Trapped in a box.

I’m screaming, running, jumping looking for a way out. Trying to tell anyone who will listen the box has changed. I know how to think outside the box. I just don’t know how to get out of the box. My vision is getting worse by the day. My memory is slipping to a point I’m forgetting the things I need to do for my family. I’m having anxiety attacks almost daily and to top all that off I’m afraid of what’s happening. Everyone is beginning to see the actions rise from the fear. A sense of loosing control of the fees things in life that I cherish. Has anyone seen a doorknob a latter anything that can help me get out of this box. I’m sending up flairs,smoke signals everything I can think of but I guess no one can hear me from inside of this box. It’s been a minute since I heard back from my Heavenly Father I know he’s there but I can no longer see the light that he’s held on the path for me. Everyone around me continues to want me to do for them. Even I’m telling the something has changed and when I don’t do something they want me to do. The way they want me to do it. I get the you don’t love me. You don’t care about me. I poor everything I have into my home. I give all my time. So why can’t I get the same love they say I’m not giving them. I need a way out of this box. Why can’t I get someone to come into this space with me so I can communicate with them. Family is a strange thing to deal with. My dad says it all the time but now I understand what it means. Would they do it for me. Everyone has something to say about what’s going on with me. But no one’s willing to listen to the man in the box to get a better understanding standing. I have no more to give. My health is at stake. But I truly think everyone likes me in this box. Where they can look down on me. Use me as an excuse for their unhappiness. I just have one last thing to add. Has anyone taking a good hard look at the man in the box. He’s human. He’s flawed and he has feelings too. If you love me, hear my heart and know I love you. Things have changed and now I have to find a way out of this box.

Days like these.

It’s a really disheartening when you see all your progress disappear. All the hard work building back relationships with family and friends. God give me the strength I need to continue to do the next right thing. To continue to move forward and to help me to forgive myself. Help those close to me. To not give up. To keep me in there prayer and to understand. That this to shall pass. To God be the Glory.

Never Give Up.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, 
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, 
As every one of us sometimes learns, 
And many a failure turns about, 
When he might have won had he stuck it out; 
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow– 
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than 
It seems to a faint and faltering man, 
Often the struggler has given up, 
When he might have captured the victor’s cup, 
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, 
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

KINGDOM LIVING

COMMUNITY

Keeping Chaos out of the culture

In 2 Chronicles 15, we see that isreal’s culture deteriorated for a number of reasons. First , they had turned from seeking the one true God. Second, they no longer had teaching priests. The third missing ingredient in Israel was Gods law. When a culture has a false view of God built on bad information. God begins to remove the restraint of his law, and evil grows unbridled. Even sinners who respect God is removed from or marginalized in culture, then the standard for a society is gone and God becomes that nations worst enemy and nightmare. That’s what happened in Israel.

When the rule of Gods law is missing, chaos replaces community. You can not have order and structure in a society without God. Men become enslaved by the very freedom they seek. We have ungodly people in our culture who don’t want any divine standard to which they must be held accountable. But when God leaves a society, hope goes with him.

As long as you have God, you have hope. He’s the one thing you can count on. If God is still in the picture, and as long as his kingdom agenda is still on the table, it’s not over. Even if circumstances collapse, God will keep the culture in place. As long as God is front and center in a culture, life, family, or church, there’s hope. But when he is removed, his favor, protection, power, and peace are removed too.

Tony Evens study Bible

HABAKKUK

Habakkuk was troubled by the evil he saw running rampant in Judah. He brought his honest concerns to God but was not prepared for Gods answer. God planned to use the cruel and violent Babylonians to punish Judah! Judah, even with all its sin, was far more righteous than Babylon. How could God support Babylon’s success while bringing destruction on Judah?

life is filled with such questions. We are familiar with injustice in our society; often the bad guys seem to win. Why does God allow it? Habakkuk’s prophecy assures us that no matter what we face in life, God never changes his personality or his promises of his word, even when the futures seems to hold nothing but pain. God is powerful enough to use even the bad things in our life to bring about his good will for us and his world.

