Sunday, January 31, 2010

Enoch Pleased God

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

Steps 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

In this text is the seed of the good news, or gospel, of God. That He can take a sinner/addict and change him or her to the point of being able to please God. God wanted to let us know that that which seems impossible to us is more than possible for Him. God took a man, who had the disease of addiction, and was able to take him through a process by which an addicted person could so behave in such a manner as that it pleased God. Since it has happened to one man, God says that He can do it with any other person who wants it done.

Prayer for Today: God, You know that our ability to do anything that pleases You, is virtually impossible for us to do, especially on our own. Yet, You have given us the story of Enoch to assure us that what we can not do, You are able to accomplish. And so we come to You and ask You to help us to do what can not be done on our own. Thank You for this opportunity.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Enoch was Translated Not Seeing Death

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

Steps 11, 12

Translation is one of those unique Bible concepts. God has shared that He takes some of His people before the addictive disease can consume them. This event has happened only one other time since the time of Enoch and that is with a prophet by the name of Elijah in II Kings 2. God also has stated that this process of translation would happen for the people of God in the end. I Thessalonians 4:13-18. In this text the people who are alive will be caught up into the air with God without seeing death. This is one of the special promises of God.

Prayer for Today: Thank You for the potential of being a part of this experience of not having to die. We don’t know if this will actually happen to each of us but at least the potential is there. As You know we don’t want to die but if we need to we want to trust in You. Help us to meditate on these issues and explore them with You. Thank You for even suggesting such an idea and such a hope.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Enoch Walked With God

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:24

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Enoch walked with God. This is Bible short hand for doing all of the steps. Enoch followed all of the Bible requirements, which are as follows: “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalms 15:1-5 What this above text means is that the recovering person can be trusted, that he does what Jesus would do, he speaks truth in his heart and truth to others, he does not gossip, he recognizes that some people are evil and acts accordingly. He is honest, he does not try to take advantage of others, doesn’t take bribes, and when he says something it can be trusted. This is how Enoch walked with God.

Prayer for Today: God, we know that we are usually not like Enoch, and we are certainly not like You. None the less, we want to be. We to would like to go to heaven and be with You and Enoch. Help us to do what we can not do, and help us to do what we can do. We look to You for help. Thank You.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Was Enoch an Addict?

Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12

We have no record of any wrong thing that Enoch ever did. None the less, according to the Bible, every man has sinned. The Bible defines sin as breaking God’s laws I John 3:4; by lack of trusting in God Romans 14:23; or by not believing on Jesus John 16:9. So from God’s point of view He knows that all of us human beings have had some kind of difficulty, some kind of addictive behavior, thought, or action. He knows the problems and He knows the solution – to come to Him for help. Each of these stories is to tell something about God, His people, their problems, and His solution. This process even includes men like Enoch, who accepted God’s solution completely.

Prayer for Today: Thank You for watching over all of us throughout history. We know that each of us have our problems but it is sometimes difficult for us to see that certain people have problems. Thank You that You did not give up on us and that there is a way to get our problems and addictive behaviors solved. Please continue to work with us. Some of us do not even know that we have problems, please help us to recognize this and to recognize that You can and will help us. Thank You.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Enoch - The First Recovering Person to Go to Heaven

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methusalah three hundred years, and begat sons an daughters; and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12

Enoch has no recorded sins against him, and no clear identified addictive patter. The Bible still sees him as a person, who sinned, for the Bible says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. But God says that Enoch walked, or entered into a pure relationship with Him, and after 300 years He took him, or translated him, to heaven without seeing death. Thus God tells us that a positive relationship with Him is beneficial. We will see a few of the interesting things that God has to say about Enoch in the next few days.

Prayer for Today: God, as you know, the idea of walking with you for 300 years is beyond our comprehension. And then to have the hope of being able to go to heaven without seeing death is pretty amazing as well. Help us to be able to study about Enoch and see what he saw, and do what he did. We need all of the positive role models that we can get. Thank you for your tender love, and your wonderful mercies.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seth and Enos

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: for God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also thew was born a son; and he called his name Enos, then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:25-26

Steps 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

The next son of Adam, that God chose to focus upon, was Seth. His name means appointed and he was the replacement of the lineage of Abel. Seth’s lineage is spoken of in Genesis 5 and takes us down the ages through many men. By the time of Seth’s son Enos there was enough division between the lineage of Cain and the lineage of Seth that they took on a special name – they called themselves people of the Lord. Later they called themselves Israelites, and in the New Testament times they called themselves Christians. But all who were willing to follow the Lord would be counted in this group. Apparently those who followed in the footsteps of Cain did not want to be associated with this group of people.

