The Road To Recovery (Part 4)
When we think about recovery we think about people in a hospital bed or an addict kicking a habit in some rehab center in a cell all alone. However, the actual definition of recovery is quite different.
Recovery – a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength; the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
So, by this definition we are reminded that recovery is something that we strive for and that it doesn’t happen immediately. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to recovery:
D. There Has To Be A Decision To Continue The Lifestyle (Part 2)
Do you know people that have a very difficult time making a decision and sticking to it? They often second guess themselves because they believe that a better option could come up. This shows that they lack confidence or faith in their ability to “stick and stay and make it pay”. Yesterday we covered the exhaustive list of behaviors that these people fall into when they begin to consider their actions or the actions of others. However, here are the three steps to help you better train your mind to not backtrack into the of jungle doubt and indecision.
I. See The Evidence Available & Not Create Your Own Evidence
In every case that I have observed of these types of behaviors, the person that is stuck in the “mind-mud” so to speak, seeks something that they can grab onto to give them faith or hope that everything will be okay. In other words, hearing that it will be okay without physical proof will not do for them unless they see it for themselves. This person has to learn to:
A. Look Into The Past For Encouragement Not Evidence
Too often people will look into the past in order to bring an indictment against people, circumstances and even against God and His children. Why? Because their lives are in chaos and they NEED someone or something to blame. Why Again? Seeing is believing for these type of people. However, learning to look into the past to see how God has brought you through the tough times will help you in the present. Again, I caution you, do NOT look in the past to try to dredge up past failures or even to use trends against others because it will only frustrate you and keep you up at night. I encourage you to look back to see how God has taken care of you. Don’t believe me? Do you have a house, car, good health or a job? God has taken care of you if you even have one yes.
B. Live In The Present & Don’t Try To Be A Time Traveler
We have many Christian time travelers in the world today. We neglect today to try to fix something that isn’t a reality. In other words, we will expend an extraordinary amount of energy to fix the future but neglect the present. It’s almost like trying to collect the insurance money for a house fire that hasn’t happened; but because you ASSUME that it will because of something that you believed to be a threat you proceed without evidence. Our Lord warned us of this by mentioning the phrase “Take no thought” 7 times in the New Testament. This should be our admonition to take no thought for these things that bother us. Most of those are found in Matthew, who was a tax collector. He was a person that was around money the most and was probably concerned the most about monetary issues. However, we see that he is telling us to NOT worry, because Jesus Christ has our back. What if he would have worried about money? How much of the gospel message would have been missing because of his own personal baggage. What about you? What baggage are you carrying?
C. Launch An Investigation Before A Case Has Been Started
In law enforcement, officers are assigned cases ONLY AFTER a crime, tort or harmful situation has happened. The reason why they don’t launch a case before something has happened is because:
- They Didn’t Know Something Bad Would Happen
Law Enforcement spends a great deal of time trying to prevent crime from happening in the first place but they cannot know when something bad will happen. Now, after it has happened, anyone can go back and put the pieces together. Likewise, we should not try to begin an investigation before we are aware. Thinking something bad will happen is different from knowing that it has already happened without evidence.
- There Wasn’t Any Evidence To Prove That A Criminal Committed The Crime
For a crime to have happened, there must be a clearly defined criminal. This person doesn’t have to be named but there must be evidence that a criminal was at work. For instance, you can’t logically assume that a criminal sabotaged your car’s brakes when you have never had them worked on before the incident. Do you know that’s what we do to God most of the time? We accuse God of being unfair or unreasonable in the area of finances but He is NOT responsible when you go out to clubs, buy cigarettes and alcohol and neglect your bills. The ONLY criminal is the person that misappropriated their own funds. Don’t blame God for crimes that your hands have committed!
