Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Some of us will be doing the same old thing, some of us will be making changes, some of us will be continuing on the road toward a brighter future.
What ever path you are on be Humble, remain Teachable and stay Grateful.
Thank God for all things.
Be Strong, Be Courageous.
Always look back and see how you are doing. Make adjustments, make improvements, better yourself and become an example for others to follow.
Life comes at us hard sometimes but we have people placed in our lives to help us get through just about anything!
Most of all we have a God who we can call upon when we are down, a God to praise when we are grateful and a God to thank when we succeed.
Persevere, keep your head up, be confident, renew your mind and walk with your chin up knowing that your strength comes not from you but through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One who died for us, the One who has your back no matter what.
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Be full of Faith, be full of Hope.
Walk not just believing, walk knowing.
Love blindly.
Love.
Become the Difference.
Happy New Year and may God Bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

We as addicts need to hear this. We like to blow up our war stories and make it sound like we were running a muck, but it isn’t about where we were, it’s about where we are today. In Recovery, we have a new life, our past is put behind us as we move forward. Being authentic and true to ourselves will only benefit us and keep us on a straight path. Yes, we may fall, but we have the One to call upon and lift us back up. And it’s nothing we have done and can take credit for, it’s by His grace we are saved. Being involved in a healthy church, hitting meetings and fellowshipping are all beneficial to a strong, active and flourishing Recovery. Become Free! Become the Difference!

Below is a blog called ‘Authenticity’ by Matt Chewning, Pastor at Netcast Church in Beverly, Ma. You can read the original ‘Authenticity’ blog and also get more information by visiting NetcastChurch.org

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Self-Glory Competition

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been the most competitive person I know. I hate losing, I hate it more than I love winning. Besides being born a sinner, I also was born into a family where this “competitive trait” drove us all. To this day there’s the constant competition over which family member has the most money, who has the biggest house or what married couple has the most sex; it can get awkward at times. In recent years, the Lord has begun to show me that entering into these conversations can be a form of self-glorification as I attempt to try and convince others that I’m better then I really am.

I’ve recently come to realize that this isn’t just a “Chewning Family” issue, but a massive disease that is spreading throughout evangelicalism. Actually, many of us were trained in self-glorification from the moment of salvation.

My Story

I was raised with no spiritual upbringing at all. My mom is a non-practicing Jew, my dad, a non-practicing Catholic and when I was 4 years old they divorced. My only memory of church growing up was being thrown out of a church basketball game because I kept using offensive language. After High School I was recruited to play basketball at a Christian college and decided to attend even though I knew nothing about Christianity. Within 2 months of being at school, a friend of mine, Ricky Grant, shared the gospel with me off campus and I immediately believed in Jesus and became a Christian.

On September 1, 2000, I walked back to my Christian campus as a new creation, saved by the blood of Jesus and immediately, self-glorification training began. Within hours of having my heart transformed by Jesus, I was told how a Christian should act and look. Christians don’t drink, curse, smoke, doubt, have sex before marriage, listen to Hip-Hop music or hit the clubs. Christians are people who abide by a specific life-style covenant and to disobey this lifestyle was to reveal that you must not actually be a Christian. So here I am, a new believer without a safe environment to authentically wrestle with the broken things that still exist in my heart, while also learning the expertise of self-glorification.

Today, almost 13 years after Jesus saved me, I am still in self-glorification recovery. And the more Christians I interact with the more I see how deeply rooted this sin of self glory actually is.

Being a Professional Disciple

As Christians, we love to over-exaggerate our spiritual walk, we hide the disfunction in our marriages and disguise our pain by quoting verses on joy. Sundays are the worst! We put on our Sunday’s best, grab our bibles, put on our smile, rehearse some big theological terms and head out the door. The only thing is that deep down, we feel like a fake, we have little worship, our marriages are messy and the kids are cute demons. Add to that, you’ve been so well trained in “fake humility and Christian culture”, that nobody knows how dysfunctional your heart is.

Developing Professional Disciples

To make matters worse, disciples are called to make disciples, leaders are called to multiply ourselves and sadly many of us are! We’re developing and deploying masked disciples who are incredible at hiding their sin, saying the right things and having no safe environment to wrestle with personal sin. To even consider it would be a form of weakness that we’re not willing to expose.

So, what’s the answer? If we are called to develop and deploy passionate worshippers of Jesus and be steadfast about developing and deploying passionate worshippers of Jesus, then how do we do this?