Prayer for Today: As we have seen in history people of like beliefs tend to gather together, because of their shared beliefs. We have seen many things happen, and many things we have difficulty understanding. But we can understand shared beliefs and shared goals. Our goal today is to get to know more about You. We can see that many things have happened through history and we would like to know what You think about these things and how they affect us today. Help us to think often about You and how You want us to respond. Thank You for patiently telling us the story so that we can learn Your ways.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lamech: The First Polygamist

And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Genesis 4:19

Steps 4, 5, 6

In this addiction story Lamech becomes the first man on earth to violate the basic command of God for one husband and one wife. For whatever reason, Lamech was a polygamist, eventually was a murderer as well. Genesis 4:23 In this story we find that the names of his wives are interesting as well. Adah means pleasure or ornament and Zillah means shade or shadow. Some believe that these two women introduce the arts of jewelry and makeup into the Bible story. In any case Lamech did not appear to learn the lessons of Cain and Abel, nor of Adam and Eve. He consulted his own desires and pressed forward with his addictive desires even at the cost of another man’s life.

Prayer for Today: God you know that many of us have unfulfilled desires. We would do them in a minute if we were not afraid of the consequences. Please help us to recognize our need of You for without You we to would be willing to hurt others to accomplish our desires. Often we do not know what the long range effects of our behaviors would do to others but we have seen enough that in the back of our hearts we know that left to our own devices we would cause harm. Forgive us today, and help us to want help.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Mark of Cain

And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. Genesis 4:15

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12

In Genesis 4:9-13 God comes to Cain and asks, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain pretends to not know but God confronts Cain with the truth, for God was there watching the whole event. When Cain would not accept the truth, nor accept God’s grace to forgive him and change him, then God pronounces sentence on Cain. Cain would live on and testify to the penalty of sin and the results of addiction. To ensure that this plan took place, God placed a mark on Cain to let all know that Cain was the addict and that Abel was the innocent victim. God wanted to alert all to the effects of addiction and what would happen when people rejected God’s help. We are not told precisely what this mark was but it was one of the principles that are involved in the Mark of the Beast in Revelation. For those who receive that mark will be similar in heart, mind, and action to Cain.

Prayer for Today: O Lord we come unto You today and ask for Your help. You know our hearts and You know that without Your help we would all be in a similar state as Cain. Help us to see our condition and help us to seek You for Your help. Our addictions keep us bound up and without You we would not even know to seek Your help. Help us to learn the lessons that Cain and Abel have taught us. Help us to meditate on Your grace and Your power to change us. Thank You for being there for us in spite of our crazy thinking. Thank You for taking the initiative to come and ask us the hard questions of life. Help us not to respond like Cain and reject Your care.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Abel Still Speaks to Us Today

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. Hebrews 11:4

Steps 11, 12

Abel’s death is used by God to speak to us today. Abel still talks to us because he is recorded in the Bible for our blessing. As we study how he cooperated with God, and how he suffered for his faith he still talks to us. Abel does not talk to us because he is alive in heaven but he talks to us because his story is written in the Bible. In Genesis 4:10 God tells us that Abel’s blood cries out to Him for justice. This same process is occurring today as well. No harm takes place, no suffering takes place without God noticing it and recording it. God will address each and every issue and in the end justice will be served to all who do not accept the sacrifice of God in their place. So let us study the lesson well and take advantage of God’s grace while it is still available.

Prayer for Today: Thank You God that You are aware of everything that happens on the earth. No crime takes place without Your awareness, and no crime will go unpunished in the end. Help us to trust You and that You will address each and every addict and give them opportunity to work the steps and accept recovery. Help us to stay steady and cooperate with You in all that You would have us to do. Thank You for Your mercies unto us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Abel - the First Victorious Co-Dependent

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. Hebrews 11:4

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12

Abel struggled with Cain to try to help him see where he was going wrong. Cain rebelled against all of the efforts of Abel and eventually killed Abel. Abel’s life looked short and unfulfilled but God testifies to this very day that Abel was a righteous man. Abel did nothing wrong in his interactions with Cain. None the less Abel died for his convictions and the position he took spiritually. All people who have to deal with addicts, have their own addictions, but Abel, by sacrificing in harmony with God’s will, worked the steps and had recovery. We can gain courage by his witness, his efforts, and his life. God testifies to this.

