Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What? Me Deceived? No Way!

It's hard to see the "real you" when your head is buried in the sand. It's hard to be honest with yourself if you won't acknowledge your character defects. Sometimes we lash out when someone "Catches" us or uncovers us.  "What do you know!"  "You don't know me!"
I have heard this tired old line over and over, in fact more times than I care to count. It usually involves an individual that I'm trying to help and in the process of talking with them, I say something about their character. Now what I say is usually based on the behavior I see in them. 

You see, the one thing about addiction is that it comes with its own unique set of behaviors and beliefs. It doesn't matter who the individual is. It doesn't matter what the situation or drug of choice. It doesn't even matter which side of the tracks they were born on...............every addict has common views and beliefs that are evident. I said all of that to say this. With all the years of ministering to people in addiction that I have spent,  I've seen the same behavior repeated over and over............one should tend to be a bit wiser (hopefully)

I have been stuck in II Timothy for a while and as I read it, I see addictive behavior there in black and white. Now let's really be clear about something before I go on. All addictive behavior stems from sin. Sin being the by product of a broken relationship with Jesus. The outward behavior of sin comes from an inward belief or bent that tells us we should exert our own self will and that we do not need God on any level in our life. In other words, it's that good ol' sin nature that has raised its ugly head and is ruling our decisions and circumventing our will (See Romans 7 and read Paul's view of the flesh / a.k.a. the old man.  

The one thing that continues to fascinate me about the human will and perception of ones self is how deceived  a person can be by their own actions. We read in II Timothy 3:13 --While evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 

The Bible also refers to this in Romans 1:21-22 in that although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

I don't want to live under delusion as to my spiritual state in this life. To me, eternity is not something to be tinkered with or taken lightly. I guess I kind of look at this whole "God" understanding with the mind that what I read in Scripture is true. IF it is true, then why would I want to play around with my soul?

I see a lot of self deception in men who enter our program. They don't really have a problem and they don't really need to be here. Okey-dokey. "I'm here because I'm trying to appease my wife." Or "I'm here to get people off my back, but I don't really have a problem.  It's amazing how many guys we get coming to our program that really don't have drug and alcohol problems. (If you didn't notice, I just typed that last sentence with my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek).

It takes the light of God's Holy Spirit shining into the heart of sinful man before understanding can take place. We have got to be uncovered and when it happens it isn't a very pleasant or peaceful thing. Our first reaction is to run from God. If we don't run...........if we allow God to work in us, then we can begin the process of healing. The greatest healing that can take place is SALVATION. Being born again......saved............redeemed.......no matter what you call it...salvation breaks off the blindness and hardness  from our spiritual eyes and ears, not to mention the heart, so we can see ourselves as God truly sees us. Any deception or deceit we may uncover in our hearts can be dealt with through confession and repentance. Good stuff that repentance.

John 3:19-21 - This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Step # 1 - recognition of my powerlessness.
Step # 2 - Belief in a Power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity.
Step # 3 - Made a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God as I understood Him.
Step # 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory.
Step # 5 - Admit to God, myself, and another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.
Step # 6 -  Entirely ready to have God remove my defects of character.

Here in 6 steps, we have moved from denial and delusion into a place where our hearts are uncovered and entirely ready to have God work in us. That, my friend, is where real life begins.

Until tomorrow....
God on you....

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