As a self-glory addict who is slowing walking through a season of recovery, I have found much hope in Romans 12:9 which tells me “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” If we are truly going to develop healthy disciples, we have to lead the way in authenticity rooted in the beauty of the gospel.

The Problem

If all of us, “fall short of the Glory of God” and “no one does good, not even one.” If all of us can have an “evil, unbelieving heart, leading us to fall away from the Living God” (Romans 3; Hebrews 3), than why pretend as if we don’t struggle with things like pride, lust, hatred or doubt? If the good news of the gospel is that we are so wicked in comparison to the incredible holiness of God, that our only hope would be that Christ would grant us His righteousness through the cross; than why minimize our need for the gospel by pretending we are more spiritual and godly than we actually are?

The Answer

The answer to this epic problem is the same answer to every epic problem; The Gospel. At some point we have to remember that Jesus is the only answer to the sin of our self-glory. Regardless of your title, training or education; Jesus is the only answer that won’t over-promise and under-deliver. In Jesus we are reminded that we all desperately need the gospel. We’re all sheep and He’s our Chief Shepherd. Other people may not know me, but the reality is that I am fully known by Jesus yet fully loved by Jesus.

My sin and brokenness which seems to weigh so heavily on me are tiny in comparison to the massiveness of His grace. The beauty and freedom of the Gospel is that I see the truth that “my God died for my imperfections, therefore I have no need to pretend to be perfect.”

Praise His Name!!

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How selfish have I become. Who am I to take control of my own life? Wanting to end it because I couldn’t hack it. Wanting to end it because I had no other alternative. I had no purpose. I had not one ounce of hope left or even a reason to say the word.

Who am I to make this final conclusion, this determining judgment? Like taking my life would have somehow cosmically balanced the world as I knew it. Well I had so many reasons to do it. So many. I was in pain. I was hurt. Every breath was painful. My eyes felt heavy and it hurt to look, it hurt to see. I blamed many people for the way my life turned out.

Just trying to make sense of it all, what ever reason sounded right in my mind. What ever made sense. I needed a solid foundation to jump off of. An underlining agreement. A grasp on why, and the way I was going to do this. I know, it makes no sense, but that’s all I needed. It wouldn’t take much for me to go over the edge once I was there. All I needed was the courage to finalize the deal. But I had none. I didn’t even have enough courage to talk to anyone. I didn’t have enough courage to make ANY important decisions. I had no courage at all. I had no faith, no hope and no sense of self worth.

I lost control so I thought giving up was the next step. I was nearing the end of my addiction. I had been abusing opiates like it was my profession and I was working overtime trying to make the boss happy. I was the boss. I was self employed and I was stock sharing and profiting off my own redundant gains. I was a reckless, self indulging machine heading for disaster. I was a fast moving mechanical device which was out of grease; heating up and ready to explode.

This is what my life came to. I abused it and now I wanted to lose it. I had been clean for a couple weeks, many times, but the thought of being alive was still dreadful. I was depressed beyond the definition of depressed. I was oppressed and addiction was my oppressor. I didn’t get it though. I didn’t know why I was so suicidally depressed.

I had thoughts racing of different ways to terminate life as humane as possible. How people… family… friends would have judged me and how the rumors would have spread if they found me a certain way. I would drive and stare off into an abyss of ways to end my useless life. I went through so many different mini episodes of death like looking through a Rolodex. Trying to find the right one. The series finale of a stupid show which was down to its last rerun. I was done.

I would sometimes get a little boost of hope through a song on the radio or my ipod. I would relate my life to the lyrics. I would substitute my depression with music because I wasn’t at peace and music seemed to free me a little bit. My anger was filtered through songs. I would use the music and relate a scenario to it and try to sooth the effects of my past. It felt good too.

I was in search of something… anything. I had a huge void in my life that needed to be filled real quick. Wishing someone would fill it for me. Hoping someone would sweep me off my feet and carry me through this. But as time went on, I realized that wasn’t going to happen.

I realized that the drug abuse, this slow death, was artificially filling a void in my life. Some of us cut. Some of us drink. Some of us over eat. What ever it is that we do, we do it because we are trying to satisfy a hunger.

We were designed to follow and love our Maker. It’s in our DNA. We were constructed and fashioned to worship a Holy and Living God. We also have evolved into believing that there are other alternatives. But I tell you, God is real, He IS listening and He does love you and wants you in His arms! If you are struggling with the thoughts of suicide, I beg of you to constantly call upon Jesus Christ. This is between you and Him. I will leave it at that.