Prayer for Today: God, thank you that you have left these stories to encourage us to go forward toward recovery. Some of us will die because we love the addicts in our lives. Yet we pray that we may have that testimony with you that we did all we could to help our loved one. We had victory in our lives and from our own addictions. And even though some of us may die like Abel, help us to trust in you and not turn back to our addictions to cover our pain and loss. Thank you Lord for being there for us, and for our loved ones.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cain, of that Wicked One

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil and his brother’s righteous. I John 3:11-12

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4

In this text God declares that the issue between Cain and Abel was the Cain’s works were evil and his brother’s works were righteous. This is always the conflict in spiritual issues. God declared in the above verse that Abel’s works were righteous and thus God accepted them. Cain’s works were evil and God refused them. This is the flash point in spiritual issues. We feel cheated and dishonored when we read in the Bible that certain acts are not acceptable to God. When we find out that we are wrong, in God’s opinion, rather than accepting that God is not trying to harm us but trying to inform us, we choose to rebel against God even further and want to harm the recipient of His blessings. Thus Cain was identified as being with the wicked one, Satan, and was not a part of the plan of God.

Prayer for Today: God, you know me much better than I do. Please help me to accept you assessment over my assessment. I know that I am capable of lying to myself. I know that you do not lie, but always tell the truth, even if it hurts. I want the truth today, and I want to believe that if I accept the truth about myself, You will not leave me nor forsake me. I know that I would leave You and forsake You but help me to trust that when You say the truth about me You are not trying to get rid of me but to tell me that my addiction is trying to kill me. Help me to stand with Abel, regardless of the consequences and to avoid standing with Cain. Thank you for alerting me to these issues and helping me to choose to work with You.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The First Addiction Related Religious Murder

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Genesis 4:8

Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Cain decided to talk to Abel about the differences between his worship and his brother’s worship. Cain continued to be upset that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected his. This discussion was basically about two religious styles of worship, one of which God accepted, and the other one rejected. This started the first religious war and there was a casualty in this war. Cain, feeling guilty, decided to put an end to the discussion and he killed his very own brother. This kind of murder is not exceptional in our day, but this story was the first murder of a human being on earth. This was such unusual behavior that God chose to record it in His Bible so that we could learn from it.

Prayer for Today: God you know that on a bad day I am capable of most anything, especially if it is related to my addictive behaviors. Often I have murder in my heart and I do not like to see it, but today I admit that it is there. Help me to receive Your help before I act out my ugly thinking. I accept today that I often act like Cain but I want to act like Abel but can not do it without Your help. Thank You for hearing me and helping me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God Talks to Cain

And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shat thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:6-7

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

God, in His great mercy, came to talk to Cain. He gave Cain feedback on several issues. God asked Cain why he was so upset about His rejection of Cain’s sacrifice? He told Cain that he should not be surprised for if one does wrong to God that God will tell him to give him opportunity to straighten things out. If one does not get these things straight that person will not be accepted by God. God knows what we are capable of and He will not leave us to struggle alone. God will help us, if we choose to accept that help. If we are not willing to accept His help we are on our own and will make so many mistakes that our addictions will take over and kill us. But if we surrender to God He will help us to rule over our addictions and give us recovery and victory.

Prayer for Today: Lord you know that I love my addictions one day and the next day I hate it. Please help me to be able to surrender to You and receive the help I need. I pray that today my pride will not get in the way of doing what I need to do. Help me to be willing to ask for You help before my addiction takes full control of me. Thank You that You would be willing to come and seek me out to talk to me. Help me today to be willing to hear You. Thank You again for Your mercy and Your patience.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Views of Sacrifice

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Genesis 4:3-5

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

With similar training and similar needs both brothers approached the issue of sacrifice from two different views. Cain brought the best offering that he could think of without surrendering his perspective to God. He offered his sacrifice and God, the totally impartial, and all knowing, Judge, did not accept Cain’s offering. On the other hand Abel brought an offering that was totally in harmony with God’s will. Abel brought an offering that showed that he knew that he needed a Saviour from his addiction and he did the best that he could do to cooperate with God’s commands. Abel brought a lamb to die in Abel’s place. Blood was shed that he would live and he brought the fat, a symbol of sin, to burn in place of his own addictive behaviors. God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice and accepted it, while rejecting Cain’s sacrifice. Cain was angry but not ready to change. God was willing to tell the truth to both parties so that any good would be confirmed and any evil would be revealed so that a decision would be made.