This prophecy is unique because the prophet never took the role of God’s spokesman. Instead, Habakkuk recorded how God responded to his honest questions about life. God wants us to come to him with our questions and doubts. If we listen to Gods reply, we, like Habakkuk, can have our heart stirred to renewed trust and hope in God. Habakkuk realized that remembering past displays of God’s power would give him faith in God for future struggles. This is part of the value of sharing our stories of deliverance with others. As we remember what God has done for us in recovery, we and others will be strengthened for the conflicts yet to come.

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Honesty

Read psalm 32:1-11

Living a lie is miserable. We may know from personal experience the heavy burden of trying to hide a secret life. If we are avoiding God and withdrawing from people because we fear being found out we are living in needless agony.

Moses understood the price one must pay for trying to live a lie. He prayed, “We wither beneath your anger; we are overwhelmed by your fury. You spread out our sins –and you see them all. We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a grown” (Psalm 90:7-9). David showed us the other side. “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those who’s record the lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed my rebellion to the Lord,’and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Therefore,let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that theymay not drown in the floodwaters of judgment”(Psalm 32: 1-6).

Why should we live with the weight of dishonesty when relief is available to us? God already knows our secret sins anyway. Why continue to suffer needless agony when we can be set free.

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Step 12

Read 1 Timothy 1 : 12-16

The apostle Paul never concealed his past. in sharing his former life as “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man,” he was able to show others just how merciful,gracious, and patient God is.

Paul’s attitude is a good one for each of us to emulate. God wants to use our triumphs over our past to glorify Himself. If we are listening carefully to His voice, we will find that He is placing before us opportunities to share how we have been changed.

Many people agonize through life because they believe they are not good enough for God to love or to save. Sharing the recovery stories of how our lives have been transformed may become the key that opens the door of Gods love to a struggling friend.

As we continue to practice and apply each of the Twelve Steps, our daily lives can be “a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him.”

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Today

Today has been a struggle for me. I’m searching for peace and finding none. I find myself irritated and not fully understanding why. I have so much to be grateful for yet I’m not finding the emotional release I need in none of the things I do or the people I find around me. However I know God has a plan and a purpose for me and my life. I just have to keep the faith and stay in his will. I really miss having my recovery group up and running. I think I have to find a new way to get it back up and running. Theres been so many changes I just need to take a better look a my position before I take this next step. However until then I’ll just keep putting God first. Continue to do the next right thing and keep my integrity intact. And let God show me how to navigate this journey that’s unique to the vision he has give me. So let me go find me a meeting to go to so I can talk with somebody that understands my struggle.

Greater is He.

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Greater Is He That Is In Me: The Real Meaning of 1 John 4:4

JUNE 1, 2015

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” — 1 John 4:4, ESV

The Catchphrase

This passage of scripture is one of the most popularly quoted among Christians — right up there with John 3:16 (“God so loved the world”), 1 Timothy 1:7 (“God has not given us a spirit of fear”), and Romans 10:9(“confess with your mouth”). It is a motivational verse for fearless living. Whether its dealing with a bad boss, an unfaithful friend, a critic, or with some unmet life goal, this verse is used to encourage Christians that they can overcome any perceived obstacle in their life.

What many fail to realize is that the writer John has a very specific purpose in mind for this statement that has nothing to do with bad bosses, unfaithful friends, or life dreams. Rather, John’s goal is to assure his readers that they have overcome the false prophets he introduces in verse 1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

It’s frustrating that Christians who quote 1 John 4:4 almost never mention it within the context of dealing with false teachers. In fact, many false teachers themselves use this very verse to support their health and wealth prosperity gospel. It is used as a motivational instrument to encourage people to have the courage to chase their own dreams and desires.

