I have been pondering the victory of beating the odds stacked against me. The victory is bitter-sweet. Everything has been focused on my health and well-being. So much effort placed on achieving victory over cancer. Standing on this side of the biggest mountain in my life I can honestly say I have victory. I wish I could say the same for the rest of life's challenges. It's not easy to conquer ones fears. My personal character flaws and the desire to live the Spirit filled abundant life are at war. I wrestle continually with a God who engages with me and for me in the battle.
"That’s what it says at the top of the page: Habbakuk. The name means wrestler.
To wrestle with God because the hard times are holy times. To not escape time, but stubbornly, fully embrace time, because this is how we stay engaged with God. When we don’t know how to hang on in hard times, to just grip hard to God.
The only ones who can rest in God are the one who have wrestled with God… I will not let you go until I you bless me.
That is what the pastor said: There is no tighter embrace than the grip of the wrestle."
Taken from Ann Voskamp What to Do in Hard Times 2/6/12.
Taken from Celebrate Recovery program:
(text in italics are my comments, regular font is CR material, Bible verses in italics and bold)
Principle 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires. Matthew 5:6
I must want to change...
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. 1John 1:9
Daily I must ask for forgiveness, maybe even several times a day? For a righteous [man] may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. Proverbs24:16
Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him...let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Romans 12:1-2
The key here is letting God into my secret places where I tend to hide my "junk."
Identify character defects
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
This list of my character defects is long. Yet I am reminded to only work on one at a time.
Change your mind
Do not be conformed 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
In order to renew my mind I must replace it with good things like: scripture, worship music and thanksgiving.
Turn over character defects
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
Oh that pesky voice of the enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy! I am a child of the most high God. I choose to stand my ground.
One day at a time
So don't be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. Matthew 6:34
Serenity prayer...memorized (see prayer to the right of this post)
Recovery is a process
And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. Philippians 1:6
Old habits die hard and new ones take time to build. Practice makes perfect. I am learning this as I am teaching myself to play the guitar...
You must choose to change
God gives strength to the humble,...So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. An when you draw close to God. God will draw close to you. James 4:6-8
Quality time not the quantity. I am trying to not be legalistic in my quiet times. Yet I must make it a priority.