Prayer for Today: God, You already know my heart. You know whether I will cooperate with you or not. Help me to receive Your guidance with out anger and hatred. Bring me closer to You and help me to accept Your feedback without getting in my own way. Thank you again for your love and patience. Please keep me close to Your side, and protect me from myself.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The First Two Brothers

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have begotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. Genesis 4:1-2

Step 3

The second major addiction story is that of Cain and Abel. These two brothers inherited all of the issues of Adam and Eve, and would live out the principles of live in both an addiction format and a recovery format. Cain and Abel had the same home environment, and the same training but both of them were spiritual addicts in that the Bible indicates that both of them were sinners/addicts and needed to be born again. The Bible states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Both of these men had made decisions that were not in harmony with the will of God, and both needed to come before God to get things right with Him. We will see how this story plays itself out and the principals that will be established.

Prayer for Today: We thank you that others have walked the recovery path before us and we pray that today we may read and learn from the mistakes of others. Help us not to have to make every mistake in life for ourselves. Help us to see, learn, and be willing to come to you for help to change. Thank you for your tender mercies.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kicked Out of Home

And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the East of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24

Steps 1, 2, 3

God knew that Adam and Eve had gained a knowledge of life that would make them more dangerous and sick. God chose to have Adam and Eve leave their perfect home and to begin to experience life in the outside world with all of its difficulties and struggles. Yet God preserved Eden and blocked the gate that mankind could not come back into the Garden, and partake of the tree of life until a future time. Yet the very fact of God putting a guard at the one gate gave assurance that the way was to be maintained by the angels. The doorway will always be open to those who want to come back to the original way of life that was ordained by God. God promises to create a new earth where addiction will not longer be able to harm us in any way. This will happen at the return of Jesus at the end of the 1000 years of the Millennium. Revelation 21:1

Prayer for Today: Thank You for keeping the way back to You open and clear. We know that we do not deserve to come back yet You have promised to make a new heaven and a new earth in the future so that we can return to Your original plan. It makes us sad that we have caused all of this chaos and confusion, yet in your power you can restore all things to their original plan and intent. We trust you to help us while we are on the outside looking in. Grant us the gift of Your deliverance, for we choose to participate in Your plans for us.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Exchange

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

Steps 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

When Adam and Eve first sinned they made clothing for themselves out of fig leaves. See Genesis 3:7. When God had finally brought them through the steps they became willing to accept His help. As a result of this willingness God presented His plan of helping them. In Genesis 3:15 God had stated that He was willing to die for them. In verse 21 God shows Adam and Eve as much as they can bear. God had Adam kill at least one animal, and perhaps more, to get the skins necessary for new clothing that He would make for them. This animal’s death was a symbol of what God Himself, the true Lamb of God (John 1:29), would do. God would allow Himself to be killed on a cross for all of mankind. Every single addict, of whatever kind, could be saved if they would accept this give of new clothing made by the hand of God. This clothing, made by God’s hand, would cover their nakedness, and give them the assurance of God’s health covering their addictive behaviors. But to get this new clothing they had to let go of their old ways and their old clothing. Only if they participated in the exchange could they be saved. We will cover this in more detail as we read in the Word of God. See Zechariah 3:1-5

Prayer for Today: God, we thank you for offering us this exchange. We know that we do not deserve your gifts, but we thank you that you offer them to us anyway. Help us to give up on our own ways, and our own efforts to take care of ourselves, that have only lead to more suffering and pain. Today we want you to cover us with your clothing, and take away our old ways. We know that our lives have not been successful and we invite you into our lives to do for us what we can not do for ourselves. We ask that you will help us to participate in recovery in your way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Curses

Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam He said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree which I commanded thee, saying thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it al the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:16-19

Steps 1, 4

Any addictive behavior will bring its natural negative consequences. Adam and Eve were about to experience the reality of what their choices had brought to them. In addition to Adam and Eve, the very earth itself would be impacted in a terrible way and that which had been a perfect creation would not begin to grow thorns and thistles and be less and less productive. Addictions bring terrible consequences. It would have been better for us not to get into any kind of addictive behavior, but once it happens only a God can deliver us.