That’s probably why you’ll find it on coffee mugs and bookmarks, mouse pads and t-shirts in every Christian store and coffee shop. Many popular Christian songs include the verse in their lyrics, not to mention in top selling devotionals. To many Christians, 1 John 4:4 is just another in a line of marketable catchphrases.

The Context

John’s intent, however, isn’t to promote a clever one-liner marketing catchphrase. He instead has in mind to give confidence to believers battling against the false teachings of Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that truth comes from personally applied knowledge and experience (Greek γνῶσις, transliterated gnosis). In other words, instead of trusting in the revealed word of God in scripture, they believed that a person needed new, special revelation to understand “hidden meanings” of scripture. These false teachers would sometimes claim that they had visions or new prophecies not found in scripture and that they had divine authority to impose these revelations upon the church.

Many false teachings found in today’s churches employ similar Gnostic principles. Whether it’s through the requirement of speaking in tongues as the genuine sign of true Christianity as claimed by Pentecostalism, the spurious revelations of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon claimed by the church of the Latter Day Saints, or the prophetic utterances of the Word of Faith preachers, they all deny the sufficiency of the Bible as the completely revealed word of God. At the core of these false religions lies the belief that the Bible is simply not enough. They are always in continual need of new prophecies, new experiences, new techniques and new requirements to reach God.

With so many cults and counterfeit faiths in the world, I’ve long wondered how I could be sure that I myself would not be sucked into false teaching. John answers that in 1 John 4:4 by saying that those who are “from God have overcome them.” Those who are “from God” are identified in verse 6 as those who listened to the apostle John (and presumably the testimony of the other apostles as well). We know what the apostles taught because it is recorded in the New Testament books of the Gospels and the epistles. By remaining faithful to the teachings of scripture, therefore, the believer can be sure that he is indeed from God and that he is protected against the schemes of false teachers that surround and infiltrate the church.

The Command

John’s command to his audience is stated in both negative and positive terms. First, he instructs them not to “believe every spirit” (1 John 4:1). The implication here is that every spirit does not deserve the trust of the true believer. According to John Gill’s commentary, a good contextual definition of the word “spirit” refers to “every doctrine that is pretended to come from the Spirit of God”. Even Jesus predicted that impostors would appear in Matthew 24:5 when He said that “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray”. It is easy for someone to claim that they have “received a word from the Lord” or was told something by the Spirit, but John exhorts his audience not to believe anyone’s teaching solely based on this claim.

Flipping to a positive exhortation, John commands the church to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). He then tells the audience exactly by what criteria each spirit should be tested:

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” — 1 John 4:2–3

John says here that the test for whether a spirit is the Holy Spirit, or whether it is from the antichrist, is to assess how well it reflects a true and accurate doctrine of Christ. The word “test” here means to “recognize as genuine after examination” (Greek δοκιμάζω, transliterated dokimazō). By this standard, Paul authenticated the authority of his teaching to the Corinthian church when he wrote saying “I…did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom[,] for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1–2).

As God’s elect, we are not called to merely accept any assertion at face value, but to thoroughly and reasonably examine the testimony of anyone who claims to speak by the Spirit of God. Whether pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, bishop, prophet, or next door neighbor, every word they speak be verified and validated by the canon of scripture, sola scriptura.

The Conclusion

There are many ministries and doctrines in the church that claim to preach Jesus, but any teaching that does not make Jesus the absolute central focus of its theology is inherently anti-Jesus. However, a biblical Christology assures the believer that he can rely on the full power of the Godhead to protect him from the deceptions of false teachers (see the temptation of Christ, Matthew 4:1–11). Those who purport to have a different Gospel than what the Bible teaches will not ultimately succeed, for “just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth…but they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men” (2 Timothy 3:8–9).

For those of us who are among God’s elect, it can sometimes feel like defending the Gospel of Christ is a losing battle in a world where false teachers enjoy unprecedented success. Yet we are already victorious if we are truly from God. We ought to give thanks daily to God that His divine, revealed word gives us all that we need to maintain the course and finish the race. Our joy remains in this, that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.