It is written: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.


You have a purpose! Become Free! Become the Difference!

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What is Faith? Is it a verb or is it just this word we use to advocate a ‘good feeling’ of hoping something is going to happen?

Faith. People say “I got faith in that.” and “I got faith in this.”. This type of faith is almost knowing that something will come through. That we have a belief, a confidence in; that we will keep a positive outlook on someone’s life. That we back someone up with positive reinforcement to ensure they succeed. “I got Faith that he’s going to make it.”

“I got faith that the Red Sox are going to win!”. Ok, that’s good… what happens when they lose? What happens to that faith which once was? Do we get discouraged? Do we give up? Some of us may, but some of us continue believing that they will one day win.

So having faith in someone or something is hoping for the best. A feeling of a positive outcome. We encourage people when we have faith in them. We say “You can do it.” or “You are going to get through this.” We believe that people will succeed in one way or another. That something will happen if we keep praying and thinking about it. If we continually dwell on a certain problem or a certain obstacle, if we remain confident, that an assured outcome will arise.

This faith is common and often used. And I have had this type of faith rendered unto me during my addiction. It feels good. Who doesn’t love encouragement? It helps too! Hearing that someone has faith in you gives you strength to move forward.

But what about faith when it’s used as an action. A physical action. Not used just as a mental or verbal hope or encouragement. What happens when we just get up and DO?

When I need a gallon of milk, I don’t sit on my couch, hope and pray about it and it spontaneously combusts into existence in my refrigerator! I get up and go to the store and I get it. I have faith, knowing where it is and I get it. No questions asked. Just like when I was deep into my addiction. I knew where the drugs were, I went and I got them. Just like that. When I drive somewhere, I don’t ask God to get me to where I have to go, although some of us do… we drive knowing that we will arrive at our destination. We get up, get in the car and go.

There are so many things we do that require faith but we bypass it, things we KNOW and things we are used to. Like brushing our teeth, going to the bathroom, eating, sleeping. “It doesn’t take faith to do that stuff!” It doesn’t? If you JUST learned how to do these things, you would think differently. We are so used to doing them, it’s part of our daily routine. If I told you to stop brushing your teeth, what would you say? You’d say no way! Because it’s something you have to do in order to keep your teeth! You want to have energy and feel good tomorrow, you sleep. You’re hungry, you eat.

So this faith of the obvious. This faith of knowing. This blind faith of action which we all use on a daily basis. This same faith is needed on our road to recovery. Need help? Don’t just sit on your couch and hope things will get better. Don’t sit there and pray about it and do NOTHING about it. If I am on fire and burning up in flames, am I going to hope and pray it off me? No. I am going to get up and do something about it. I am also going to get a nurse’s full and undivided attention!

If you need help, ask. If you are struggling and REALLY want a better life, seek and find. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”- Matthew 7:7 These are all verbs. Action. Get up and go get it. There are resources all around us. Have that faith that will get you right to where you want to be.

As we persevere in our recovery, we know what helps us. We know what benefits us and what keeps us safe. The faith it once took to go to a meeting or ask someone for help starts to not be as obvious. It’s called wisdom. We become wise, knowing what benefits us and having the answers to what we need. Just like the daily things we do every day. Our recovery must become the same way in order for us to maintain a healthy, safe and drug free life.

In Matthew 17:20, God tells us that faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Will your addiction be conquered? It all depends on your faith. A small amount of faith will make things happen. And do not think for a second that it was God’s will for you to be the way you are! Is it God’s will for a mountain to be where it is? Well yes… but He tells us that faith, as small as a mustard seed, which is pretty small, can move that mountain. That faith can change the place God intended it to be.

Now imagine huge faith, faith of being able to conquer all your obstacles! Faith which is not needed because you have Wisdom. And Wisdom which will not be needed because you will know what to do. It will be so simple. It will be like you knew it all along. You will have overcome that addiction. You will have overcome forgiving someone. Letting go of your past. And you have the Holy Spirit to thank. Wisdom only comes from the hand of God. It takes faith and continually living in obedience to God’s Word. The bible tells us everything we need to know and how to conquer sin.

I wonder how much faith it will take for you to go get a bible and start learning? 😉

You can do it, it’s in you to be more than a conqueror! Become Free! Become the Difference!