Prayer for Today: God you know what we have done. You know the decisions we have made. You know the consequences of these decisions. You also know how many, many people will be impacted by these decisions. When we think about the impact of our decisions we are almost ready to give up hope. Please help us to no longer run from You or from the truth of our lives. Grant us hope that we look to You for assistance for we have proven to ourselves that we can not change on our own. Thank You for being willing to help us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Death of Jesus

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heal. Genesis 3:15

Steps: 2, 3, 11, 12

Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. It was He that created us and He that would save us. Genesis 3:15 gives the first intimation of what He was willing to go through to save us. He states that He will come through a woman, be born into this world, live a live of purity and full recovery, and then be willing to die for people like us. He will be the seed that will war with Satan. As a result of this war, He will die for us and then resurrect Himself after 3 days to show His power over sin and death. All of this He will do for us. Not only that but the promise is that He will bruise the head of the Serpent – the Devil. Revelation 12:9. Bruising the head, means in old English, that He will kill the Devil, He will strike the Devil in such a way as that he can not continue to live. All of this God promises to do for us.

Prayer for Today: Thank you Jesus that you were willing to die for us. We don’t know how to express it other than to say “Thank You”. Please help us to understand how you could do these things for us, when we have spent most of our lives rebelling against you. Today we ask that you will change our hearts and minds that we will be willing to have you interact with us and help us with our addictive thinking. Rescue us in spite of ourselves. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Will Put Enmity Between You and the Woman

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heal. Genesis 3:15

Steps 3,11,12

God introduces a new concept to Adam and Eve. He effectively states that since they have sinned, by choosing Satan over Jesus, they have lost all ability to say no to their addictions. God says that He will have to give them enmity against Satan. It is God’s gift, and His alone, to help any addict to say no to their addictive substance, event, or process. On our own we will naturally choose to cooperate with our addiction and be happy in it while we are dying. Yet God, seeing our need, chose to introduce enmity, the desire to break free from our addictive thinking. Without this gift we would not be able to say no. God granted us this gift, and granted us the ability to turn away from the call of our addiction, if we choose to do so.

Prayer for Today: God you know that most of the time I don’t want to turn away from my addictions. Yet some times I can feel the struggle going on in my heart and recognize that I must do something different or die. Please help me for I can not help myself. Strengthen the enmity within me so that I can say no and then follow through with that decision. I thank you for all of your precious gifts to me, including the desire to say no to my addictions and to say yes to you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Time of Confession

And He (the Lord) said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat?” And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she mave me of the tree, and I did eat.” And the Lord God said unto the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:11-13

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

God now confronts Adam and Eve with the obvious. He asks how they knew that they were naked. They now have opportunity to say that they have done wrong, admit it, and turn away from it. Mankind, in its sinful state, has a great difficulty admitting the truth. Adam and Eve both do what addicts do best, the avoid the truth, and then blame other people, places, and things. Adam blames His wife, Eve blames the snake, and they both blame God. They blame Him under the heading that if He had not given Adam the wife, and if God had not allowed the snake to be there, and if He hadn’t have put the tree there, and if He hadn’t have warned them, then none of this would have happened. Neither Adam nor Eve were willing to accept the inventory that they had chosen to rebel and turn away from God. Neither of them were willing to state the obvious that they both could have said no to the fruit. They were free to choose whether to eat or say no to the serpent and yes to God. Their hearts had still not been touched, the spiritual awakening had not yet occurred, and their recovery experience had not yet begun.

