Recovery, 2 of 5 – How Change Happens Part 2

Recovery, 2 of 5 – How Change Happens Part 2

Five Instructions about Recovery

We all have something that bothers our way along the Jesus Path.   What’s got you held up in your walk?  What makes you stumble?  Perhaps it’s a destructive habit – but it doesn’t have to be.  What is it you find yourself doing that you’d not want to do up in front of other people?   What’s got its grip on you?  The presence of that thing – whatever it is – means you’re one of us.  That you are not alone; but also that you are in need of recovery.   Restart Church offers this five-piece instruction on Recovery.   The idea is encourage you to view sin (and your participation in it) differently than perhaps you have in the past.  To look at it from a few different Bible-angles.  All in an attempt to help your disgust of it; and in particular the crew who is behind the lure of all ungodly yearnings.   Here are the five subjects.    I recommend you hit the links for the first two before completing this third study – it will help as each builds upon the other:

In part one of How Change Happens, we learned of two great truths about the roles you and I must play if we are to experience meaningful change in our lives.  In this  installment we consider two more.

  • Our role in meaningful change – part 1
    • Must make the effort
    • Must live a genuine confession
  • Our role in meaningful change – part 2
    • The anatomy of a bribe
    • The antidote of contentment

The Anatomy of a Bribe

Bribe?   Who Me?   What bribe?   Why are we talking about bribes?   Perhaps it will help if we set our terms:

  • A bribe is to act dishonestly in return for an inducement
    • What is the inducement?
      • Sin
    • Who offers the bribe?
      • The evil elohiym

Bribes are at the core of all sin.  We act a certain way in expectation of an inducement for our choice.  I want you to start to look at your sin in this way:  you are being bribed by some false promise to turn away from the Jesus Path.  We must learn to recognize sin as a bribe – against God.   There are four ideas about bribes I would like to point out:

  • Bribes are at the core of all sin
  • Bribes feel better than suffering
    • After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you – 1 Peter 5:10
    • By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin – Hebrews 11:24-25
      • The Jesus Path is a path of Pain.  It’s not sensual, nor promiscuous, it’s not a good time with people of lower moral standards, its not to be found in a bottle, or in a pill box – the Jesus Path is a life without those inducements.
      • To refuse the bribe of sin is to be left with suffering – it is going without the inducement.
  • Bribes are the gateway to addiction
    • Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards – Isaiah 1:23
      • But we love a bribe – all of us.  We chase after the inducements of sin. We behave dishonestly in return for the short term inducement; we chase after sin – of the good feelings, of running away from our problems and responsibilities  – Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards
    • Concerning evil, both hands do it well.  The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe; and a great man speaks the desire of his soul; so they weave it together – Micah 7:3
      • First make this personal.  Why a Prince?  This represents  your leadership, your authority, the rule of law in your life.  Why a judge?  This represents your decision making, the value you place on right and wrong.   And what does the great man speak of? Justice, righteousness? –  No!  He speaks only of his desire – what he wants.  Not his duty, not his responsibility, but only of the desires and yearning of his soul – of his mind, will and emotion.  Note the spirit is missing altogether.
      • This is the place of all addiction. Desire and yearning overtakes all else – these are woven together – Your leadership and personal strength, your ability to live by right and wrong, your mind will and emotion all woven together – all becoming lost and  indistinguishable in your incurable craving – in your wanton desire.
  • Bribes steal focus from service to others
    • For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate – Amos 5:12
      • What are the effects of the bribes we take?  We afflict the just and turn aside the poor – you ignore anybody but yourself.  You don’t care who you crush or neglect along the way so long as you get your way – your private wants fulfilled.  People sit in church pews all across this entire planet while the needs of others go ignored. We afflict the just by not associated with them – we turn aside (we ignore) those who are poorer than us

Why do we take bribes?

We are not content in our circumstances, and the underlying motive is dissatisfaction with the way God is treating us.  We are unhappy with the life we have; we feel cheated .  There is only one antidote to bribes and that my friends is contentment.  Being content with what we have means less inclination to yearn for those things we don’t have.

Four Truths about the Antidote of Contentment

  • Contentment is counter-intuitive
    • Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong – 2 Corinthians 12:10
      • Put that down in the front of your mind. When you are being tempted to sin, when you feel weak and you want to give in – it is at that precise moment that you are strong.  Be content. You are going to feel weak, no real surprise there.  You cannot do it on your own. You cannot think that just because you intend to be better that you will be.  The verse says “For christ’s sake” negatives are going to flow-in from your witness for Jesus among the unbelieving, at home, at work, at play.  You are going to stand out – and this verse tells us we need to be okay with that.
  • Contentment knows wants from needs
    • Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am – Philippians 4:11
      • When you are content enough; when you intentionally stop yourself at the point of the bribe – to notice your needs are being met – you will more ready to dismiss your wants
    • I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need – Philippians 4:12
      • In any and every circumstance – And what is this secret?  To distinguish wants from needs.
  • Contentment knows less is more
    • But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment – 1 Timothy 6:6
      • Notice he says “actually is” – he is directly addressing this question of less is more – godliness actually is more, though it seems less!  But godliness must be accompanied with contentment; the two together.  If you look at the Christian walk without contentment – it will never pan-out – it will never compete with the stuff you pimp yourself for. – the inducements of the evil-elohiym will always outshine godliness unless it’s accompanied by contentment.
    • His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness – 2 Peter 1:3
      • When you feel like you don’t have enough – or that you need to do something to add a little zip in your life.  You don’t.  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  It is an inducement.  Tapping into the Divine power of the Most High God assures that you have everything you need.
  • Contentment comes with believing God
    • Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have – Hebrews 13:5
      • Now I know it says money here – and that is a great stumbling block for many – but you just go ahead and fill in whatever it is you pimp yourself for.  Personalize it like this: Make sure that your character is free from drugs, alcohol, envy, slander, anger, malice, abusive speech – being content with what you have
      • It is very important to note how this verse continues – be content for what reason.  Check it out.
    • Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” – Hebrews 13:5
      • Do you see that crazy cool promise?  Well either this is true or it is not. You have to believe for contentment to come to you; and for you to have victory over bribes you’ve been taking
    • Jesus said to her, did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? – John 11:40
    • But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name – John 1:12
    • And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him – Hebrews 11:16
    • Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness – Galatians 3:6

How change Happens

  • You must view your yearnings as a bribe
  • You must be intentional about contentment
  • You must believe in the Most High God
  • It takes encouragement from daily, personal reading of the Bible,
    from meeting with others to discover other possibilities,
    from becoming a fanatic about times of prayer
    from making a priority of serving others.

Thank you for reading this summary of the message.  Please check out the video which will help tie things up a little tighter.   Lord Bless You as You Go.

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