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Step Two For Christians In Recovery

 
Old 03-24-2002, 02:57 PM
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Roven_Rev
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Post Step Two For Christians In Recovery

Step 2

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

"The Step 2 phrase "Came to believe" suggest a process and a progression of faith that evolves over time. A portion of A.A.'s oral tradition defines this as a three-part unfolding: First, we came, that is, we showed up and stumbled in the door. Second, we came to, that is, we sobered up, came to our senses, and began to experience emotional sobriety. Third, we came to believe. We began our real recovery process and our spiritual growth. This style of spiritual growth closely parallels the strong Christian tradition that each person must come to an individual knowledge of God.

Step 2 is a logical outgrowth of Step 1 because, if in Step 1, we have admitted our own powerlessness, then the next step is to seek a new source of strength or power to take charge for us and to make us sane (well and whole). For some people, spiritual conversion is dramatic as it was for the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). For most, however, it is very gradual. As one grows and matures emotionally, one also grows spiritually.

Before we can welcome in a new Power to restore us to wellness, we will probably have to engage in some emotional and spiritual "housecleaning":

1) We must bring into abstinence or balance all the addictive agents through which we have sought to meet our deepest needs. If it is a chemical, we must stop using. If it is a relationship, we must bring this into balance. In other words, those things that we have become excessive, must be put into proper perspective. - not lifted onto a pedestal to be worshiped.

2) We must transcend the god of reason if we have been worshiping God through an exclusively intellectual approach.

3) We must renounce the tendency to play God ourselves. We must grow beyond selfishness, narcissism, and grandiosity.

4) We must also renounce putting other people or human institutions in the roles of gods.

Not only must we be rid of false gods, if we are looking to the Judeo-Christian God as our higher power, but we may also need to overcome old sources of bitterness toward Him:

1) We may have identified God with an abusive parent.

2) We may have had negative experiences with the church (hypocrisy, bigoty, condemnation).

3) We may be struggling with a sense that God has failed us -- that He has allowed us to become codependent.

4) We may be angry that God has not instantaneously healed us of our addictive illnesses.

As we commit ourselves to a lifetime of recovery, our starting point may be our recovery literature. And that literature makes a valuable contribution toward the opening of spiritual doors. But if we really want to full the void, if we really want to break down the barriers hindering our progress, we need to turn to the ultimate source of God's Word and discover what the Scriptures have to tell us. By exploring the Bible, we will learn more about God, we will draw closer to Him, and we will discover more about His will for us."

To help you understand what the Scriptures say about God's power to restore us to wholeness, see the following passages:

Matthew 12:18-21
Mark 9:23,34
Luke 13:10-13
John 6:63
John 12:46
Psalm 18:1-3
Psalm 142

Source: "Serenity" A Companion For Twelve Step Recovery"

We have provided a Bible search engine with multiple translations to assist you in your search.

Click here http://www.donet.com/~denf/search1.htm This Bible Search will open in its own window To return, simply close the window.

May God Bless you as your journey continues.
------------------
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm

Den

[This message has been edited by Roven_Rev (edited April 28, 2002).]
 
Old 03-28-2002, 07:13 PM
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I love the scripture you referenced, Mark 9:23. It's the story of the healing of the boy who was possessed. The father tells Jesus that His disciples were unable to drive out the spirits. He then tells Jesus ..."But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

Mark 9:23 " 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

The story goes onto relay that the father came to believe and that Jesus drove the demon out of the boy.

Afterwards, when Jesus and His disciples were alone, the disciples ask Him why they were unable to drive the demon out.

Mark 9:29 "He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."

The implication here is that the disciples believed themselves powerful enough to ward off the demon. Their lack of prayer seems to imply that they did not understand that all power they possessed came through Jesus and not of their own accord.

That scripture is such a clear picture of what my faith has been. My thinking was so backwards. God was always my last resort if I dared to enlist His aid at all. I'd get things so screwed up I didn't think anyone could fix it, including God. But there would always come a point where I was stripped of every option and God was my last hope. So there I'd stand, with my head hung and my hands extended, saying, "Um .... God? I brought you this pile of manure I created in my life. Would you please see if you can make something out of it?"

