Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Trusting Thee Lord Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 2:12b – You lived in this world without God and without hope. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:20b – You must honor God with your body. (NLT)
Romans 12:2b – Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (NLT)
I don't drink or use drugs, but I do admit that I have an addiction: using food to numb my reality, effectively committing suicide with a knife and fork. Being overly impulsive and compulsive goes along with that. Right after Prohibition was lifted and the Great Depression started, alcoholism became a real problem in society. At that time, a group of believers came together to help one another with what is actually a physical disease, caused by the emotions. They used the book of James as their text to find God's way out of their addiction. Similar fellowships now exist for those trapped in webs of drugs, sex, gambling, finances, overeating, and likely many others. Thus begins the spiritual practice of admitting that we can't recover alone. We need God's help in facing our individual reality. Overeaters call it, "Facing my stuff rather than stuffing my face." The now well-known Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous present a capsulized version of how to live the life in God. Then, of course, we go on, simultaneously, to learn and grow in our individual faith fellowship, whatever that might be.
One of the great things about spiritual recovery is that it always includes physical recovery, too. The fact that a spiritual life exists is a complete revelation to most folks. But how do I lead both lives? Where do I begin? Those are the questions that lead us to salvation by faith through God's grace, and then, step by step, to know Him better, growing and learning as we surrender to God all those things that kept us a slave to this world. Paul complained about his old life, that he did what he knew he should not do, and that on his own, he could see no way out. That's what we learn, too, as we surrender to God, put our lives in His hands, and no longer regret the past, because it brought us to our knees.
It is then that we find the joy and freedom of God's plan for our lives, new ways and new ideas.
Ephesians 1:19 – I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. (NLT)
Ephesians 2:8b – And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (NLT)
Prayer: Dear God of our understanding, right now, we are so thankful that there is a way up and out from the mire of this present world, a way of living that so many have demonstrated to us, that really works, immediately accessible through prayer and practice. Please help each of us to turn our minds and lives over to You, resting in Your hope and Your promises that we can count on You from now on, living the way that You always intended us to live. Thank You for the physical transformation that comes to our outsides as we honour You with our insides. We are grateful that You have brought us today to this understanding of Your truth. Amen.