I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.

Okay, it’s Sunday morning.  I’ve awaken earlier than usual, to get my devotions done before the morning attack of the destroyer.  If I resist him, he will have to flee.  I will ready the resistance.  God, please deliver me from the bondage of self and bind up the spiritual forces that war against my unity with You.

 

 

From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

We strive to: Stop kidding ourselves that a bite or two would make some bad situation better or easier to live with.  By working the Twelve Steps, we develop a way of thinking and acting which enables us to live each day without eating compulsively, regardless of what may upset us or how hard the urge for a little taste may hit us.”  – A Commitment to Abstinence, p. 2

The “kidding ourselves” is the stinking thinking that the liar is right.  The destroyer has been whispering in the ear of men and women since Adam and Eve, trying to get us to eat forbidden food.  The lie has never been about food, but about boundaries, about control, about deserving it, about being on equal terms with God rather than submitted to Him.  “Sssurely a tasssste won’t hurt,” the deceiver hisses to you and me.  “Have jusssst a little more.  You dessserve it!  Indulgence is blisssss.”

We recoil from it as from a hot flame.  …That is how we react so long as we remain if fit spiritual condition.” (AA, pp.84-85, emphasis mine)  We live out the practices of pausing, of relying on God’s power to do what we know rather than what we feel, and of our commitment to turn from harming ourselves and others, serving others as amends to both them and us.

From Proverbs Chapter 29:

12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.

Reading this literally, I can envision a king on a throne, who surrounds himself with those who tell him what he wants to hear so much that those who would be honest with him either give into the trend or avoid his audience completely.  Wisdom has no place in the chamber of such a king.  Truth evades him, and his indulgences, like his rule, are luxurious but short-lived.  Outside, there is almost assuredly unrest, injustice, and unchecked abuse.

Practical application of this verse has me in the chair that would be the ruler’s throne.  I have a decision to make: to choose to whom I will give my ear.  If I believe the liar’s lie, my whole entourage will indulge me with my every whim.  If “I deserve” is allowed a place at my table, then I will believe the whole table is for me.  As I engage in the practice of giving into the lie, giving into the lie will become my habitual response.  The mind and body become best at what they do most – it is the anatomical truth of neurophysics.  If my brain, the ruler of my body, listens and responds to lies, all the command centers of my body will become wickedly self-indulgent.

Precious Savior, thank You for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life, so that instead of choosing the lie, I can choose to accept Your offer of rescue, Your provision for a healthy, sane life, and Your proposal to unite in eternity.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 11:

An interesting thing happens in this chapter.  King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, prepared for war in response to Jeroboam’s rebellion, but God prevented him.  “4 ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.”  Jeroboam would turn most of Israel to idol worship that will take generations to clean out, but God allowed it.  The true king, who sought justice and aligned himself with God, and who trusted in the priests of the tribe of Levi, prepared himself to fight against his rebellious brothers, but was restrained.  Instead, he built up the defenses of his towns, he made ready a fighting resistance.  He kept from harming those outside his control, but steadied his own against attack, fortifying his perimeter to protect what was declared his.

It is this kind of fortified defense that is required of me.  I recognize that I am not at war against my fellows, but against a destroyer who would have me at war against my very self.  This has been the theme of my devotion today, but it has been the mission statement of the part of me that is warrior and priest of Almighty God every moment of every day.  It is summed up quite nicely in Ephesians 6:11-13, “11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

To stand” is the goal.  When the day of evil comes…to stand.  When the world is dark and overpowering…to stand.  When the struggle appears to be a matter of flesh and blood…to stand.  When the odds of my success seem ghostly thin…to stand.  When I have done everything I can, and it still isn’t enough…to stand.  When the whisper of the liar echoes in my ear – by God’s power, I will stand!

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 11:

If there was a Devil, he seemed the Boss Universal, and he certainly had me.

     But my friend sat before me, and he made the point blank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. His human will had failed. Doctors had pronounced him incurable. Society was about to lock him up. Like myself, he had admitted complete defeat. Then he had, in effect, been raised from the dead, suddenly taken from the scrap heap to a level of life better than the best he had ever known!

 

OD@aT    “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3 John 2

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