Home  |  Genealogy  |  Sid's Blog  |  Bible Study  |  Will Power  |  Simple Bible  |   Bookmark and Share

05/06/16

Permalink 08:34:10 am, Step(s): 04 Introspection, 353 words   English (US)

The Illumination of Introspection

A friend of mine tells the story of a farmer who has just spent the entire day working his fields on his tractor. It was a long, hot, day for the farmer, and since his tractor had no cab, he was covered with dirt. He had worked well past dusk, and parked his tractor out in the barn. So now, he has only the faint light from the farmhouse windows to lead him home. He begins to notice that he is dirty and so dusts himself off. But, as he gets closer and closer to the light, he sees more and more just how dirty he has become, all along, continuing to dust himself off, as best he can.

So it is with life. For years and years, as many of us have acted in foolishness, we have accumulated more and more "dirt". As we moved deeper and deeper into our destructive behaviors, darkness came in to hide from us the reality of just how "dirty" we really were. Then, as we engage in the process of sanctification by admitting powerlessness (John 5:19,30 ) and His all-powerfulness (John 15:5 ) and start to surrender our will and our life to Him (Acts 9:1-6 ), we begin to walk toward the light of Heaven. In so doing, we now begin to see more and more just how "dirty" we have become (the illumination of introspection). More and more, we come out of denial about our true condition. More and more, God gives us the grace and strength (1 Corinthians 10:13 ) to, not only understand, but to also deal with (dust off), the deep, dark, issues in our lives.

Even though it has been painful for me to go through this process (since I've been very 'dirty'), I praise God for introspection because the grace of God is much more abundant than ALL of our sins (Romans 5:20 ). As I have been learning to cooperate with Him, He continues to "dust me off" and to bring me closer and closer to the light of Heaven, through Jesus Christ my Savior. My prayer is that it may be so for you too.

"All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes: but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established." (Proverbs 16:2-3 )

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." (Step 4)

04/29/16

Permalink 08:15:44 am, Step(s): 03 "I will co-operate...", 342 words   English (US)

The "If Only's"

"If only my children would do what I tell them, I wouldn't yell at them." "If only my wife would be reasonable, I wouldn't be so grumpy." "If only women would dress modestly, I wouldn't have these impure thoughts." "If only I was stronger, I could deal with all these temptations." "If only God would take these temptations away, I could be good."

Does this sound familiar? Is it true that what we really need is deliverance from the problems of this life? If so, then why did James say, "Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proof of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4 ). Listen to what Paul says about the "if onlys": "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13 ). If these words of Scripture are true, then maybe we need to look for a different cause of our behaviors that bring us (and others) pain...

Could it be that it is more important how we handle temptation, than what we are being tempted by? Could it also be true that temptations could actually be a tool to strengthen our moral character, if they are handled appropriately? And, is it true that God really does prevent us from being tempted beyond what we are able to deal with, when we surrender our will to Him? Based on Scripture, and my own personal experience, I believe the answers to all these questions to be true.

Without a Higher Power to help us, we have no chance of fully dealing with our issues. But, as we learn to cooperate with the loving God of creation, we can become the kind of persons that He created us to be. I totally agree with Paul, when he said, "I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 ). In the moment of temptation, when I realize my powerlessness, accept His all-powerfulness, and surrender to Him, asking, Lord what would you have me to do (Acts 9:6 ), He really does deliver me from evil, in the presence of my "enemies" (Psalms 23:1-6 ). And, I believe, He strengthens my character, in that process.

So, what about counting it all joy when we're tempted (James 1:2-4 )? I'm not quite there but, I'm getting closer... How about you?

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." (Step 3)

04/22/16

Permalink 08:24:36 am, Step(s): 02 "God can...", 105 words   English (US)

Can I believe?

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13 )

For many this is a very difficult step. Often, this is because of the way we were treated as a child. But, Jesus said that "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23 ). But, I must ask myself, "Can I believe?". Many times, I must pray, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24 ). I believe that Jesus will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5 ) and that He will continue to be with us till "the end of the world" (Mt. 28:20 ).

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

04/15/16

Permalink 08:52:33 am, Step(s): 01 "I can't...", 191 words   English (US)

Dependent

Jesus was a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3 ). Jesus said, "I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 5:30 ). He also said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5 )

It is good for me to remember that I don't have all the answers and that I am powerless over many things in my life. And, it is comforting to realize that Jesus too was totally dependent on His Father, just as I am.

My carnal nature wants to take control of my life and live it MY WAY. But experience has taught me that this attitude only brings me, and others, more pain. Peace comes in recognizing my dependency, choosing to continually ask God for guidance, then choosing to follow as He leads (Steps 1-3). When I do this, life is always worth living :-)

Often, it helps to talk these things through in a safe environment with others, who also are able and willing to be honest about themselves and their faults. We confess our sins to God (1John 1:9 ) but we also confess our faults to each other (James 5:16 ).

Small, 12-Step group meetings are safe places to be honest. Come to see what I mean. Come for healing...

Local Meeting Information

"We admitted we were powerless over our problems, that our lives had become unmanageable." (Step 1)

04/08/16

Permalink 08:07:04 am, Step(s): 01 "I can't...", 210 words   English (US)

I Am Powerless

In my carnal nature, I was powerless over those behaviors that brought myself and others great pain. But during many of my 25 years of destructive behaviors, I didn't think I was powerless. I figured I could stop whenever I wanted to. I guess I did have a sense that I would need some help from God, but I thought I could control His power in using it to do whatever I wanted in MY time and in MY way. I believed in Jesus as my Savior and friend, and I said that He was my Lord. But, I was Lord of my life. I was in control (at least I tried to be), not God.

"Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 5:19,30 ). "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5 )

My recovery process did not start until I began to admit that, of mine own self, I could do nothing to stop those destructive behaviors that were in control of my life. Without this admission, I see now that I would never have been able to believe that God could restore me to sanity (Step 2), or enter into the progressive ("work of a lifetime") process of becoming a man of God (Steps 3-12). I praise God for getting through to this stubborn, willful man that I am, that I am powerless without Him.

"We admitted we were powerless over our problems, that our lives had become unmanageable." (Step 1)

<< Previous Page :: Next Page >>

Step(s)

  • All Posts

Archives

Misc

Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by
b2evolution