- There Wasn’t Any Evidence To Prove That A Victim Endured A Crime
This is important just as much as the aforementioned bullet point. This is using the misfortune or circumstances of another to prove that God is a criminal. I hear people say that God is mean, cruel and unfair to those that have been raped, killed or robbed because He didn’t intervene. My point to that is by asking questions:
1. Does God give free will? He does not usually interfere with free will.
2. Since God gives free will, how can He be a criminal?
3. If God is not a criminal, then there can be no victims at His hand.
4. Since He is no criminal and there are no victims at His hand, who did the crime?
To answer that question, God allows humans to do good and evil things without His interventions most of the time. Looking at the situation of another person without hearing the words of a Man of God is hypocritical and utterly disrespectful. Having said that, blaming natural occurrences and compensatory action on God is wrong. Compensatory actions are what most people call “Karma” but if you’re a Christian there is no such thing as “Karma”. For a person that has smoked for 30 years and then quits and serves God for 40 years then dies of lung cancer is the principle of sowing and reaping. In this, there is NO victim. Be careful of how you process information.
- There Was No Crime Scene To Process
When a crime occurs, it occurred in a location that is known as a crime scene. This is ground zero for the crime in mention. If there isn’t a place where something bad has happened, the thought comes up; Did it happen? If a man gets robbed in his home, then where is the crime scene? Him home right? If you are driving to church and you all of a sudden notice your engine overheat in your car and it shuts off, where is that crime scene? Well, first of all who is the criminal and who is the victim? Stay tuned I will address this situation shortly.
- There Was No Venue or Jurisdiction For Which An Authority Figure Had Control
The Major of the City of Columbus, Ohio cannot be an authority figure over actions that took place in Miami, Florida. Why? That’s out of his jurisdiction. He has no power but what has been given to him to manage. In order for him to have authority over that criminal he has to request an Extradition. This is where he begs the court to have the criminal transported to his power.
II. Spend Time Expressing Thanks Because God Trusts You To Handle Your Lot In Life
This is something that I had to learn a few years back when I began to walk with the Lord.
I was put into a nice job that came from God. I had an amazing boss and a pretty good staff. I was given every bit of power over an entire region and the authority to run it how I wanted. Everything was great and I excelled greatly and God was showing me good favor but He saw the opportunity to grow. It seemed like overnight, I lost my entire region, my authority and those things that made me comfortable. Now I am accountable to someone that sees things differently than I and that does things differently than me. Sometimes, the stress of that job makes me wonder if god even loves me and why He put my into this position that I clearly didn’t ask for or deserve. Then He answers sweetly into my ear this thought: “If I only allowed you to live in paradise with other Christians, who would encourage those that aren’t right with God? Who would show the lost world the light? Who would reach those that most people ignore?”
I learned that God, that created the Heavens and the earth, trusts me enough to get involved in the life of another so that He can be glorified and them blessed to be saved. Oftentimes, people around me ask me “How can you remain so calm in this situation?” and my answer is “I know that God had all of this planned out for me and He trusts me to deal with it as He has taught and trained me to do so”. What does that mean? Every experience that God has you to be apart of or participate in is a learning opportunity. He wants you to learn or to teach. Too often we spend so much time being taught that we hear repeat lessons and get the attitude “Oh, I know how this is going to turn out”. Then God has to put us into a spiritual time out to humble us. When this happens, we will gain experience and transform into teachers instead of students. However, some drop out but they still teach others. Ask yourself these questions: Am I a student or teacher? If I’m a student, am I learning and retaining or hearing and forgetting? If I am a teacher, then how many of my students leave with passing grades, failing grades or drop out of service under my watch? What am I doing to help the cause of Christ besides sitting in church?
In our lives we may endure hard times and even crimes at the hands of other but you need to know that we aren’t criminals or victims. Every human being is a witness to crimes and bad situations. The criminal is satan and his fallen angels and the real victim is Jesus Christ & The Church! He endure murder, assault, violence and even was lied upon. When we have something bad happen to us, as witnesses, we need to tell the judge, God the Father that they have hurt Jesus Christ our Lord and He will carry out judgement. Remember that when we have horrible days and when life seems unfair to the point where we can’t even see our next step, tell it to God! Knowing that God will handle the situation brings a sense of closure and relaxation. In tomorrow’s devotional we will cover the last of the three points and introduce next month’s new theme. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.