I have this mental picture of God with His arms reaching out to me saying, "Child of mine, I've been waiting for you to ask. What took you so long?"

He doesn't always "fix it", but He always plant seeds of wisdom in my dung heaps, and eventually I reap a great harvest of spirituality and faith.

Just for today I will trust in the Lord with all my heart...


Peace & Prayers,

EyesWideOpen
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Old 03-28-2002, 07:36 PM
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Yes. That was beautiful and so true.

Our study of Step 2 goes on to say:

"When we have been held captive by damaging dependencies or addictive behaviors, it is sometimes hard to believe the we will ever be free of them. The words of Luk 1:37 need to take root deep in our hearts: 'For with God nothing will be impossible.'

A frightened and doubting father discovered the truth of these words when he brought his precious, demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing. With all hope nearly gone, he pleaded, "If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.

Instead of criticizing this man for his lack of faith, Jesus pointed to the importance of the fathers trust in God to do what is humanly impossible. The fathers's cry echoes the cry of each of our hearts, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!' He declared his faith but was honest about his weakness.

When we truly want to believe in God's great power to deliver us, He will be there, helping us to release our doubt, to yield our dependencies, and to place trust in Him."

And He does stand there at the door with his arms outstreched, waiting for us to knock.

Amen...Amen...Amen!

Source: "Serenity"
 
Old 03-29-2002, 01:59 AM
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Hi Rev,

I'm struggling as usual......

how do we'transcend the god of reason'

Does that mean having blind faith?

I can't do that,stuff has to make sense! I have been trying to pray for guidance,that i will be lead to the truth,and i am making alot of effort too with visiting all the different religious elders I can find in the area, and I must say right now I feel very well occupied,my search is very exciting,hope this is the right way about going about step two......My partner says that our poor vicar is looking very persecuted lately.....he's kind of busy right now I guess,he says good friday is a bit exhausting.

Im doing good now the spring is here,feeling loads happier,havent used for 5 days either.....

love clancy
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Old 03-29-2002, 02:55 AM
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Rev, Eyes wide shut, this is a terrific site and a idea whose time has come.I am a Christian with a strong belief in "faith" and the power and glory of Our Savior Jesus Christ. I have just recently come through a harrowing situation with my family and for a short time faced homelessness. It is only through the Glory of God, faith and prayer that I am able to write this today. Bless you and continue striving to bring recovery and spirituality in the lives of the still sick and suffering.

Hebrew 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
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Old 03-29-2002, 05:08 AM
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Step 2
Persistent Seeking
Bible Reading; Job 14:1-6
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

One thing thatmay make it hard to believe in God is that life often seems unfair to us. We didn't ask to be born into a dysfunctional family! We didn't have any say over the abuses and injustices we have suffered! We didn't choose our predisposition toward addiction. And yet we are held accountable for things we can't control on our own. This makes it hard to initially turn to God as the Power to restore our sanity. He seems unreasonable in his demands.
Job understood these feelings. In the midst of his suffering he said, "How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear. Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature and demand an accounting from me? Who can create purity in one born impure?" (Job 14:1-4). These are good questions---ones that most of us have asked in one form or another. Job persisted in his questioning because deep inside he believed God to be good and fair, even though life wasn't. He was honest with his emotions and questions, but he never stopped seeking God.
There is a good answer to the question Job posed, one that will satisfy both our heart and our mind. It will be found, however, only by those who are willing to work through the pain and unfairness of life and still seek God. Those who seek him will find him. In God's loving arms, they will also find the answers they seek.
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Old 03-29-2002, 07:51 AM
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Pernell:

Welcome back! I have sorely missed you and your guidance.

I must confess that I do not have a strong background in the Old Testament. I am familiar with the favorite parables, psalms, and proverbs but I haven't spent all that much time studying those scriptures, so I welcome the opportunity to learn more from the teachings there. Thank you for sharing that.

