|Who do you report to?|
What do you do when you wake up? My wife grabs her phone and starts reading the news. I usually check my phone calendar to see what my day looks like. Then I check the weather so I can plan on what to wear. After I do that, I thumb through my overnight emails, wondering if I will actually get to follow what is on my calendar or if some other issue is going to take over my day. That’s how we start in my house. I think a lot of people start the same way.
Sunday, my pastor talked about God. Shocking, right? A pastor talking about God! I digress. He reminded me, along with everyone else there, of Genesis 1:1.
“In the beginning, God…”
Yeah, the beginning. The same God who spoke the world into existence. The one who owns everything. He also reminded me of God’s purpose from John 3:16. You know, that whole part about sending His only Son for me, to bring peace and life.
I expected the normal pastor speak, an invitation, an altar call. The usual urging bordering on guilt to just say yes to Jesus…NOW…before it’s too late! Sorry, I can be a bit cynical. Thankfully, this guy continually surprises me. He took it another direction. He asked us the same question I asked at the beginning. What do you do when you wake up? Weird, huh? He continued by pointing out that how you start your day usually decides who controls your day.
Who controls your day? Who controls your life? Who do you report to? As I thought about my day, my priorities, my life…I had a whole host of answers. The answers weren’t always God. Sometimes my schedule controls my day. I am a freak about time. I hate being late. Schedule and time become God to me. Sometimes my job is my God, sometimes it’s my self. Many times it’s myself. When myself is my God, my God isn’t.
Step one reminds me that when my self is in charge, my life is a mess. Unmanageable. Powerless to addiction. I have a great history of reporting to my self and falling flat on my face. Hurting my spouse, family, loved ones…and yes, myself.
God doesn’t fall flat. He doesn’t damage us. He keeps His word. He can’t lie, steal, manipulate, disappoint. He’s God. Since the beginning. Since always. So who do you report to…and who can you trust? Certainly not me. God. He’s God, after all.
Join us this week for incredible music, a testimony of redemption, and great teaching from God’s Word…all from a heart for recovery in Katy.
When: Every Saturday at 5:30 pmLocation: The Fellowship (in the Loft), 22765 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy, TX 77450Childcare is available. Pre-notification is not necessary but is requested. For more information about childcare, email us email@example.com.
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Bonus Episode 19 –Powerless
Truly accepting my powerlessness began recovery for me. With that acceptance came my understanding that keeping my sins secret only kept me powerless.
by Keith B.
July 8th, 2016 is the date I consider as my sobriety date and the date I actually began recovery. That was the day my wife found out that I had contacted a former affair partner. One she knew about. The only one she knew about at the time. That day began my true entry into a life of sobriety and recovery from sex and relationship addiction or how ever you want to label it. But that wasn’t really the true beginning. The true beginning was nine months earlier.
In October of the previous year, I let my wife know via text message that I was leaving her. Awesome, right? I didn’t have the courage to call her. I was halfway around the world, on a business trip. I had arranged my business travel to enable meeting a co-worker and affair partner who lived overseas. My travel was a constant. I basically abandoned my wife and boys. My lies were catching up to me. I had no choice in my mind but to tell her I was having an affair and leaving her.
The woman I was with told me either I made a break from my wife and kids or she was going to do it for me. I took the coward’s way out. I justified my decision by stating something I had been repeating in my mind over and over…when my wife eventually finds out, she is just going to leave you. So, I left her first. And then she shattered my carefully crafted justification by telling me I could still come home. So I ran home.
I started visiting recovery meetings. Visiting the right word. I went sightseeing, never settling or revealing anything of myself. A guest, not a permanent resident. My secrets stayed that way. They stayed my secrets.
My marriage became my only focus. How could I make sure it didn’t end. I dated my wife. Courted her. We went to counseling and
I wish I could say that was it. I confessed, begged forgiveness, saw the error of my ways, and was able to change. I did change. For a while. Until I didn’t. I reached out to that woman again, and she sent my wife a note telling her that her husband was still lying to her. That point was when I thought my life was over. I mean really over. That was the first moment I realized I was powerless to stop. My actions put my whole life at risk…I could lose my wife, my kids, my job. Everything. And I wasn’t in control. My life had become unmanageable. I was powerless.
Truly accepting my powerlessness began recovery for me. With that acceptance came my understanding that keeping my sins secret only kept me powerless. I couldn’t change myself. I needed help. That help would come from my counselor, my groups, friends, my wife, my kids. And that required that I be open, admitting that my life was unmanageable. I was powerless.
I think like most others, I tend to camp out in the New Testament. Sorry, Ezra and Nehemiah. Old Testament history can get, well, old! The words of Christ are magnetic. I mean who doesn’t want to dwell on the eternal wisdom Jesus shared with His disciples?
As I try to improve my constant contact with God (love me some step 11!), I have found myself spending a lot of time heeding the advice of my friend and Bible study leader by seeking to understand God’s character in His words. In John 13:35, Jesus reminds His followers to play nice. He tells them: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It reminds me of something my mother would say to me and my brother when we were fighting. “Love each other. One day you may not have anyone else!”
I read those words and put them out of my mind. I mean of course we should love each other. Lines up with what Jesus called the greatest commandment: love God, love your neighbor as yourself. Ok, I got that. Only, Paul had to go and mess it all up for me.
In Romans 10:14-15, Paul wrote: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” Ok, sounds like the work of preachers and missionaries. Except, Jesus told us in the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to go and tell.
I don’t know why, wait I really do know why, but all those disparate points coalesced in my recent study of Romans. By how we love one another, others will know we belong to Christ. Not will come to Christ…will know we belong to Christ. Jesus told us that wasn’t enough. Go and tell. Paul took it a step further. He reminded us that people need to be told. They need to hear the words, to listen to the Gospel. We must go and tell. Tell the story of Jesus, the Gospel, and how he overcame death and sin and was raised from the dead. And how He saved you and all about your story of recovery and redemption. How he didn’t walk away from me and redeemed me in my addiction and continues to work in my family…all about my story.
So go. Tell. In your work. At your school. To your neighbor. Your co-workers. Your friends. What better way to show your love than to share the Gospel with others. And if you feel safe, share your story of how Christ redeemed you.