Archive for obedience

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ How To Avoid Relapse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2013 by greatvictories

relapse prevention

 

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law, that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do, but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15-20).

Relapse ~ Falling back into a self-defeating pattern. How does it happen? 1) Complacency, we become complacent. 2) Confusion, we rationalize. 3) Compromise, we return to that risky behavior. 4) Catastrophe, we give in to the ould hurt or habit.

The road to recovery is not a quick fix. Sometimes the road is jagged, has a lot of twists and turns. Sometimes it is two steps forward and one step back.

No matter how we behave, God WANTS to heal us.

Part One ~ “R” Realize we are not God…

Part Two ~ “E” Earnestly believe that God exists…

Part Three ~ “C”  Consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Part Four ~ “O”  Openly examine and confess our faults to ourselves, to God, and to someone we trust.

Part Five ~ “V“ Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our character defect.

Part Six ~ “E” Evaluate all my relationships and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

Part Seven ~ “R” Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

What Can Cause A Relapse? Why do we let it happen?

1) Reverting to will power ~ We think we have the ability to do it ourselves and stop depending on the dependency of God

“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)

2) Ignoring one of the steps ~ We can’t pick and choose then expect God to fulfill His promises. We need to follow all of God’s steps one at a time.

“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

3) Trying to recover on our own without support ~ Don’t be afraid to get into relationships, they are for our best interest. (Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto).

We can’t find healing on our own. The root of our problems are relational. Live in God’s healing together. Don’t try to do it alone, it will not work.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Ecc. 4:9-10).

4) Becoming prideful ~ Stay humble or you will stumble. Pride sets us up for failure.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

How To Prevent A Relapse

Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for your life and gain the power to do it.

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).

1) Evaluation ~ Continue to evaluate our lives and how we are doing. “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord” (Lam. 3:40).

What am I to evaluate?

Physical ~ What is my body telling me? Am I tense because I’m stressed out? Like the warning lights on our cars…pay attention, fix it.

Emotional ~ What am I feeling? Like a pop when you shake it, it explodes out. Eventually we will explode if we don’t deal with it.

Relational ~ Am I at peace with everyone or in conflict with someone that is keeping me from having peace and healing?

Spiritual ~ Am I relying on God and His power everyday or am I ignoring Him?

“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4).

Expect God to help with answers and to give the power, wisdom and strength we need.

2) Meditation ~ Slow down long enough to hear God. Have time in our life to hear God, busyness stifles us from hearing God.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth its fruit in its season, whose leaves shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

3) Prayer ~ This is how we plug into God’s power.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

God is so committed to our healing that He went to the Cross and died for us. Remember the sacrifice He made for us and be obedient to Him and His Word. Examine yourself and your heart. Recommit to Him and what He wants to do in your life.

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Seeing God’s Purpose in My Problems

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by greatvictories

Seeing through God’s eyes ~ Part 3

How do you respond to problems? Do you look to God or to someone else? Do you whine and complain? Do you blame God? How do you see your problems?

God has a purpose for our problems. We just don’t understand where they come from…us, government, marriage, circumstances, etc. God uses our problems to bring good into our life, to prepare us, not punish us, and for His glory.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13).

1) God uses our problems to direct us…Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways (Proverbs 20:30 GN)

Sometimes God has to take us on a detour because we are heading in the wrong direction. Do you obey or do you go your own way?

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

It’s like planning a vacation,…the direction you will go…then you run into a detour. What is your first reaction? Thank You Lord or Oh man?

God uses our problems to bring us back to Him. When we are low is when we usually turn to Him. So, when you see the detour sign, be wise, follow where He leads and change your direction.

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner… (1 Cor. 7:9)

In the midst of your problem, ask God where this problem is leading you?

2) God uses problems to inspect us…I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:10).

We are usually satisfied with what “looks good.” Like the pink slime hamburger and many other products in our grocery stores…it “looks” good, but is not good for us.  All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit (Proverbs 16:2).

We are like tea bags, we have to be put into hot water to see what is inside. And sometimes God puts the squeeze on us like we squeeze fruit to inspect it. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver, I have tested you in the furnace of affliction (proverbs 48:10).

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not (Deut. 8:2).

How do you respond when problems come? Do you feel like giving up when you don’t get your way? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what this problem reveals about you.

3) God uses problems to protect us…Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you shall take refuge, His truth shall be your shield and buckler (Psalm 91:3-4).

Shepherds sometimes have to break the leg of a sheep to protect it and keep it safe from things it does not see or understand.

What looks to be suffering can be our protection  ~ our salvation. Have faith and trust God in the midst of your problems. It is His specialty to make good out of evil. But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive (Genesis 50:20).

A man’s step are of the Lord, How then can a man understand his own way (Proverbs 20:24)?

Ask God how this problem is protecting you and how you can trust Him through it. Ask Him to help you see yourself, others, and your problems from His perspective. Only He can bring good out of bad.

Ask God to help you see your problems through His eyes.

Sardis ~ A Dying Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the churches

What Jesus says to a dying church…Don’t give up, wake up!

Jesus shares three prayers for growth and change…

“I know your works, that you have a name (reputation) that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3: 1-6) .

1. Lord, help me to see the gaps in my life. Impatience, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, pride, gossip, selfishness, etc.

He knows the difference between your reputation and reality. He knows the difference between what you say and what you do. He knows the difference between your values and your actions. You might live in purity on Sunday, but fill your mind with garbage of the world the rest of the week? The Lord knows the difference between where you were and where you are.

Do you recognize the gaps in your life with the Lord?  The humility and pride gap, the forgiveness and unforgiveness gap…Ask Him for contentment and fulfillment.

2. Lord, help me to close the gaps in my life so I can make a change.

How to revitalize anything: WAKE UP! Strengthen what remains! “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (v. 2)

Remember what you have heard from God’s Word. Obey and repent (the wake up portion), change directions. Hear what God says and do something about it. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, hold fast and repent. If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (v. 3).

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord (Lam. 3: 40). This is what repentance is about.

Let go of your false security to close the gaps. You need to WAKE UP! God will come upon you as a thief…

3. Lord, I will overcome! I’m going to have VICTORY over the gaps in my life!

“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy(The picture of those who overcome). He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name in the Book of Life, but will confess his name before My Father and His angels” (The promise for those who overcome) (v. 4-5).

What does it mean to be one who overcomes?

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world ~ our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5: 4-5).

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

How do you overcome when you have troubles?

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v.6).

Jesus says; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).