Welcome to the Second of Five Instructions
At Restart we are committed to Recovery – for each of us. Because in a vey real sense, we all are addicts; we all are captured and held hostage by those things which entangle our living and knock us off the Jesus Path. This is the second of five installments on Recovery. These are not steps; not something one does and then moves on to the next. They are to be taken as a whole. Just as concrete is made up of sand, aggregate, reinforced steel, and cement; I am going to offer five instructions, which mixed together will give us something to stand on. We offer instruction:
- about the four realms
- about how change happens
- about moral inventory
- about true transparency
- about soul maintenance
With this message I offer some insights into the nature of change and how it happens, after all, the addict is after change. The nature of Recovery to is “recover from.” There is a dual responsibility underpinning the true nature of change – both ours and God’s. I am confident that becoming familiar with these four topics – if you learn from the truth of them – they will revolutionize your capacity to change for the better; to flee the past, to evade the grip of that abiding sin that thwarts and confounds you, that tangles you up.
- Our part
- Must make the effort
- Must live a genuine confession
- God’s part
- He empowers the righteous
- He acts to protect His Name
Doing our Part – Making the Effort
To affect any meaning change in our lives, we must do our part; we must take our relationship to the Bible and make it one of verbs, and not nouns. The essence of change is not to deal in nouns – but to deal in verbs. Check out these passages from Timothy and Isaiah:
- Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart – 2 Timothy 2:22
- Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow – Isaiah 1:16-17
To want change is to make the effort, get off the bench, quit sitting on your derriere, and get into the game. What is your view of the Bible? No, really. What do you think about it? Friend Solomon felt quite strongly and he packed this passage with verbs about how we should respond to the Word of God:
- My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live… Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend – Proverbs 7:1-4
Does this describe you? Do you feel this way. And yet we want the change – we long for the change – we want Recovery; and yet we do not put enough time in with the living Words of the Most High God. Change requires that we do our part – we must make the effort
Doing our Part – Living a Genuine Confession
What do I mean by “living a genuine confession”? I mean we all need to quit playing like we’re a Jesus follower while having one foot on the Jesus path and one foot off. This is the the person living the double-life. The one who holds on to unrighteous behaviors. Christ warns about what happens to our relationship with the Most High God when we do this:
- No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other – Matthew 6:24
Oh I want the healing, the cleansing, the benefit of relationship with God Almighty – but I only want it as long as i need it – I go half way – my confession of my sin is incomplete. Half way makes me an enemy of God – an enemy – do you see how God views you when you live like this?
- Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God – James 4:4
- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly… So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood – Isaiah 1: 13, 15
- Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered! – Jeremiah 7:9-10
God hates when we play at righteousness – He hates when we fake it. We must live a genuine confession – we must be complete in our repentance, we must wholeheartedly acknowledge our faults and turn from our evil way. The best news then, is that for real change to happen, we must understand, accept and welcome the role the Most High God plays in affecting change.
God Doing His Part – He Empowers the Righteous
The Good God is faithful to give you what you need to walk more closely to Him! He loves when His children – who make the effort; who live a genuine confession – when they ask for help; He loves giving them power. When we call He answers. He provides the way of escape. He will hear and forgive. These verses emphasize that the Lord God Almighty is a God of “verbs”!
- Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know – Jeremiah 33:3
- No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it – 1 Corinthians 1:13
- If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
- And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them – Ezekiel 36:27
God Doing His Part – He acts to protect His Name
God He will act for His own sake, for the sake of, for the reputation of His Great Name.
- For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations – Malachi 1:11
- For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another – Isaiah 48:11
- This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone – Ezekiel 36:22
- For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me – Psalms 31:3
- For the sake of Your name, O Lord, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble – Psalms 143:11
We Want Change, Like We Want our Indulgences
We want change to come when we command it; at our own discretion; our own bidding. We want change, we want to be healed from our addictions – from those repetitive and destructive inclinations and actions we take. But the truth be told, we don’t respect God’s prescriptions enough, we don’t fear God sufficiently to do the things He prescribes, in the manner in which He calls them to done. We must humble ourselves – you and I. We must work harder at becoming more humble by embracing the Authority and Position of the Most High God over all aspects of our living. We must do our part, we must accept His Sovereignty over us to do His. Please listen in to the video which should help to string this together a little tighter. Thank you for reading this summary. May the Lord Bless You as You Go!