LESSONS 12 – 13 PRINCIPLE 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to…
LESSONS 14 – 15
PRINCIPLE 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
STEP 6: 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).
Recap of The Previous Step
In the last session, we confessed our sins and owned up to them, and started obeying God’s direction, therefore, we no more feel guilty of our past. We faced the truth in order to ease the pain and stopped blaming ourselves and others for our wrongdoings. We accepted God.
LESSON 14 – READY
At this stage, we are ready to “voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life.”. READY here means: Release control – Easy does it – Accept the change – Do replace your character defects – Yield to the growth.
Release control: We accepted earlier that if someone knocks at the door, if we don’t allow the person in, that person cannot come in. We need to be “entirely ready,” willing to let God into every area of our life. Willingness is that key that goes into the lock and opens the door that allows God in.
Easy does it: Sin is like a stubborn weed, if we don’t uproot it, it will keep appearing. Though, it may take some time, God will surely get it done. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this” (Psalm 37:5)
Accept the change: There is a difference between knowing that change is needed and accepting the change when it starts. Fear can become a barrier to accepting the change. We may not fully recover if we don’t wholly accept the change God is making. We must let go some things we have held onto dearly for a long time. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance” (1 Peter 1:13-14)
Do replace your character defects: Nature abhors vacuum. When we remove something, it’s smart to replace it with another thing to avoid a vacuum. In the process we must replace the character defects with positive activities such as recovery meetings, church activities, and volunteering. “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Bible says when an evil spirit leaves a person, it tends to come back even stronger than it was before. (Matthew 12:43-45)
Yield to the growth: Defeat any self-doubts and yield to the spiritual growth that has started in you.
LESSON 15 – VICTORY
STEP 7: We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
VICTORY here means: Voluntarily submit – Identify character defects – Change your mind – Turn over character defects – One day at a time – Recovery is a process – You must choose to change
Voluntarily Submit: We submit to every change God wants us to make in our lives and humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God……. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Identify Character Defects: We go back to our moral/ spiritual inventory list and identify, which character flaws we want to correct first and ask God to help remove them. “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Change Your Mind: We cannot change our actions without changing the thoughts that produce the actions. We cannot kill a weed without uprooting the roots. Our minds produce the thoughts we act on. On the path to recovery, the cleanup must start from cleaning our minds of the sinful thoughts. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2)
Turn Over Character Defects: Once identified and we make up our mind to change, we must turn over those character defects to Jesus to correct. Our willpower alone may not be able to do that. “Humble yourselves before the Lord … he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
One Day at a Time: We have admitted severally in previous steps that the recovery process is a gradual process; we must be patient and take it one day at a time: No matter how slow and steady it is, God will surely accomplish it. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
Recovery Is A Process: Once we have turned our character defects over to God, He will begin the process of recovery and renewal. We must trust in God’s words and follow the process to the end. We celebrate each milestone we accomplish along the path.
You Must Choose to Change: Change is replacing something with another. We choose to allow God to replace or character flaws with positive activities.