Archives for: September 2014


Permalink 06:39:32 am, Step(s): 06 Repentance, 342 words   English (US)

Will I Get In The Boat?

After discovering what my issues are, and confessing them, I realize that, of myself, I can do no good thing (John 5:19,30). And, I know that without God's help I will surely fail (John 15:5). But, do I have the faith and trust in God to repent -- to believe that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

For 120 years, God used Noah to plead with the people to repent, and join Noah in the safety of the ark. "And now the servant of God made his last solemn appeal to the people. With an agony of desire that words cannot express, he entreated them to seek a refuge while it might be found. Again they rejected his words, and raised their voices in jest and scoffing." (Patriarchs and Prophets 97.3) They would not get into the boat. They refused to let go of their issues and enter into the safety of the ark.

Today, God pleads with us, just as He did with the people of Noah's day, for "The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9). And So, I must ask myself, "Will I get in the boat?" Will I choose to let go of my "comforts" that I may find true peace and happiness? Or, will I continue to cling tenaciously to my old ways -- doing the same destructive things over and over again, expecting different results?

What about you? Are you ready to let go, and let God...? Are you ready for God to remove your defects of character? If so, "God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others" (2 Corinthians 9:8). "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation" (1 Peter 5:10). "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20,21)

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." (Step 6)


Permalink 10:40:03 pm, Step(s): 05 Confession, 217 words   English (US)

Healing Through Confession

"He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper; But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy." (Proverbs 28:13). "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16).

"Perhaps the single greatest barrier to recovery is the inability to be honest". (Steps to Serenity, page 46)

"The only reason why we do not have remission of sins
that are past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts
and comply with the conditions of the word of truth.
Explicit instruction is given concerning this matter.
Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt
and freely expressed." Ellen White (Steps to Christ, 38)

My unresolved issues isolated me from other people and from God. But, as I began to be honest with myself, God and with others, those barriers of isolation began to come down. I started to feel better about myself - my sense of shame was reduced. A common saying in 12-Step is, "We are only as sick as our secrets". There is a lot of truth to this.

Friend, if you are encumbered with a load of guilt and shame, I invite you to enter into this ancient, Christian tradition of confession. Jesus died on that cruel, old rugged cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and mine. And He is longing now to bless us with a new and better life, but He needs us to come out of denial and confess our sins.

For, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Step 5)


Permalink 08:50:12 am, Step(s): 04 Introspection, 372 words   English (US)

Look into the Eyes of Infinite Love

It has been said that our eyes are the window to our soul (Matthew 6:22-23). Does it make you nervous when people don't look you in the eye? It does me. It especially bothers me when a dog won't look me in the eye. I once had a dog like that. I couldn't trust him. If there was anyway he could get through the gate or over or under the fence, he'd be gone. He wouldn't even think of coming when I called. A dog I have now is just the opposite. He always looks me in the eye. It's as if he is trying to see what I'm thinking. If I give him the look he wants, he's immediately in my lap. We're nose to nose and he's expecting some loving attention.

I want to be more like my dog in my relationship with my Benevolent Master. As I look into His eyes of Infinite Love -- though I only see dimly now (1 Corinthians 13:12) -- I always find the look that I want. It's the look of acceptance, no matter how bad my behavior has been. It's the look of understanding, having been tempted in all points like I am (Hebrews 4:15) (Hebrews 2:18). It's the look of compassion. It's the look of forgiveness. It's the look of unconditional Love.

More than all of this, when I look into the eyes of Love, I see the eyes of Infinite Holiness. I am thankful for the dimness of my vision, for no sinful being, with clear vision, can look into the eyes of Holiness and live. Saul, on the road to Damascus, was blinded by only a partial exposure to the Holy eyes of Jesus (Acts 9:1-6). The contrast between the light of Holiness and Saul's character was so extreme as to cause a searching moral inventory of his sinful life.

And so it is with me. I no longer fear to look into His eyes of Holiness, because I trust Him to dim my vision so that I will only see as much as He gives me strength to bare. And I trust Him to clean me up, as I cooperate with Heavenly agencies. That's my God! You can trust my God :-)

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


Permalink 10:31:24 pm, Step(s): 03 "I will co-operate...", 240 words   English (US)

Constant Trust

For me, turning my will and my life over to the care of God consistently is pivotal. Without this constant trust in God and surrender to His will, it is impossible for me to continue my recovery process. It is impossible for me to be engaged in the sanctification process. Oh, I may go through the motions..., but if I'm not surrendered to God, I'll make a mess of it all.

When I AM surrendered to God in all my known choices, it is God who works in me to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) and that is infinitely better than I could do on my own.

When bad things happen (and they surely will), I must remember that God uses these faith-trying experiences to teach me patience -- to strengthen my character (James 1:2-4), as I constantly trust and obey my Loving Heavenly Father's leading. Painful though it can be, I know that I need all the character development that I can get. It is hard to "count it all joy... (vs 2)" and to "glory in the tribulations" (Romans 5:3) in the heat of the trial. But as I trust in God and obey His leading, I do have joy that, through it all, God is right there with me, helping me, protecting me, working in me to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) -- changing me to be more like Jesus. What could be better than that?

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


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