Prayer for Today: God you already know what we have done to you and to each other. Help us, when it is our turn to confess, that we will be willing to accept the truth about ourselves. Help us to let go of denial and self-deception and be willing to walk with you in the truth. Help us when we are afraid that we may see your face and see that our sins cause you pain as well as it does to us. Today we ask for the power to respond to you and admit the truth and then allow you to help us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fear of God

And he (Adam) said I heard thy voice in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. Genesis 3:10

Steps 1, 2, 4,10

God knew that when His children rebel against Him they would be afraid and try to stay away from God. God warned our father and mother not to rebel in the least thing. Yet they did rebel and what God told them would happen did happen. Now, unless an outside force comes in to help us, we are afraid of God when He approaches us. Because of sin we know we are naked, even if covered with the things that we make to hide ourselves. When God approaches us, and seeks us out, we are afraid and fear His presence. God will show us that He wants to help us yet it is a miracle when God and His children can be together and feel safe. Sin separates and truth brings together.

Prayer for Today: God we can see that our sins cause us to be afraid of You. We feel naked in Your presence and our sins are so clear in our minds that we “know” that You would never want to help us. Yet today help us to see that although You will tell us the truth about our sin, and our addictions, You will not turn away from us. Help us to see that You want to be with us and that You want to remove the sin and not us. Thank You that You love us.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Judgment Time

And the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him “Where art thou?” Genesis 3:9

Steps 1, 2, 11

This is one of those texts in the Bible that shows that God is looking for us. Most of us have had parents, friends, family members, authority figures that are looking for us to harm us. But even if we haven’t had some negative family experience, the pure guilt of rebelling against what you know is right causes us to fear and hide. God is always looking for us and trying to find a way to help us. It appears to be difficult for guilty mankind to slow down long enough so that God can talk to us, tell us the real issues, and then tell us how He wants to help us. Today is our opportunity to see if God will bless us or harm us.

Prayer for Today: We have turned away from you God but we are dimly aware that you have not turned away from us. We are thankful that you seek to find us no matter how hard we have tried to hide and mask ourselves. Help us to allow you to help us that we can receive your gifts of awareness, love, and growth. We need you for we can not save ourselves.

Friday, January 8, 2010

God and Man Meet Face to Face

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 11

Adam and Eve’s plan to take care of the problem is revealed as totally inadequate. God comes to take with them, they hear His voice, and then they run and hide. The impact of sin is growing larger in their thinking. All of us think that when the time comes we will be strong and take responsibility for our acts and then in the presence of God all our “good” intentions turn to ropes of sand. We can’t even stand up and face God for our actions, we run and hide. We run and hide physically, or we run and hide behind some kind of excuse. But we know that we have done wrong and we feel the guilt and pain. God wants us to feel the guilt and pain, but not to take care of ourselves but for Him to help us. But most of the time we are running too fast to hear His side of the story.

Prayer for Today: God we are clear today that we have rebelled against you. Our only hope now is that you are more loving, kind, and consistent than we are. We ask again for your help to know that you can help us and that you want to help us. Free us from our fear of you, help us to stop running away, and today ask for your help to restore us to sanity.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Partial Solution

And the eyes of them both wee opened and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:7

Steps 1, 2, 11

Adam and Eve now know that something has changed. They are aware that however they felt before eating the fruit (using your drug or activity of choice in rebelling against what God has clearly told you not to do) they now feel different. They now feel the need to have something cover them and so they decide to take care of the loss by doing something. In this case they decide to make clothing of fig leaves. They apparently do this to cover their nakedness. Somehow they feel that if they have a covering, often times seen as an excuse or alibi, then they can face God and not be embarrassed. They decide to work on the principle of God helps those who help themselves. They rebelled and they will pick up the pieces. I would imagine that they also thought that they would be able to come in front of God and show Him what a good job they had done. They had made a little mistake and they have taken care of the problem. It seems that this kind of thinking is very common with us. We caused the problem and we will take care of the situation. It appears that when ever we do this the problem just gets bigger and more difficult to manage.

Prayer for Today: Oh God here we are again. We have made a mess and we have tried to clean it up and yet no matter how much energy we put into it it seems to get worse. Please help us see the problem the way it is and then give us the process in which it can be changed. We have been over this ground enough to know that with out you to help us it will just grow worse. Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The First Awareness of Wrong

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. Genesis 3:7

Steps 1, 2, 4, 10

Now God is allowing them to “see” what has happened to them. They have rebelled, they have taken the plunge, and they are now going to get “wiser” just like the devil planned. “Wiser” in this context is not necessarily good, but it does mean that they will know more about life than they needed to know. They find out that they are naked. Naked in the Bible means that your situation has changed and now you feel guilty and sensitive when people talk to you about things and events. You want to yell at people and tell them to leave you alone. You start to feel “naked” meaning exposed and fearful. This is the “gift” of rebelling against God.

