Archive for wisdom

Life Hurts ~ God Heals ~ How To Avoid Relapse

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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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The Better Life ~ Wisdom From God’s Word

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2012 by greatvictories

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

Everybody has their own spiritual journey through God’s wisdom, no matter where you are in life. Be open to everyone’s own personal wisdom journey ~ God’s Word continues to teach each one of us personally (Proverbs 4).

The world considers the good life ~ Fast cars, bigger houses, wine, women and song, head knowledge, the more, the bigger, the merrier.

What do you consider the good life? Family, fishing, no worries, peace,  no pain,  financial security,  opportunities to learn,  info commercials (we’ll throw in two for the price of one), sunshine, Jesus in your life?

Do you experience God’s wisdom and power? Is God’s power evident in your life?

For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding (Proverbs 3:13). Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).

So, how do you go from the good life to the better life?

Strengthen your faith. Read God’s Word and get to know Him personally. His purpose is to build you up. “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

Gain God’s wisdom, it will help…

Guide your decisions. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Gaining God’s wisdom is to benefit us and guide our decisions, to light our path. When we walk in darkness, we hurt ourselves and others.

Enhance your life. “He also taught me, and said to me; Let your heart retain My words, keep My commands and live…Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go, keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4: 4-13). God’s wisdom is the key to our lives.

We should reflect upon God’s Word in a thoughtful way, appropriating its truths personally and applying them to life (Joshua 1:8).

Be rich in your relationship with Him, not in material things that will one day be no more.

God’s wisdom will…

Change your heart. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:13). God’s Word and wisdom is available and will set you free.

Let God cut away excess baggage. Its not easy, it will be miserable and hurt at first (like going through surgery, they have to cut you to get you better), but it will be worth it.

Some things that can keep you from understanding God’s Word: Difficulty~ There are many different translations are out there available that can help you understand. Familiarity ~ Familiarity breeds contentment. We don’t approach it with God’s wisdom and power. Priority ~ Read a Proverbs a day. DON’T let God’s Word lose its power in your life or breed contentment.

Prioritize God’s Word in your life.

Approach it with enthusiasm. “As new born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2). What is it you desire (crave) in life ~ coffee, chocolate, popcorn, vacationing? We must feed on the Word of God.

Experience it with consistency. “Bereans were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). It is not a matter of a period of time, it is being consistent. The devotional “The Daily Bread” is a great place to start, or reading a Proverbs a day. Keep it simple, yet DO IT everyday and your appetite and enthusiasm will grow. Just engage His Word consistently.

Discuss it with others. “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut. 7:6-7). Share what you are learning. We all come from different backgrounds and we gain great insight hearing another share.

Act on it with immediacy (immediately). “Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:22-24). The only way God’s Word can transform us is by applying it to our lives, to act upon it. What can I do with it today? How can I apply it to my life today?

Engage in God’s Word and see the appetite He gives you for His wisdom.

God’s Word is not information, it is transformation. It is not just to make us smart and wise, but to change us. It has the power and ability to change lives! Let Him and His wisdom show and teach you how to live the better live.

What It Means To Believe In Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by greatvictories

Many believe, but many don’t live by the power of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Nicodemus went to Jesus by night (may reveal the timidity of his faith), however, his faith was developing (John 3:1-17).

He wanted to find out the truth and what to do. So, he asks Jesus; ” How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

We have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk…actions speak louder than words. “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Genuine faith will naturally produce good works, the two complement each other.  Faith itself will demonstrate itself in love for others. “What does it profit , my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

Jesus invited people to “Follow Me.”

So, how are we to respond to His invitation to believe and walk by faith?

FFollow His example. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15-17).

Who are you following for your example? Parent? Movie/Sports star? Peer? A program? Are you willing to follow Jesus? He wants to show us how life is meant to be lived. He is worthy of us following Him, NOT a religion. Life is about living relationships. He came to begin a relationship with us. When we follow Him, we get truth. No longer having to walk in the dark.

Be wise, follow Jesus. Listen to His leading by faith.

AAccept His grace. God gives us what we need, not what we deserve. Freedom from guilt and shame. “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)

Do you want your life to count? We can either spend, waste, or invest our life. But remember, there are consequences for what we do in life. We will reap what we sow.

Jesus died to declare us not guilty! We must receive His grace.

IInvest your life in Jesus. Live your life in faith. Ask God how to invest your life in Him and things that are important to Him. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13).

Everything we have is a gift from God! “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things…for in Him we live and move and have our being”  (Acts 17:24-28).

Do you want success in life or significance?

TTrust His wisdom and strength. We trust Him for our salvation, do we trust Him for everything else? “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6).

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Do you believe this or do you worry? When we worry, we are not putting our complete faith and trust in Jesus.

HHold on to His promises. They are like an insurance policy. They help us overcome whatever tragedy. “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things , in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17-18).

We have to know what’s in the insurance policy, God’s Word, His promises. Do you know what is in your insurance policy?

Live on His promises. It is a life of faith. Living in His amazing love.

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11: 25-26)

Do you believe that Jesus will do for you what He promises?

Faith in Jesus is not a passive belief, it’s an active adventure for those who put their faith in Jesus!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Even in the night, Jesus tells us the truth and he will show us how He wants to change us from the inside out like He did Nicodemus.

Are you willing to: Follow, Accept, Invest, Trust and Hold On?