Thursday, June 29, 2023

Lesson 21 - Relapse

Principle 7: Reserve a daily 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.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Colossians 3:16)


We are going to look specifically at how to maintain the momentum of your recovery. Therefore, tonight we are going to talk about how you can prevent RELAPSE.

Relapse is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “to become ill or start behaving badly again, after making an improvement:”.

This definition is quite similar to the definition for “backslide”, “to go back to doing something bad when you have been doing something good, especially to stop working hard or to fail to do something that you had agreed to do:”

James helps us to break the process of relapse or backsliding down into distinct steps.

It all starts with a “temptation”. Which Cambridge defines as “the wish to do or have something that you know you should not do or have:”.

Jas 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; (14) but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (15) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

  1. So the whole process starts (and could end) with a temptation.

  2. The next step is when we are “dragged away by our own evil desire and enticed”. (No sin yet). “Enticed” is defined as “to persuade someone to do something by offering them something pleasant:”.

    We are “enticed” when our evil desires come into our mind and offer up lies of pleasure, peace, and so on if we would just give up and fall back into old easy patterns of behavior.

  3. After desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin.” “Conceived is defined as “to bring a thought or idea into being; imagine:”

    As we allow evil thoughts masquerading as something good to linger in our heads, and we start to believe the lies, the next thing that happens is we begin to turn the thoughts into behavior that brings corruption and death.

  4. Sin, full grown, gives birth to death.”
    Strongs defines “corruption” as “... (to pine or waste): properly to shrivel or wither, that is, to … spoil or ... ruin …”. It is the process of death, and it can lead to actual death of the body.

  5. The “Death” that James is talking about is the result of “corruption”, the pining or wasting away, to shrivel or wither. It is our “deceitful desire” (being dishonest or hiding the truth) that deceives us into following through on a deadly pleasure for disobedience scheme.

James and Paul both instruct the saints in how to put off the old self, or resist the temptations and resulting corruption.

Ephesians 4:22-23 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;

James and Paul both instruct the saints in how to put off the old self, or resist the temptations and resulting corruption.

Romans 8:5-6 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (6) The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

To put off the old self, determine who is going to govern (“have a controlling influence on”) your mind, either your flesh, or the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ...

Dr. Constable's Notes: “The Christian should be continually renewing his or her mind by returning mentally to the decision to dedicate self to God and by reaffirming that decision. This continual rededication to God will result in the transformation of the Christian into Christ's image (Rom 8:29; cf. Mar 9:2-3). A daily rededication is none too often.”

This lesson will list various ways that the Christian can “return mentally to the decision to dedicate self to God”.

Preventing Relapse

Tonight’s acrostic is RELAPSE:

Reserve a daily quiet time


Listen to Jesus

Alone and quiet time

Plug in to God’s power

Slow down

Enjoy your growth

R – (Principle 7) Reserve a Daily Quiet Time With God for Self-Examination, Bible Reading, and Prayer in Order to Know God and His Will for my Life and Gain the Power to Follow His Will.

Mark 14:38 tells us: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Perseverance (gaining the power to follow His will) when experiencing temptation comes through spending time with God ahead of time.

Remember, being tempted isn’t a sin. It’s bringing the thought or idea into being that is sin that results in corruption.

E – Step 10: Evaluate Yourself

Romans 12:3–17: “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves.… Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other.… Be patient in trouble.… Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through.”

Evaluate your stance. Are you will prepared to withstand the temptations that we all know are coming our way. What are your chances. This list will give you a good indication.

L – Listen to Your Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, TLB).

How do you know that what you are hearing is true? How can you tell the difference between the voice of the Spirit and the voice of your flesh? There is only one way to be sure, that that is to measure our thoughts against the Word of God.

Psalm 1:1–3 (GNB) tells us: “Happy are those who … find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, … they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time.”

A – Alone and Quiet Time

This acrostic goes along with L – Listen. We can hear Him best when we set aside time to be with Him, and opportunity to hear.

Psalm 46:10 God tells us to “be still, and know that I am God.”

P – Plug in to God's Power Through Prayer

Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”

Heb 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (15) 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.

How do you approach God's throne of grace? Through prayer. His help towards us though the Holy Spirit is supernatural to the changing of thought patterns.

S – Slow Down Long Enough to Hear God's Answer

Listen to me. Keep silence and I will teach you wisdom!” (33:33, TLB).

The S goes right along with the L – Listen and A – Quiet Time.

E – Enjoy Your Growth

You need to enjoy your victories. Rejoice in and celebrate the small successes along your road to recovery!

First Thessalonians 5:16 (GNB) tells us to “be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.”

One of the ways we do that at CR is through Chips, that measure milestones. Everyone gets a chance to celebrate with you.

Share your victories, no matter how small, with others in your group. Your growth will give others hope!


Here are some things to do to prevent relapse:

Slow down

Reserve a daily quiet time

Alone and quiet time

Listen to Jesus


Plug in to God’s power

Enjoy your growth

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