Thoughts on Sanctification
|"This is my journey through recovery, showing how my Creator is using the the 12-Step Christian recovery model to give me relief from the behaviors that bring me pain." --Sid|
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24 )
Many of us have had exceedingly great difficulty entering into the absolute surrender needed to fully follow Jesus. For many, this has to do with a misunderstanding of God that has led us to mistrust Him.
Absolute surrender makes us extremely vulnerable to the one to which we surrender. And, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the past, to people and to other gods, has brought devastating consequences. Because of this, we may be very hesitant to surrender to the God of the Bible. We may ask ourselves, is it really safe to do that? Or, will He let me down and abuse me like the others have?
For myself, like many others, it has been helpful to make a disconnect between God and those people who have wrongly represented God’s character by their abusiveness. I have come to understand that my God is so full of love that, even if I were the only sinner in the world, He would still have come down to this sinful world, lived as a man, and died for my sins. I know that I can trust my God. I am totally convinced that He will never lead me in any way that I would not choose to be lead myself, if I could see the future, as He sees it.
You may be thinking that you are not strong enough to enter into absolute surrender. But God has promised us that no matter how weak we are (2 Cor 12:9 ), and no matter how strong the temptation is, that He will provide a way of escape (1Cor 10:13 ), as we cooperate with Him, choosing to do His will in that moment of decision.
After I realized my own powerlessness over my addictions and came to believe that God, a power greater than myself, could restore my sanity, I began to learn about--and to practice--the principles of surrender. Each time a temptation would come, I would totally surrender myself to God, realizing my helplessness and His all-powerfulness, praying--like Paul when he was stuck down with the glory of Jesus—‘Lord, what would you have me to do?’ I can testify to you today that, every time I have cooperated with Divine agencies in this way, God has turned my powerlessness into victory! Without fail, He has delivered—-and continues to deliver—-me from temptation. This is how (I believe) God is creating within me a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26 ). Each time I surrender in this way, my faith is strengthened, my heart towards God is softened and more and more those things that I once loved, I am learning to hate. And, the principles of God’s kingdom are becoming more and more desirable. I praise God for recovery!
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24,25 )
"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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