I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
It is the Fourth of July, the day the United States celebrates its Independence Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the American Continental Congress. While I am grateful to live in a nation known for its freedom, I recognize that liberty without conscience – freedom without integrity – is mere folly. The founding fathers recognized “Nature’s God,” the “Creator,” the “Supreme Judge of the World,” and relied on “the protection of divine Providence” with their plan and their very lives. The privilege of living free of the fear of tyranny unfortunately seems to have morphed into a sense that those under the color of this protection are free to do whatever they please whenever they wish regardless of whomever it may harm. I am grieved today on our nation’s 237th birthday at what it has become: one nation under God but oblivious to Him. Even as excited as I am about our nation’s independence from its mother Britain, I am celebrating my dependence on my Father God, and pray for the same dependence to sweep over all who are willing to live abundantly and walk the path of relationship with our Creator, the Supreme Judge of the World.
The KLOVE encouraging word of the day, was this:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” (Luke 4:18 NLT)
I was humbled and energized at the same time, as I felt the same anointing on my life and accepted those words with excitement. As I thought about the liberty, clarity and deliverance promised by the Gospel as written in the Luke’s account of the address of Jesus, who was quoting Isaiah at the time, I was disappointed in the lack of power in the lives of most of us today. I immediately was stirred to recall 2 Timothy 3:1-5, which convicts most of the religious world for their lackluster version of the Gospel watered down by the traditions and personal preferences of man.
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
What it sounds like to me is that people, in ever increasing measure, have been and will be more interested in exercising their own individual liberties regardless of consequences. I am ashamed that I have been one to deny the power of God. I have doubted the power to restore and provide, but I have also wimped out when it came to believing in miracles of other sorts as well.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
Since I stopped fighting my Higher Power’s will, one day at a time, I’ve not relapsed. My life has become more than “manageable.” It has become more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined.
This VOR contributor has learned that dependence, when it is on God, is far better than individual independence. There is liberty only in association with the Victor!
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for buying me from my bondage and for freeing me from my tyrannical ruler: self.
From Proverbs 4, NIV:
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
This is the reality that breaks my heart for the people of the world. The darkened spirit does not know it is darkened; it only knows it is discontent, stumbling here and there, clueless to its purpose or that there is another way. This is why I am excited about my role as ambassador of Heaven as long as I am here on Earth. Maybe, as I keep learning to live according to God’s will, others will see the Spirit inside me and want the same for themselves.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Timothy 1, NIV:
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
I don’t want to get into an argument with Paul here, but I’m sure his first place as worst sinner was only ahead of my second place by a small margin. Have you ever felt like you don’t deserve any of God’s good things? Like all you really deserve is to die a torturous death? There is good news for anyone who feels that way: you’re absolutely right! That doesn’t sound like good news, but to most of us being right is no small consolation. The extraordinarily Good News is that the torturous death sentence we each deserve has been served already, and the good things we don’t deserve have been paid for in full. I don’t deserve anything I have, and yet I have all I need. Accepting mercy is not easy to do. It requires accepting relationship with the Creator and His Savior, a matched pair without One of which I could not have the Other.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62:
He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.
*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.
† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.