Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The LIne


Jeremiah 6:16-17
This is what the Lord says, "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rst for your souls. But you reply,"No, that's not the rod we want!" I posted watchmen over you who said, "Listen for the sound of the alarm." But you replied, "No! We won't pay attention."

The line....
Most everyone has one...

But it seems to be more defined by someone in recovery.
That line is always there, especially at the beginning of the journey into a new life and way of thinking.


The line cannot force itself on you, but the voice that cries out from the dark side of the line can be, and sometimes is, a powerful force. 
At one time those in recovery  lived on the other side of the line, and gave no thought to changing. Sin, like most other things that feed our old nature, was pleasurable at first. You didn't really notice how dark spiritually it was. You just knew that your desire had found a home where it was fed. You enjoyed the company of those who were on the same side of the line as you were.  But time has a way of changing our perspective on events and situations. What once was fun  suddenly become a prison. A place where emotional and physical pain grew at an ever increasing rate. Here is where the trap really begins to lay hold of you. You hurt so much that the only thing you can think of is finding relief from the pain. On the dark side of this line, the only thing your mind can focus on is one thought. "I must get whatever it takes to ease this pain. The dark voice has convinced you that the answer is more drugs and/or alcohol. So you use.  Occasionally you would consider crossing back over the line into a safe place and way of living. But the dark voice screamed even louder, accusing you and weighing you down with guilt and shame. You give in and face the fact that, according to the voice, you are what you are....you will never change...you are hopeless.

Those who have managed to cross back from the darkness find gratitude for being free. But this freedom is something that has to be guarded and protected. Yes, it is the saving power and blood of Christ that empowered us to move back into a right way of living.....but such a cost requires a discipline that we must engage in. To me, the Twelve Steps are such a discipline that help everyone move forward. The steps take you through a process of dealing with your past, and realizing that only God can change the character issues that drove you in the past. Those character flaws that aided in our bad decision making are removed and replaced with a character that is in line with how God desires us to approach life (see Galatians 5:22-23).

Without the presence of a Higher Power, Jesus, in your life....you have no protection against the line, or the dark voice.
You may even put together a period of sobriety, but the line and voice are always close at hand waiting......biding its time....patiently watching...softly whispering a soothing invitation to return to your old ways. 


Life gets hard....
Problems occur...
Situations that are beyond your control....
Rather than seek God at this point, your thoughts move toward the line. Oh, you may not be planning on crossing over, but you just want to see how close you can get without falling prey to the darkness. In your mind, you've convinced yourself that this is the nature of real recovery...."The ability to be near drugs and alcohol, but with no intention of using." That, my friend, is what we refer to as "Addict-a-logic".  Recovery is not measured by how close you can be to drugs and alcohol, and those who use....Recovery is measured by the simple fact that you move as far away as possible, having nothing to do with any of it.


I've kind of chased this posting today because of a friend of mine who has chosen to move back over the line. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that he is not doing well. My greatest fear is that he has made this journey so many times, he may not come back. Not because of choice, but simply because his body is worn out and may not survive this dark journey.

Can God bring my friend out?
Yes! I believe this with every ounce of my being.

Such is why I ask you today to join my prayer for his safety and sobriety.
Pray that God would send angelic host to stand guard around my friend so that the power of the line and the dark voice will not have its way in destroying this person.
Pray for God to bring conviction to his heart, and that my friend not confuse conviction with condemnation.
Pray that God would lead my friend back into a place where they can see clearly and choose to not go back over that line.
Pray for my friend.....


God on you...

mbb

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