Disregarded Help

I don’t know the number of times I made snap decisions over important matters in life. The number heavily outweighs how often I sought counsel from others, or more importantly, inquired of the Lord for direction. I am asked by some I work with in recovery, “what is your favorite verse in the Bible?” I have several verses that I may quote, but one stands out to me most often is Psalm 119:130:

The entrance of Your word gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.

This being a favorite causes me to ask myself, “why don’t you try referring to this verse when you make decisions?” This verse doesn’t help me make a right decision within itself. I makes me aware to seek the scriptures for counsel, where I find help and great advice for any situation in life, like:

Where there is no counsel the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Pr.11:14

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates instruction is stupid. Pr.12:1

What I see from these verses and scores of others is, get instruction, take advice, don’t be wise in your own eyes, pray and wait on the answer! Do I like pain? I must because I do not ask advice often, people may think I’m spiritually stupid after all. Well, why don’t I pray? Because God will make me wait and I don’t want to wait, I want the answer now so I will make the choice and God will bless it because He loves me, I’m His child. Wrong!

You know the old hymn’s words:

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. (What a friend we have in Jesus).

I want to do what I counsel others to do, inquire of the Lord on every decision, look to the scripture, get wisdom from others by asking for help. It is true God loves me, I’m His kid. His love allows me to face the consequences of bad decisions, even though He could fix my goof-ups. Pain from those bad choices causes me to not do that again, I can see to repent, go the other direction, toward His counsel.

God doesn’t enable my bad behaviors. He isn’t a celestial Santa either, giving me my wants. My needs, however, He supplies to His glory and my good. I need humility and patience.

Thanks, I hope you can identify. Blessings to you all.

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A Change of Focus

There are endless words to help people trying to recover from addictions to, well, everything they struggle with. People in general do not like the truth that they have a problem, but we all do. When they do become aware of their problem, they want to fix it by willpower or continue to deny or ignore it all together.

Rest assured, there are, in every person, dead or alive since Adam, addictions, personal issues, and personal sins. The important thing for each of us as individuals is not to judge one another for any reason. However, judge others if you want, but be willing to suffer the consequences you WILL face.

I want to continue to write about recovery. At times I have such a feeling of inadequacy when I write, knowing I have so many issues I personally struggle with. Ironically, many are the same I blog about to help others. Some would laugh at my struggles saying, “how is that a problem?’ ‘That isn’t even a sin, why are you having such a hard time with that?” The answer is because I write about them, I teach about them.

“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing we will receive a stricter judgment: for we all stumble in many ways…” James 3:1-2a

Though recovery from addictions has been my focus. My personal conduct, our conduct as followers of Christ has been weighing heavily on me of late. I feel a change of my main focus to write about that issue. It is an issue, a major issue. Of course, conduct of Christians can easily couple into recovery. To live free of an addiction that took you down, that took me down, takes a change of conduct to have any success and ultimately be free to the service to others, to God’s glory.

People are confused about living as a Christian today more than anytime in Christian history. Christians have to carry the bulk of the blame for that. The more I read the New Testament, I feel my personal issues, sins, every action, needs my being aware of the “cloud of witnesses” about me watching every move I make and word I say. WE Christians have brought reproach on Jesus, grieving the Holy Spirit within us, in ways unimaginable before the eyes of the world we live in. That must change.

I want to be under the scrutiny of the Holy One living in my life. He is supposed to be the One guiding, teaching, and revealing spiritual matters to us, bringing us into maturity through conforming to the image of Christ. Spiritual matters can only arrive at our door when we give them preeminence in life. No one wakes up in the morning suddenly spiritual. That is learned behavior from God- hungering souls.

Like recovery, there are requirements in following Jesus that I want to fully comply to. That is not dressing the part, acting holy or pious, and certainly not restrictive from a life of pleasure, as so many think. It is life, it is joy unspeakable, it is living waters flowing from us to share to those dying from spiritual thirst. It is real recovery.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.