This morning in group, one of the men shared that he is thankful that God will never leave nor forsake him, according to the word of God.
According to the word of God.
I was impressed with the way he stated this and told him so. What impressed me is that his assurance that God was with him was not based on how he felt but rooted in the trustworthiness of God’s word. God said he would never leave him and this young man believed it, regardless of his feelings.
No doubt this is why he is 20 weeks sober and continuing to flourish.
In my personal experience in both my own recovery and being a coach for others I have learned that the extent to which we flourish in our recovery – and life! – is the extent to which we have utter reliance on God’s words over any other words. Those who continue to preach the gospel to themselves, who consistently chew on and digest scripture, who replace the voices of this world with the voice of the Holy Spirit are those who get and remain sober and are less likely to allow the troubles of this life to knock them off the wagon.
It’s imperative for us to daily remind ourselves that we are in a war and there is an enemy that wants to destroy us. His name is Satan, which literally means “The Accuser.” The bible says that he is a liar and is the father of lies (John 8:44). Ever thing that is untrue finds its genesis in Satan, The Accuser. He lives to accuse those who belong to Christ (Rev. 12:10). He lives to sow lies into us meant to harden our hearts towards the truth of God, inspire bitterness in our hearts towards others and make us feel unworthy of the abundant life Jesus promised.
And he’s crafty. He has been doing this from the beginning and knows our weak points. He knows how to whip us into a frenzy of anger or lust or pride or self-indulgence. He knows how to inspire in us the justifications to seek our own way and defend our rights and put ourselves before anyone else. He knows how to cause us to doubt the faithfulness of God or the kindness of others.
Your best defense against this liar is a good offense. My counselor, when he talks about the way Satan works his lies into my head, will get very animated and jump up and scream,
It reminds me that I’m fighting someone very real who is playing for keeps. My best defense is a good offense. I need to be in the word. I need to replace the lies with the truth so that my mind can be renewed (Rom. 12:1-2).
I’ve written extensively on this blog about how to do that. Three very practical ways you can begin today are these:
1. Get into the word and begin by reading Psalm 119. It will, if you open yourself to it, nurture in you a love for God’s words. If you commit to the reading I outline HERE, you will find in a few months a hunger for God’s truth that you’ve never known before.
2. Pray for people instead of think about them, including yourself. The Mercy Prayer (click the link) is a prayer that changed my life and my thoughts towards God, myself and others. Commit to this prayer for the next 3 months and I promise you that your inner world will do a 180.
3. Finally, ask yourself this question often: Is this feeling, emotion or response I’m about to give one that is produced by the Spirit of God or by some other spirit? My counselor reminds me that it will always be one or the other. Recalling this again and again helps me to take every thought captive for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). If it’s not from God, renounce it and replace it with truth from God’s word.
According to God’s word, you are a beloved child of God (1 John 3:2). You were worth dying for even while an enemy of God’s, thus proving God’s love for you (Rom. 5:10)! Nothing, NOTHING, can separate you from God’s love, neither death nor life, not even angels or demons – including The Accuser – nor the present or future nor any other kind of power (Rom. 8:38-39). Let that soak in. Let those be the words that shape you.
Let it be so, according to the Word of God.