Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Spend your time and Energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.

Physical exercise has some value but spiritual exercise is much

more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT

 

I love it when I am “re-awakened” to experiencing God.  At any given time I can say, that I am blessed, that God is dwelling richly in my life.  I am in daily contact with God.  I put aside time each day to read God’s word.  But there is something profoundly different when I am actually in the midst of what God is doing in my life.  It is then, I look back and “remember”  the richness of God’s blessing  and love.   And realize that I have been settling for less than God’s best for me.   It’s like the difference between:  talking on the phone( or even across the room) to someone who loves me  and supports me, and actually being wrapped up in a big hug with that same person.  (Interesting the latter doesn’t really call for words).

 

So this weekend I “went forward” for prayer at church.  We have a time at the end of our service, where  we can go forward for prayer, a special touch from God,  repentance, healing,  or a refilling  from God.  Often going forward is like that big hug….NO Words necessary.  This week however, I went forward as I wanted to go to God in repentance.  Repentance  for the same things I confess  at least weekly  to my accountability partners and at meetings.  Step 5 We admitted to God ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.  “Therefore confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 a

But “going forward in repentance”  is like step 6 and 7  :

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

 – James 4:10

We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and will forgive us our sins

and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

-1John 1:9.

 

I realized (a reoccurring realization)   that when I “go forward”   I am at that place where I am entirely ready to receive what God has for me.  I may be going forward to have God take away my defects of character…but I think that what really happens is God doesn’t take it… let it go… 

Admitting  and being accountable are good…but going to God in repentance is better.   Why?

BECAUSE UNLIKE OTHER PEOPLE, OR MY OWN STRENGTH AND DESIRE

GOD CAN FIX IT!

GOD KNOWS JUST WHAT I NEED.

AND

HE IS READY TO GIVE IT TO ME.

I felt the healing power of God’s gracious forgiveness.  I felt God’s  favor.   I felt restoration as I my eyes were again open to the wonderful gifts He had for me and had already given me.  And what is more, being reminded of who I am in Christ, propels me to move forward in renewed strength that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.

 So to wrap up…The act of “going forward ” to me is not just a physical action.  It is a spiritual action  as I am “going before God”  and receiving, from Him,  what is beyond words.    

 

 

I  don’t know which is more of  a trial…overcoming relapse or getting that first chip (be it a first thirty day, first year, etc).    I didn’t understand what people meant when the said it took them 5 years to get their first 1 year chip, but after struggling with relapse…I get it.  Today I found 2 encouraging scriptures.   I remember feeling doomed at times in my recovery.  (Would I ever get my 30 day chip, or was I ever truly “sober”).  It  was during those times that  I dreaded checking in with myself and my accountability team to confess that I “fell short” in  my sobriety.

Today’s step 10 devotional reminded me about the importance of repeated forgiveness…for myself.

Peter asks Jesus, “Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?  Seven times?”  “No, not seven times, ” Jesus replies, ” but seventy times seven!”  (Matthew 18:21-22)

I am reminded that if this is to be our attitude toward others, then it should also be the attitude I should have toward myself.  After all,  when it comes to relapse for me, it is a sin against myself.  Paul also writes in Romans 5:3-5:

” We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems, and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance developes strength of character, and character, strengthens  our confident hope of salvation…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

So each time I am faithful to admit my sin, and accept God’s forgiveness; I can rejoice that God is building character in me.   I can be sure of God’s commitment to me.  Accepting this I can hold my head high, and continue in the work he has set out for me.  If I remember this, the enemy can not use shame,  to tempt me into giving up.   After all, each trial is a trial of faith.. more than of substance or character..For I know nothing good lives in me.  And as I step out in  faith, and I use the tools  I have acquired along the way I can be sure to make progress.