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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recovery Comes First

So there you have it ... eight days, eight principles, one testimony of God's amazing grace.

So here is how this deal works. The words of the Lord are perfect and flawless. (Psalm 12:6). It is our understanding of them that is not. It is our application of them that is not. It is our teaching of them that is not. The songs we sing about Him are not. The books we write about Him are not. And of course - those of us who belong to Him are not.

Modern society seems to have this notion that "recovery" is for addicts. It plays to the junkies, the people who are "messed up." We tend to think of recovery as something that people from dysfunctional families seek out. Even the most righteous and godly of believers will look at people who engage in recovery programs as "those people."

But who are "those people?" Aren't they really you and me? They are just every man, woman or child that finds themselves not perfect and flawless. They are those who understand what perfect and flawless is --- and what it isn't. And they seek to close the gap. They seek to make God's sanctification more evident in their daily lives.

Recovery is for people who are fed up with defeat and ready to demand victory. It is for people who don't accept slavery as a condition for life. I have heard pastors say that at least 95% of their congregations need Celebrate Recovery. I have seen pastors themselves engage in Celebrate Recovery with amazing results. Imagine, the trained theologians, mature spiritual leaders --- finding God's amazing grace for themselves in Celebrate Recovery!

You admit that there is a possibility of denial in your life. Then you commit to identifying and dealing with that denial in God-honoring ways. You find a Celebrate Recovery program near you. And you go there - knowing full well that it won't be flawless or perfect. But like going to the gym to work out and tone your body, you go to Celebrate Recovery to work out and tone your spirit.

With persistence and consistence, you wake up one day and find that Celebrate Recovery has made your Christmas bigger. You find it has made your Easter bigger. You find that it has made your God bigger. You feel free, alive and full of hope. You still have problems ... and yet you now fully expect to be able to handle every single one of them. Your confidence in God has grown immeasurably.

It feels funny to say that Celebrate Recovery changed your life. After all it is just a program. But when God is in it, His words are perfect and flawless. And you find that, after all these years, your so-called recovery has to come first in your life. There is no choice! It is then that you fall to your knees and simply say, "Thank you, Lord. I am yours."

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