Prayer for Today: Oh God you know that we have turned against you and rebelled. We have felt the fear and pain of being exposed. We ask again that this time we will allow you to help us for we can not help ourselves.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Deal Goes Bad

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:6

Steps 1, 2, 4, 11, 12

God had told Eve not to eat of the fruit because it would harm her. The serpent (the devil disguised as a snake) tells Eve just the opposite. Eve chooses to believe the serpent and begins to believe that she would be wise. She eats of it, checks it out, and then shares it with her husband. After he checks out Eve, and she is not dead, he also concludes that God did not know what He was talking about and then he joined her in eating the fruit (taking the hit). If the Bible stopped the story here it would seem that they were pretty wise. But the second step of AA indicates that there is a bit of insanity here. In the second step it states that we have to be brought back to sanity. If we have to be brought back then it would appear that for some period of time we have been insane. To hear God and then to rebel against what He has said, to believe satan, and then act on it is insane. Has that been your experience in rebellion so far in your life? Has drug using, or whatever your addiction, brought you the kind of joy and peace that you were looking for?

Prayer for Today: God you already know that I have rebelled against you and did exactly what you told me not to do. I am still struggling with the idea that I made a good deal with the devil. Yet things do not seem to be going as good as I had desired. Please help me to see what is happening to me and let me know the truth about my situation. Help me not to rebel again.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Dealer Comes

Now the serpent (satan according to Revelation 12:9) was more subtil (more persuasive and crafty) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman “yeah, has God said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, “ We can eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said “you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, “ You shall not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes will be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1-5

Steps 1, 2, 3,4,11

God had told Adam and Eve not to eat of this tree in Genesis 2:17 and that if they would eat of this tree they would die. The dealer comes to Eve and tells her just the opposite. We have all been in situations when we knew that we wanted to do something and we knew that it would not be good for us to do it. Just at the time we were making a final decisions somebody comes along to tell us that we can do it and even though other people are telling us that we will get burned we do it anyway. We are willing to take the plunge whatever the cost. This is an old story and we have seen it happen over and over again. We will find out soon whether Eve gets busted or not.

Prayer for Today: God we have had this experience over and over again. It is so repetitious that we are ready to give up. Help us to keep going even though we know that we have done many a foolish thing and not once but hundreds of times. This time let it be different, help me to learn so that I don’t get busted.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Crank Tree

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of Every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die. Genesis 2:16-17.

Step 3, 11

God created millions of trees on the planet and in verse 16 says that of all these trees Adam could freely eat. God created one tree that He made strictly forbidden to eat and then said not only is it forbidden but if you eat of it you will surely die. God knew, man did not, that complete obedience to a loving, infinitely wise God was our only safety. This tree in the Bible is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God wanted us to only eat from the Tree of Life and to learn no evil for it would kill us. Sadly to say, mankind did not listen to God and went ahead and tried the experiment and sure enough what God has said was true.

Mankind has always wrestled with this thought of whether God is telling the truth or if He is trying to keep us from something really good. Evidence is abundant that taking a piece of fruit from the tree, taking a hit of Crank, taking a hit of Marijuana, having our sixth meal in an hour, or whatever our issue is that when God tells us something it is for our good to obey it. If we find we are powerless to obey then we need that extra boost of help that only God can give.

Prayer for today: God we admit that we are guilty of distrusting you. We have done what you told us not to do and we are paying big time. We now ask you to forgive us, help us not to harm ourselves again, and to help us to go forward. Thank you for not giving up on us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Creation

And God saw every thing that He had made , and behold it was very good. Genesis 1:31

Step 2

When God put all things together He made it in such a way that He could say that it was very good. God thought up all the things of this earth and he did it in a manner to reveal things about Himself. Romans 1:20 says the following: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…” God created so that we could know Him and understand things about a being that is so powerful that He can speak and it happens. Since He has this power He is asking us if we will work with Him and if we will trust Him who made the earth and all that is in it.

Prayer for today: God we have seen many things including the cruelty and harshness of life. We don’t know if all of that came with your creation or not. We are trying to hold on to know you better for things aren’t going the way we would like always. We ask that you will help us for we have not been able to help ourselves.