180 Basic Training # 1 – blog

 In Daily Encouragement

If you are going to begin to become unentangled from sexual sin you MUST have the attitude that you are ALL IN.  You will do whatever it takes to begin to experience the Holy Spirit begin to transform you into being a godlier person.  You are entering one of the toughest battles of your life.  The world, the flesh, and the devil will not give up easily.

Choosing to have this ALL IN attitude is absolutely necessary and it will come down to maintaining that attitude every day.  There will be an initial excitement and momentum that you have made this decision.  However, we have some sayings in 180 based on our own experiences …

Recovery is Not Perfection. It is Making Progress.

and

Recovery is Not a Procedure. It is a Process.

I believe your intentions are genuine.  Perhaps your marriage is on the line which is a very strong motivator.  Maybe you are in danger of losing your job and family – also highly motivating potential realities. So, be prepared to have a battle on your hands as the years, if not decades of addictive behavior will demand you go back to this instant fix that does not fix anything.

To counterbalance what will become increasing levels of temptation and the effects of withdrawal, which will be serious, you need to hold on to some biblical realities that many people who are addicted have forgotten.

Critical Lesson # 1 – God’s Love for You is Unconditional

This is hard to believe when you have been walking in darkness and shame because of your sexual sin.  Yet, it is one of the most profound truths taught in the Bible.  Paul makes this very clear at the end of Romans 8 where we read;

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We tend to believe that God’s love for us is conditional and based on whether we are living in obedience to His commands.  When in reality God’s love for us began not only before we were born but before the creation came into existence.  He tells us that in Ephesians 1;

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…”

He chose us before the creation of the world and predestined us to be adopted as His children.  Not based on whether or not we would be able to follow His commandments.  He chose us and adopted us so that through Him we might be able to walk in obedience.

However, this walking in obedience, apart from the Holy Spirit empowering us, is impossible to fully realize on our own.  God has placed His Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity inside of our bodies so that we might receive from Him the power to walk in purity.

There is only one verse in the Bible that makes this abundantly clear.  We find it in Galatians 5;

So, I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

One very important thing I have learned over the past 13+ years.  I must rely on the power of the Spirit to turn away from and flee from sexual lusts.

If I am believing that because of my sexual sin God has turned against me and no longer loves me then I am effectively cutting off the very power supply that I need to live in purity.

I start to believe the shame and guilt I am feeling because of my sin and believe a lie that God no longer loves me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

How do I know this?  Because God has forever demonstrated His love for all of us by becoming the man Jesus and sacrificing himself on the cross to pay the penalty for all of our sins.  That is a historical fact that cannot be denied and should forever communicate the extent of His eternal love for us.

Therefore, the first step in our Basic Training is to be thankful every day that God still loves us, in spite of our sin, and His desire is to give us the power to change through the Holy Spirit and living in a community of others who will help us.  Wallowing in shame and guilt will never help us.  By faith, thanking Him for His eternal love is the antidote to these lies.

I recommend you pray this prayer daily …

Thank you, Father, that you love me unconditionally and have shown me the extent of your love by sending Jesus to die for our sins.  Help me to believe that you still love me in spite of my sins and to experience your Spirit in my life today so that I might walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.  Amen and Amen!!!

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