Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lesson 15 - Victory


Principles and Steps

Principle 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” (Matthew 5:6)

Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Step 7: We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)


Tonight we are going to look at an overview of Principle 5. We are going to answer the question, How can you have victory over your defects of character?


We are going to use the acrostic VICTORY.

Voluntarily submit

Identify character defects

Change your mind

Turn over character defects

One day at a time

Recovery is a process

You must choose to change

The V is VOLUNTARILY submit to every change God wants me to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings.

“Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. . . . Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind” (Romans 12:1, GNT).

In the late 90's I worked in IBM as an application programmer. I recognized this would be a good career move, and so to prepare for this work, I took classes and studied the programming language that I would use to program with. I voluntarily applied myself to learning the language and practicing it so that it eventually became second nature to me, and I could write routines without thinking about it.

Such is the nature of all behavioral change. Whether we are learning to be a mechanic, doctor, accountant, politician, and so on, we determine the change that we want, and then we apply ourselves to the disciplines needed to change our thought processes. The process of learning is mind change through education and discipline.

This is no different in the realm of recovery. The process is the same. When we determine to change our life and come into sanity, we voluntarily apply ourselves to learning the process and practicing it so that it eventually becomes second nature. Our instruction manual is God's Word.

Php 2:12-16 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

Working OUT our salvation, not FOR it. Paul is speaking of the same discipline as that of a programmer, doctor, mechanic, etc., the voluntarily application of ourselves to the learn the disciplines needed to be successful.

With fear and trembling means that we are to do so with awe and respect recognizing we are are being instructed and trained by the God who created the universe and everything in it. This is not a warning to be afraid because we might not measure up, for in ourselves, none measure up, but in God, all who believe do.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (14) Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (15) so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation."

The effective result of our training and discipline is becoming blameless and pure, in other words, overcomers. We are successful in our recovery as we voluntarily submit to the changes God brings to our life as a result.

I in Victory: IDENTIFY which character defects you want to work on first.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Determining the object of change, what we should work on with fear and trembling, is the subject of previous lessons where we work on an inventory. We all have differing hurts, habits and hang-ups, and the inventory steps bring these to our awareness.

In this step, we determine what hurts, habits or hang-ups we want to tackle first, and then we begin to apply what we are learning to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about the changes in the way we think so that our behavior changes.

Let’s move to the C, which stands for CHANGE your mind.

Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Reality shows that all of us are experiencing transformation in our mind all the time. Growth and regression are both products of the changing way we think every hour of every day. What we think in an ongoing fashion hour by hour and day by day brings about change in the way we think.

The negative agents of change are your flesh and Satan and his demons, and the positive agents of change are God's Word and the Holy Spirit. As you walk through your days, are you in control of whom you allow in your head?

2Co 10:5b … we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Php 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Paul tells us that this is under our control. He says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world”, and by extension, your flesh and the devil. It is up to you. In Christ, you have the control over your mind. It is up to you to determine and control who in your head.

How? By the T in victory: TURNING your character defects over to Jesus Christ.

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV)

We know that if we want to change our behaviors, we must change the way we think.

Luk 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

The “heart” is who we are as a person, our character. Out of “who we are as a person, or out of our character”, comes either good behaviors or evil behaviors.

In this Christ Centered Celebrate Recovery, we believe that we are powerless to change our character defects. So we hand them off to the Lord. Our role in transformation is to focus on who is changing our mind, and ensure that it is the Holy Spirit.

WE cannot change our character defects, so we should stop trying. If you have the Holy Spirit in your head, He will transform your character defects through mind change.

Like preparing and learning for a new career, we should have scripture swimming around in our heads. With a stream of scripture in our heads, we can meditate on them all the time, and that is a most powerful source of positive transformation.

The next letter is O: ONE day at a time.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34, TLB).

R: RECOVERY is a process, “one day at a time” after “one day at a time.”

“And I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Philippians 1:6, TLB).

Just like preparation and training for a career is a process, so too is the preparation and training for allowing the transformative work of Christ in our hearts, who we are as people. It does not matter where you start. Each of us should start with where we are at today and build on it, every day.

Philippians 1:6 is a promise, and God cannot lie. If you will apply yourselves to learning, giving the behavior to God, and controlling who is in your head, you will see change happen.

The last letter in victory is Y: YOU must choose to change.

“God gives strength to the humble,... so give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you” (James 4:6 – 8, TLB).

I implore you to choose to come close to God. Place His Word in your mind, think about it during the day. One more promise of God, if you will do this, then He will draw near to you.


Victory is yours. You have been set free.

Jas 1:25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.

The perfect law that gives freedom is the revelation of God's word, a part of which we have talked about in this lesson.

It is a law that gives freedom because by doing it we find liberty from sin and it's consequences.

Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

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