We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
After a person has experienced a number of days clean and sober, there is the temptation to stop growing and moving through the steps. We may think that we have things under control after all we have gone through and accomplished. The challenge is that our addiction was what masked the underlying issues that caused us to use in the first place. Now with some time away from the mood-changing, mind-altering chemicals, we can see some flaws in the way we operate and the way we treat other people.
Hopefully, after Step 3, we have all decided to trust Jesus as our God who saved us and set us free from our old nature and ways of living. This decision should now start to change the way we view our old behaviors and give us insight into a new way of life that God has planned for us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The promise of being made new is very real and gives us hope for the future, but we still have to face the truth about our defects of character that we brought with us on this journey to new life! As believers, we now face a struggle between old life behaviors and new life disciplines. It’s like we have come to a place where there is “a fork in the road” and we have to commit to choosing the right path to be able to grow in our relationship with God as he changes us. We will come to this fork over and over again in this life. The Bible calls this fork in the road having to choose between walking in the “flesh” or in the “Spirit”.
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Our goal as Christians in recovery is to learn to follow Christ and live according to his Word. The old way of doing things was to accept our flaws as normal and right, but we now know that nothing good came from our old nature. Willingness for change is the path to peace at this point in our recovery. This means that we must develop certain disciplines in our lives to support our route of walking by the Spirit. Church, groups, mentors, bible study, and prayer are all a part of strengthening our walk and showing that we are entirely ready for God to work. He will remove our old habits and behaviors when you put yourself in the position to follow Him.
Before God came into our lives, we may have resembled a dying tree with withering leaves, our character defects like rotten fruit. Now, with Jesus, he can make us a life bearing tree, able to grow up into the sky with strong branches that bear sweet and tasty fruit that is good to all who come near. Let us learn to seek new life from God and keep in step with his Spirit along the way!
Galatians 5: 22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever taken a wrong turn while you were driving and realized it took you way off course?
- Go back to Step 3. Where are you at with the idea of surrendering your life to God?
- Describe a “fork in the road” experience in your life? How does this relate to the biblical idea of “flesh and Spirit”?
- Read Galatians 5:19-21. Do you struggle with anything on this list? How about other character defects?
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. Which Spiritual character trait do you need the most help with?
- What types of things can you do to show that you are willing to change? What can you commit to start doing?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.