Posts Tagged ‘God’

climbing-the-mountain

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!

urlacher_inside101706

If I was asked to play a game of football with a pro team, I know I wouldn’t just throw on some shoulder pads and jump right in.

Do you think it would be safe with just a helmet? How about just putting on some shin guards? Absolutely not! You wouldn’t last very long. You would be in severe pain and you would have broken bones, especially if a 6 foot 4, 260 lb linebacker, like say Brian Urlacher, just ran you over. Even in Pop Warner games, the kids are fully geared up. So I think it is safe to say being fully geared up for tackle football is a wise idea? Would you want to see what happens if you played without gear?

Every single piece of padding and protection has its purpose. The helmet protects the head. The shoulder pads guard the shoulders, collarbones, chest and back of a player, and so on. Every necessary garment is designed to protect what it is covering. Protective gear is also designed to protect for defensive and offensive purposes. So whether you are tackling someone or getting tackled, you are shielded and protected. From your helmet down to your cleats, which, by the way, give very good traction on the playing field, to maneuver in and out of the traffic of players trying to take you down.

Too bad in this game of life, there aren’t any referees to call us out when we go out of bounds or do something against the rules. And if there were, a five yard penalty would be a walk in the park. However, there is a way to gear up for it. There is a way to protect ourselves from falling. To protect ourselves against a day where we may be tempted to use. A day where we may have a trigger. A day where we are just plain weak, mentally and physically.

We can get protection by putting on the Full Armor of God.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:11-18

We are capable of standing our ground. We are capable of defending ourselves. We are even capable of using our offense, and overcoming. Swords are not for looks. They are for protecting and striking. When we feel like we are being attacked, we should pray and use the Word of God to strike against the devil’s schemes, the powers we can not see. There are many voices that can lead us astray. Many temptations. Addiction attacks from all angles. Addiction has no rules. Addiction cheats. So make sure you are fully equipped to fend off the many ways in which addiction strikes. Most importantly, have faith. With faith we can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one!

Addicts: You can get your Full Armor of God for free. Read your bible and learn. Further your education. Surround yourself with others who are trying to better their life. Listen to others who have made it through the storm. Ask questions. Search the Truth. Seek. Listen to others who are no longer slaves to addiction, they will have the best advice!

sick and tired

If you are a full blown addict, you know there are days where all the lying, cheating and stealing has caught up to you.

Nobody trusts you, nobody wants to be around you and nobody cares. You have exhausted all your resources for scheming money and you’re broke as a joke. Withdrawals and depression are setting in and there are thoughts racing through your head; robbing stores, stealing money, your mind is coming up with crazy ideas to make itself feel good. There is nothing you can do so you sit on a couch or lay in bed all day.
You’re starving but you can’t eat, you have to piss so you lean over and piss into a Gatorade bottle. You’re stomach is making noises and shivers set in. The only time you get up is to release diarrhea out your rear end every half hour. Your legs start moving in a bicycle pattern; trying to get comfortable. Hot and cold sweats arrive, heart palpitations, cramps, insomnia, racing thoughts and nightmares from 10 minutes of so called sleep. Hygiene is out the door.

You are so fatigued, walking even seems to be too much. That Suboxone you had saved for today is gone. Why you thought one little corner of a Suboxone would make your life better is a mystery. You make a frantic phone call to your drug dealer to get anything to make you feel better and he’s not answering, you pissed him off too. You know you’re screwed. There’s nothing you can do. Now it’s time to think of ways to die.

Suicide sounds like a very good alternative at this point. But as quick as you think of it you realize you can’t do it.

People, here is a new definition of being Sick and Tired. What is explained above is a tiny bit of what a drug addict goes through. Why do we put ourselves through this? Ask me now, I can’t give you an answer… ask me then, I would have had plenty of answers!

Believe it or not, these times where we get sick are probably the best times where God is most likely shouting at us… “HEY, WAKE UP, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS!”

Although it’s depressing and we feel like we’re dying, it’s the lowest we can go, the only way from here is up. Yes, it may be the 700th time you have stopped cold turkey but you know deep down inside you can’t keep doing this. “Why do I do this to myself?” “Why can’t I stop?” “Oh my God, I have a serious problem don’t I.”

Listen, there are places, especially today, everywhere, that offer help. Rehab is a great place to get away, take a vacation and get better; think of it as a spiritual retreat. Because that’s exactly what you will be doing, figuring out why it is you do what you do, why you turned to drugs and why you destroyed your life.

Once you get some clean time under your belt, you start seeing more clearly. The obvious is revealed. Happiness slowly becomes a daily feeling. Bridges are mending. Family starts trusting. Money is getting saved. You start filling your gas tank instead of just putting a few bucks in just to get from one hustle to the other. You don’t wake up in the fetal position, sweating and freaking out anymore. Life is good.

It’s a daily walk. You do a devotion every day. You pray. You pray for yourself. You pray for others. You want to help others with what you have learned and the experiences you have gone through. You go to church. You fellowship with other people with this common bond of addiction. You have clean time and you are stronger than ever!

And you realize it’s not you. It’s God. It’s ALL HIM. That daily reprieve, that daily surrender, that daily prayer is what is keeping you from using again and keeping you from not wanting to live a life of being sick and tired all the time.

One thing I have noticed along my journey, even today, is everyone who is living a clean life and continues living a clean life from their drug abused past, in one way or another, has God first in their life.
Be grateful. Be humble and remain teachable!