed Christians) are not choosing God's way when they abuse us. They are choosing to listen to another voice -- the voice of evil.

I shudder to think of how many times I have listened to the wrong voice and treated others in a less-than-Christian-like way. And, I am thankful that God does not strike me down for making bad choices. So, why do I want Him to do evil to other people who also make bad choices? That's just not God's way. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9).

I must agree with Paul when he said, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:11-13). I invite you to look, with me, at Psalms 23 where God promises to be with us in the "valley of the shadow of death" and where He promises to "prepare a table" for us in the presence of our enemies.

"Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever." (Psalms 23:1-6).

This is the God of my understanding -- a God of love and mercy. This is the God that is restoring me to sanity. This is the God I love. Won't you join me now in serving the true God of Love?

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)


Permalink 08:47:34 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 304 words   English (US)

Mighty in Battle

God says, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

"Fear not... Let not your hands be slack. The LORD your God, in the midst of thee, is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." (Zephaniah 3:16-17).

When under attack by the “roaring lion” who seeks to devour me, I not only see my own powerlessness, but I also see One that is mighty to de-liver me. Hopelessness is being swallowed up by the blessed hope of a better life – a life of victory, where once was only defeat. If I put my full trust in God, will he really defeat the enemy, in my behalf? “Humble your-selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God…” (2 Corinthians 10:4). “13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and hav-ing on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:13-18).

“… We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Revelation 11:17).

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." (Step 2)

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