I just read the scripture in Job 10:1-17. It's about how Job was so bitter that he painted this false picture of God. He thought God was angry with him and that God took delight in punishing the wicked. My study bible says, "In times of severe suffering, people may say things that require a response of love and understanding. Job will eventually repent, and God will forgive."

... all of which made my start thinking about my recent work on Step 2 ...

Clancy:

First, congratulations on your 5 days of freedom. Praise God.

I want to share with you something that I learned in walking through my Step 2. I came to the part of the study that ask me to identify the attributes my Higher Power did and did not have. I thought that was going to be an easy one until I started writing. I found that I had never really identified who God was. I had many definitions and descriptions of God given to me by others over the course of my life, but I had never clearly defined who He was to me. It's no wonder I've been struggling with surrendering to Him. How can I surrender to someone I don't even know or understand? God was a stranger to me even though I called myself a Christian and sat on a pew inside a building called a "church" every Sunday. I had not sought to have a personal relationship with God. He was just my "go to guy" when I got myself in trouble. I had no faith because I had no relationship with God.

If you want to find God and develop a relationship with Him, first you must identify whom it is you're looking for. If you had to describe Him for a missing person's report, what kind of information what you give? (Remember: Physical attributes are not the only identifiable features.)

Second, you must seek Him where He dwells. God does not dwell inside buildings. He dwells inside people. Your body is His temple. Look inside.

Acts 17:24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands."

1Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Romans 8:9 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirt, if the Spirt of God lives in you."

Third, I want to leave you with this link. It's an outline of a Pastor's sermon regarding Blind Faith.
http://www.calvarychapel.com/library...k-005-001c.htm

Please give me some feedback on your take of that information. I use that site a lot for my own study. If you like the style, I'll include more of the teachings from there.

Peace & Prayers,

EyesWideOpen

[This message has been edited by EyesWideOpen33 (edited March 29, 2002).]
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Old 03-29-2002, 01:39 PM
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Eyes, the sermon on "Blind Faith" is a powerful sermon and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Clancy is a favorite of mine. Hi Clancy, you seem to be seeking in all the right places. This new site does give air to a Higher Power. It is a worthy quest to identify your Higher Power or at least a Power greater than yourself that able to restore you to sanity. The Second Step, I like to have another say on that if you all will bear with me.

Step 2
Grandiose Thinking
Bible Reading: Daniel 4:19-33
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

When we are caught up in our addiction, it's common for us to deny the truth about our situation with grandiose thinking. We may believe that we're above it all, a god unto ourself, accountable to no one.
In his day, Nebuchadnezzar, king of ancient Babylon, was the most powerful ruler on earth. He believed he was a god and demanded to be wordshipped. Through Daniel God said to him, "This is....what the Most High has declared will happen to you. You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals....until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses." (Daniel 4:24-25).
This happened just as Daniel had predicted. At the end of the king's time in exile, he said, "I...looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshipped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever....When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom....with even greater honor than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble those who are proud." (Daniel 4:34,36-37).
We are not God; we are accountable to God---a higher power. This higher power can remedy our "madness" and restore our life to be even better than it was before our season of "insanity." God will do so if we entrust our life to him.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR's Dream about a Tree
King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

Peace and prosperity to you!

"I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations."
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Old 03-29-2002, 06:06 PM
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I think I've short-changed myself by neglecting the teachings of the Old Testament.

I've heard the story many times, but I didn't remember the sanity verses. If Nebuchadnezzar can be restored to sanity so can I .... and you... and you... and you ...

Beautiful. Thanks Pernell.

God is good.

Eyes

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Old 03-30-2002, 12:24 AM
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Hi Rev

Wow,what do you have in store for me? I feel excited.....and a little nervous.I always feel like that when I make these big theological forays,its like,what could be more interesting ang meaningful?

What am I going to find? yikes,you know,sometimes the pit can get real cosy.....


Hi Eyes,

Hmm you asked about the attributes of a god that iam looking for......

Thats hard, but i thought about it and....

