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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 mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath 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 bringeth forth much fruit: for without 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.

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath 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 bringeth forth much fruit: for without 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)

01/08/16

Permalink 07:37:23 am, Step(s): 01 "I can't...", 210 words   English (US)

Lest I Forget...

At the beginning of my recovery process, I was painfully aware of my powerlessness, knowing that victory over the behaviors of my primary addiction was impossible if I failed to realize that I was out-of-control of my life. I knew that I couldn't possibly cooperate with my Higher Power to get the victory that I so desperately needed if I thought for one minute that I could resist my temptations by myself! But, what about now...?

During my many years in this recovery process, my Higher Power has enabled me to have a multitude of victories over those sins that have so easily beset me (Hebrews 12:1 ). The temptation now is to let pride come in and to think more highly of myself than I ought to (Romans 12:3 ). So, I must remind myself of the words of Jesus (my Higher Power) ..., "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself..." (John 5:19 ). "I can of mine own self do nothing..." (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 bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5 ).

Lord, remind me, when I think too highly of myself, that I am powerless without You. And when I am tempted to behaviors that will bring me pain, remind me that You are the Vine (Highest Power), from which all my strength comes.

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

10/30/15

Permalink 09:20:38 am, Step(s): 01 "I can't...", 02 "God can...", 03 "I will co-operate...", 345 words   English (US)

The Secret of Death

The apostle Paul said, "... I die daily" (1 Corinthians 15:31 ) and, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 ).

Death to self is counter-intuitive in the me-centered world we live in today. Death to self is counter-intuitive to me because I want to be the center of my world. However, I am finding that I am unable to see into the future in order to make the best decisions for today. In fact, I can do nothing without God. Why would I think that? Look at the words of Jesus: "The Son can do nothing of Himself... I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:19,30 ) and "... without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5 ). So, who am I to think I can do what Jesus said He can't do?

Look at what Isaiah said, "The Lord will always lead you. He will meet the needs of your soul in the dry times and give strength to your body. You will be like a garden that has enough water, like a well of water that never dries up" (Isaiah 58:11 ).

A wise person once said, "God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him." (Ministry of Healing 479). and, "... this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory." (Colossians 1:37 )

As I consider this evidence and my own anecdotal experiences of God's leading in the past, I can't help but choose to continually invite God/Christ/the Holy Spirit to live in me. I choose death to self that I may experience the secret of death: Christ in me, the hope of glory for the future, peace in the present, with acceptance and forgiveness for my past failure.

What about you?

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

10/23/15

Permalink 08:01:07 am, Step(s): 01 "I can't...", 240 words   English (US)

Better Than Jesus?

"... The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do... I can of mine own self do nothing... I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:19,30 )

It's amazing to me that my Lord and Savior -- who healed the sick, raised the dead, and sacrificed His life for me -- would say that He can do nothing without His father. As I ponder the implications of that statement, I am humbled. How could I possibly be so proud as to think I can somehow do more than Jesus? For, without Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5 ).

The Psalmist said it well: "I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart." (Ps 38:6,8 )

I'm a "Can-Do" kind of guy. I love my family. I love my work. And I can enjoyably do many things. But, in all my doings, I am painfully aware that I have limitations. My sinful nature is not gone and I can't fix it. Many years of cultivating my sinful nature have strengthened it far beyond what I was born with, and it is still present within me (Romans 7:17-21 ).

The more I understand my limitations, the more I am willing to surrender those things as unmanageable, and lean on Jesus to give me the strength that I need for today. As I practice this, God works in me to change me to become more and more like Jesus. That's just what I need!

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

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