Abstinent Today:

I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We had to replace our old ideas about God with a faith that worked.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 16

Faith that works is more than just a functional faith, one that fits, appeals to its owner, or is somehow suitable; it is one that gets busy and active.  Most of us are either afraid or resentful enough of God, in our misconceptions of Him, that we remain paralyzed where we are.  Whether we think He’s out to get us, or hurt because He didn’t move in the way we wanted Him to, we shirk our duty to move forward, and resist all His attempts to draw us toward Him.  Belief in a God one doesn’t wish to be around or serve is the same kind of belief the demons have (James 2:19). This new faith replaces our resentments with an acceptance that God knows best and is working for our good according to His purposes (Romans 8:28), which are bigger than our desires.  It turns our fear into a healthy reverence for a loving God who is big enough to maintain the universe and handle our problems too.  This replacement faith removes the idol of Self from the throne of our lives and places God back where He belongs, so that we can move forward loving one another with the love that overflows from the good gifts we receive from Him.  As we participate in the development of this spiritual revival, we find ourselves the garden bed of such bountiful fruit as: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  Faith that works is more than belief; it is a vital movement of that belief in loving action (James 2:26).

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Revelation 18, NIV:

This chapter gives me concern because it starts out with a proclamation that “Babylon the Great” has fallen, then goes on to describe the fall of yet another Babylon, as though there was a “Babylon the lesser.”  Some may say that this refers to the lesser kingdoms that were built on the land where Babylon was: Iraq, Syria, etc., but from the description, I see a different city.

11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore—

19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:

“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

The center of world trade is no longer Babylon.  Ship’s captains don’t look to Baghdad for their wealth, and kings don’t prostitute themselves for what meets at the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, but the Hudson, Harlem, and East Rivers that surround Manhattan.  Is this a certainty?  Of course not.  I have no knowledge except what has been given to me, and this is a guess based on my own study.  I hope I am wrong, and I hesitate to write it at all except that we have come to a chapter with little other news than the fall of this great city, about which such mourning will take place, and afterwards, complete desolation forever, according to verse 23:

23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world’s important people.
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.

By what magic spell have we allowed ourselves to be led astray?  Materialism?  Mysticism?  Entertainment?  Or their great-great-granddaddy, Selfishness?  Regardless of maps or musings about what might be, we need to be on guard against anything in any kingdom that would lead us away from the truth that we are God’s spiritual children, actively pursuing God’s purposes, subject to God’s time, according to God’s will.

God, rescue me from the bondage of Self, that I may do Your will completely!

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 14 and 15:

Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.

 

Footnotes:

*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.

‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous:  “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’

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