What tools are you carrying around with you?
Not baggage....talking about the tools you use when you are being tempted? Here are some tools that we all who say we are "Christians" should be carrying with us where ever we go...ready?
1-Jesus! Where there is LIGHT (Jesus) there can be NO darkness! I allowed Him into my heart. I started allowing him into my life! I have been going to Church since I was six weeks old....that did not make me a Christian! That made me "religious." I used to sit in my garage on those cold nights and smoke....but that did not make me a car. When I did this.....HELLO Holy Spirit!
2-Bible (sword) I never did anything stupid when I was in God's Word....only before and after, but never during.
3-Prayer. I never did anything stupid while I was Praying....I did before and I did after....but never while I was Praying.
4-Listening. The Holy Spirit would talk to me...."Bobby don't do this, you know what the outcome will be." My stomach would actually get upset. Every had this happen?
5-Names. A list of names of people I could call. Someone who I could talk to.....not that me can talk us out of what I was about to do, but the Lord would use them to talk to me. We they started to put restrictions on when I could call......I took them off the list. I had a person tell me I could call "anytime", "but don't call after 10 pm or before 8 am".....hey I don't get stupid until after 10 pm.....I took them off the list.....
6-Friends. I replaced my playmates and playgrounds....with folks that Jesus put in my life and I choose. Folks from Church, and God Believing and God Fearing and Bible toting folks, WHOSE' Walk matched their talk. They took the time to listen and understood my programs I was in and supported me. They were(are)uplifting, encouraging, Praying Warriors.
7-Programs. A.A., N.A., S.A.A., S.L.A.A., are good secular programs....they just did not work for me. Michael Leahey andTeresa Hays Leahey (Step by Step Ministries)....that got me started in the right direction and that was and is Christ Centered.
Celebrate Recovery @ Annistown Road Baptist Church is what continues to work for me and so many others. But see I have to choose to work it. If Jesus Christ is the Heart of it.....check that program out....a higher power for me...could have been a tree or a chair.....Jesus Christ is my Power! I made him my Lord and my Savior....look up the word for LORD.
8-Breaking Habits. I mentioned I changed my playmates and playgrounds....I started going to different places to break the old habits. I started going to Church to be closer to God.....not for show! I started going because I wanted too, not because Kay made me! I started going for me. Anything that my Hurts - Habits - Issues kept me from going before...I re-examined them and started doing these things I would do before like; going to Sunday School, going to Social gatherings where there were other Church goers.
9-Inventories. I started and continue to examine everything I do and why I did it or why I am doing it. Looking for more of Jesus and a lot less of Bobby. Here is where I try to start, I call this the "Fruit of the World" If I see ANY of these things in what I am doing, fixing to do, in the conversation you and I am having, I exit quickly....others "Flee".
"19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Here is what we should be shooting for....The Fruit of The Spirit!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
See if I don't see Jesus in it, I don't need to be there!
10-Sharing. We all have a "Life Song" (Testimony) and yes it is personal.....but it can not help others by keeping it private. I had to believe that God was going to use it for His Glory, He puts others right He wants to be there to hear what we have experienced. Our Testimonies are just words......they were my lifestyle, my actions. Sometimes I had to be just willing to share!
11-Forgiveness. I had somethings and people in my life that I had to "let go and let God". There were some of these, I just could not do......however, Jesus told me "Bobby when you are at your weakest....My strength is perfect", I had to become willing to forgive and He lead me through it and He is ALWAYS Faithful.
12-Steps and Principles. Remember, realize and appreciate they are in the order they are in for a reason. We were not born walking, or running....nope there were things we needed to learn along the way.....working my steps.......these are Principles from Celebrate Recovery:
I am NOT GOD!
1- "Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable."
God Loves ME and Cares!
2-"Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover."
I became WILLING!
3-"Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control."
Talking and Praying and Being Real!
4-"Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust."
I started LISTENING
5-"Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects."
I started inspecting and Forgiving!
6-"Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others."
It was Jesus and me and the quiet Times!
7-"Reserve a time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will."
I started giving back!
8-"Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words."
These are just a few of the tools in my tool belt that I continue to use everyday and needed to use everyday, what are you carrying and is it working for you?