Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Spiritual Inventory Part 2


Spiritual Inventory Part 2

Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

Happy are the pure in heart. For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)

Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”

(Lamentations 3:40)


Two weeks ago, we looked at what Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure. They will see God.”

As regards seeing God, we saw that what Jesus was saying that those with pure hearts will “optomai” God, which means to gaze with wide open eyes as at something remarkable, such as our own recovery, for example.

To see the remarkable things related to God we need a pure heart, and gaining a pure heart is the purpose of the 3 Inventory lessons. These lessons will help us to identify those things that are keeping us from having a pure heart, and lead us through a way to deal with them.

We also talked about the reality that these inventory lessons have nothing to do with our salvation. We are saved by grace through faith, and the 12 Step program is a guide to realizing Jesus' transformational power in our lives.

Tonight we are looking at the second part of our spiritual inventory, where we pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23–24, TLB).

We are going to continue on and finish our spiritual inventory. We will look for some of our additional shortcomings or sins that can prevent God from working effectively in our lives and our recoveries, thus preventing us from having a pure heart. Two weeks ago, we covered:

  • Our Relationship With Others – Forgiveness, amends list

  • Our Priorities in Life – Seek first the Kingdom

  • Our Attitude – Don't grumble and complain

  • Our Integrity – honesty, truth, consistent living

Tonight we are going to cover:

  • Our mind

  • Our Body

  • Our Family

  • Our Church

Evaluating each area will help you complete your inventory, and is a powerful step to a pure heart and being able to see God and observe a work being done in your life.

1. Your Mind

Romans 12:2 gives us clear direction regarding our minds: “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.”

The mind is the battle ground. Jesus said that out of our hearts proceed the issues of life. He also said that out of our innermost being will flow rivers of living water. Our success in godly living will depend on what is happening in our mind.

Eph 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (23) to be made new in the attitude of your minds; (24) and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

It's all about allowing the Holy Spirit to change the way we think. We change the way we think by reading God's Word, being in fellowship with people who hold us accountable, meditation on God's Word. It transforms the way we think.

Tit 3:3-6 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. (4) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, (5) he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

A sure way to a pure heart is by allowing the Holy Spirit to bring change to the way you think in your mind.

Some questions to ask yourself in this area:

  1. Have you turned your mind over to the care of the Holy Spirit?

  2. Are you taking every thought captive?

    2Co 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

  3. Are you taking those captive thoughts to Jesus for help?

    Heb 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin. (16) Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

2. Your Body

Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God, because he owns it” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, TLB).

You are just borrowing your body for a little time. It is a marvelous gift that allows you to experience physical things that without a body, we never would. Heat, cold, trees, water, the ocean smells, food taste, sensory input, and so on.

  1. In what ways have you mistreated your body?

  2. What activities or habits caused harm to your physical health?

Remember, it was the God of creation who made you. Look at Psalm 139:13–14, 16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.… Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Many people say that they have the right to do whatever they want to their own bodies. Although they think that this is freedom, they really become enslaved to their own desires, which ultimately cause them great harm.

3. Your Family

In the Old Testament, Israel’s leader, Joshua, made a bold statement regarding his household: “If you are unwilling to obey the Lord, then decide today whom you will obey.… But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, TLB).

1. Have you mistreated anyone in your family? How?

Perhaps you have physically or emotionally mistreated your family. Emotional abuse doesn’t have to take the form of raging, yelling, or screaming. Tearing down a child’s or spouse’s self-esteem and being emotionally unavailable to them are both ways you may have harmed your loved ones.

God designed families to be our safety from life’s storms. As much as it depends on you, you need to provide a haven for your family. If that isn’t possible and you yourself don’t feel safe there, let Celebrate Recovery be your family.

2. Against whom in your family do you have a resentment?

This can be a difficult area in which to admit your true feelings. It’s easier to admit the resentments you have against a stranger or someone at work than someone in your own family. Denial can be a pretty thick fog to break through here. But you need to do it if you are going to successfully complete your inventory.

3. To whom do you owe amends?

You identify them now and work on becoming willing to deal with amends in Principle 6. All you are really looking for is your part in a damaged relationship.

4. What is the family secret that you have been denying?

What is the “pink elephant” in the middle of your family’s living room that no one talks about? That’s the family secret!

Remember Jeremiah 6:14 (TLB): “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there.”

4. Your Church

One of the main reasons John Baker started Celebrate Recovery was that he found most members of secular 12-Step groups knew the Lord’s Prayer much better that they knew the Lord.

Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25, TLB).

1. Have you been faithful to your church in the past?

Did you know that the purpose of gathering as a church and listening to the pastor each week is to equip you for works of service? Church is to bring everyone up, like a rising tide.

Eph 4:11-13 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, (12) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (13) until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

2. Have you been critical instead of active?

If you don’t like something in your church, get involved so you can help change it or at least understand it better. Is it possible that instead of understanding gathering as a means to learn service to each other, we turn it into gathering as a means to get everyone to service me?

3. Have you discouraged your family’s support of their church?

If you aren’t ready to get involved in your church, that’s your decision. But don’t stop the rest of your family from experiencing the joys and support of a church family!

Wrap Up

We’ve made it all the way through the eight different areas to help you begin and complete your inventory.

Once again, listen to Isaiah 1:18. Memorize it! God says, “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.”

A couple of reminders as we close:

  • Use the “Balancing the Scales” verses found in Participant’s Guide 2. (At the end of the “Inventory” Lesson)

  • Keep your inventory balanced. List your strengths along with your weaknesses.

  • Find an accountability partner or a sponsor. I cannot say this enough: The road to recovery is not a journey to be made alone!

God bless you as you courageously face and own your past. He will see you through!

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