1 Tolerance is important to me,I feel turned off by religious exclusivism(did I spell that right?...) I hate that in some religions gay people aren't accepted,or are told they are going to hell unless they change their ways.I hate that arrogance that im right and everyone else is wrong,and of course, the coup-de-grace,they are going to hell.I need a belief that respects the beliefs of others,that understands that people have different ways of believing in different cultures,and may believe in different manifestations of god.

2 Non - violence is important to me as well...How can people sit down on a sunday to eat a brutally murdered body, one of Gods own beautiful creations! and the first tenet of their religion is 'thou shall not kill'.......thats so incredibly nearsighted and horrible.I need a religion that is essentially paccifist and vegetarian.Sorry to be a hippy!

I don't mean to be having a go at christianity,it is just one of the harder religions to understand for me,I have similar problems with Islam.Im working hard on overcomming these prejudices.

I feel puzzled as to why the mix of religions is not wider on this site....i'd love to hear from any recovering hindus,buddhists,jews who may be lurking......and of course anyone else from any faith at all.

I think buddhism comes closest to what I am looking for in a lot of ways, and I love the wise counsel of the Dalai Lama.When ever I hear or see him I am entranced,he has an aura of serenity and great wisdom around him.I don't feel the same about the arch bishop of canterbury.....at all.

I'm reading the Tibetan book of the dead right now it is blowing me away....but some of the deep theology is incredibly complex and quite scary.

I think sometimes I should just throw myself in and see what happens,but I don't want to screw up again, I did that with the Hare Krishna movement.It turned to be frighteningly misogynist, and there was alot of corruption.I accept of course that the philosophy itself maybe pure..(but it IS misogynist) those particular devotees had just lost their way.

Hmm, im going on at great length again,hope im not being really dull.This probably the longest step two in the history of NA!

Im going to have a look at that sermon on blind faith now.

Talk soon.

lots of love

Clancy - feeling optimistic lately...
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Old 03-30-2002, 12:48 AM
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P.S

I don't not believe in God because of any family dysfunction( my parents taught me to be open minded and never to accept stff as'given' but to investigate and come to an informed decision) or because of anything that has happened to me personally,or to the world.

I just didn't believe because it seemed totally illogical.Also it seems to me very likely that, as human beings we are so egocentric that we cannot bear to contemplate the anihilation of the ego.So we create all these incredibly complex belief systems to save us from death.I hate this idea,I hope it isn't true,but its pretty convincing.Having said that, I have pretty much moved on from that.....

Im gonna go before disapear up my own ass!

Bye!

Clancy xxx
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Old 03-30-2002, 02:13 PM
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Clancy:

I apologize for the delay in responding. I read your post and I want to tell you it's been a blessing. It made me do some research and I've gained a wealth of knowledge because of it.

The first thought that came to mind is that you seem to have the identity of your Higher Power wrapped up inside a religion. Your Higher Power is someone, something that is more powerful than man, more powerful than you, more powerful than addiction, and just maybe He is so powerful He cannot be contained or restricted to the confines of a "religion". (Something to think about anyway.)

You mentioned many theologies and many men, but no real spiritual force. I think it is important to separate your Higher Power from religion. They really are two different subjects.

I thought the tolerance attribute you listed about your Higher Power was a great start. You indicated that many "religions" practice intolerance. Does that necessarily mean that God is intolerant? In 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 Paul speaks specifically about the intolerance that was excercised within the body of Christ at that time. The Corinthians had mistook a previous letter from him to mean that they should disassociate themselves from all immoral persons, including non-Christians. In reality, Paul was telling them to separate themselves from immoral persons within the body of Christ who claimed to be Christians.

The Bible teaches us to "Love thy neighbor as thy self". I just don't see any room for intolerance or hate in that statement. Do you?

As for the non-violence... once again... a great attribute. I found some scripture specifically regarding the issue of eating meat. (Thank you for bringing this subject up. I had no idea it was even in the Bible. The things I've learned this week!! WOW!!)

Romans 14:13-18 "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men."

You're on the right path Clancy. Keep seeking....

Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Peace & Prayers,

EyesWideOpen

[This message has been edited by EyesWideOpen33 (edited March 30, 2002).]
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