Last week I had an opportunity to travel with my husband to meet our new company’s board members and investors. During our stay in Dallas I caught up with my small group from Gateway Church, reconnected with my friends Susie, Cindy and Mary, and met new friends Tonya, Monette and Diane. God always shows up in this group and this day was no exception. Cindy shared what God continues to speak to her: “We must not take no when God says, Yes!” Shehas shared these words with us on more than one occasion, but this time it came to me with a fresh meaning.
Let’s do a little grammar and look at the tense of the word. It isn’t said, in the past tense, but in the present tense, says.Meaning, the promises in the Bible were not just for the people in Old and New Testament times. The Power of God’s “Yes”is for us today!
God says, “Yes!” to so many things that I think we sometimes take it for granted. Maybe we don’t even realize what He says, “Yes!” about to begin with. He says, “Yes!” to marriage and family restoration; emotional, mental and physical healing; financial breakthroughs; deliverance from low self-esteem and freedom from addictions.
Our problem is that we choose instead to believe the voice in our head that continues to repeat messages from the enemy; messages of doubt and unbelief, confusion and uncertainty, discouragement and defeat.
QUESTION: What are you saying no to today? Physical healing, your marriage, addiction recovery…
CHALLENGE: This Christmas say “Yes!” to God’s love; love that was brought to a hurting and lost world in the form of a baby boy that Holy Night 2000 years ago. No matter what may be troubling you, there’s no hurt, no problem too big for God to overcome. Don’t wait another minute, say no to the enemy today! Open your mouth and tell him God say’s, “Yes!” Yes to your body being healthy and whole. Tell the enemy God say’s, “Yes!” to your marriage being fully restored in Christ. Tell the enemy God say’s “Yes!” to your freedom from all addictions! Don’t take the enemy’s no; God has given you The Power of His Yes! Believe it and receive it today!
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
I think this step for me was one of the most challenging. Getting to the place where I could openly discuss all the terrible things I did was really hard. The shame attached to my behaviors was very painful and could have easily given me an excuse to not follow through. Fortunately, I worked this step with a wonderful Christian counselor, so it was a little easier than it could have been with someone else.
If we have properly worked Step 4 we have a balanced inventory of not only our mistakes but our strengths as well. This will provide a good foundation on which to build our recovery. In preparing for Step 5 schedule some uninterrupted time with God to prayerfully search for the person with whom you will share your inventory. Admitting our wrongs to ourselves is one thing but sharing them with another human being is quite another. We have worked very hard in our addiction to hide these truths from others so this will be a huge step towards healing. Step 5 is our path out of isolation and loneliness toward healing and peace. It is very humbling to get past the pretending and to reveal our true selves to someone else. Telling our story to others can be a frightening experience and may cause fear of rejection. But it is essential that we take the risk and confess our wrongs. God will give us the courage if we lean on Him.
One of my favorite recovery resources The Twelve Steps for Christians has some great insights for working Step 5 that I would like to share with you.
Begin with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in what you are about to experience.
Choose your 5th Step listener carefully. Find someone who is accepting, patient, sympathetic and understanding. Possibly a clergyman, counselor, another Twelve Step member, trusted friend or family member.
We are only asked to admit the nature of our wrongs. Don’t discuss how the wrongs came about or how changes will be made. You are not seeking advice.
After completing your fifth step, take time to pray and reflect on what you have done. Thank God for the tools you’ve been given to improve your relationship with Him. A cornerstone in your relationship with God is you commitment to honesty and humility.
Congratulate yourself for having the courage to risk self-disclosure and thank God for the peace of mind you have achieved.
Having admitted our wrongs to another human being is no guarantee that we will not slip up again. But we have the assurance, in those moments of weakness, that God will be with us and give us the strength to overcome. If we truly want to change God will continue to give us the courage and the strength to persevere down the path of sobriety to wholeness and healing in Jesus Christ.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. –James 5:16