Monday, February 19, 2024

Lesson 14 - Ready


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)


Congratulations! If you are ready for Principle 5, you have already taken some major steps on the road to recovery.

You admitted you had a problem and were powerless over it.

You came to believe that God could and would help you.

You sought Him and turned your life and your will over to His care and direction.

You wrote a spiritual inventory and shared that with God and another person. You’ve been busy! That’s a lot of work—hard work!

The next thing to do is for us and God to go after our character defects.

Tonight’s acrostic will show you how to get READY to allow Him to do that.

Release control

Easy does it

Accept the change

Do replace your character defects

Yield to the growth

Release Control

Help me to do your will, for you are my God. Lead me in good paths, for your Spirit is good” (Psalm 143:10, TLB).

The first letter tonight stands for RELEASE control.

Human nature implants in us the desire to be in control. We want to determine how our recovery will come about. We loath surrendering our thoughtfully laid out plans. We want to say how it will go, and what the results will be.

Coming to the point where we give up our own plans and surrendering feels like throwing it all to the wind. It feels like we may end up in a place we don't want to go at someone elses direction. Giving up control can be hard, but maybe giving up is what we need to do. Give up and allow God to take control.

We may not know Jesus very well. We may not trust Him. We may not have an abiding awareness of His presence around and within us. This is an awareness that is cultivated. This come through practice, and the testimony of others. It is hard to give up control to someone we don't know well, so get to know Him.

Jesus is the wind beneath our wings. He lifts us up when we spread our wings. To release control means to stand still, quit running after our own solutions and plans, and spread our wings. When we spread our wings, we say Lord take me where you will. I give up my own ways and will go your way. You never know where the updrafts will take you, but they will take you up.

Simply put, the R—release control—is “Let go; let God!”

Easy Does It

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it and he will” (Psalm 37:5, TLB).

The E in ready stands for EASY does it.

These principles and steps are not quick fixes! You need to allow time for God to work in your life.

It takes time to come to a place where you realize that what you are doing is not working. It would be better to allow God control instantly, now, and not tomorrow. If you can do that, it will go good for you. But we have habits and hangups that exert a great deal of inertia on us. That's not an excuse, but a reality. Easy does it. Commit to the Lord, learn to trust Him. He will bring healing and recovery.

Keep your wings out. Cultivate an awareness of His presence. Read His Word, talk to Him, talk to others about Him. Keep coming to recovery meetings for we confess our sins to each other for healing.

When Israel depended on the Lord, they were successful:

Isa 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. (29) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (30) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; (31) but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This principle goes further than just helping you stop doing wrong. Remember, the sin is the symptom of the character defect, and we are going after that, the defect.

Let me explain. The sin is like a weed in a garden: It will keep reappearing unless it is pulled out by the roots. And the roots are the actual defects of character that cause the particular sin. In many cases, the major sin in our life is abusing alcohol, drugs, or porn, or anger. That was the act, the sin. The defect of character may be a lack of any positive self-image. So, when we work Principle 5, we go after the defect—possibly a lack of a positive self-image—that caused me to act out, and we seek healing.

That takes time, but God will do it. He promised! We should be persistent and stay the course.

Accept the Change

1 Peter 1:13–14 (GNB): “So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant.”

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

The next letter is A: ACCEPT the change.

When we turn to the Lord, things will change. It may start out small, or it could be a major sudden change.

When you see changes in your life begin to occur, it can be scary. Your life is changing and you are not the one in control. This is where faith comes in. Most of us would be aware that a major theme of the Bible is to have faith, but what is faith?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

When you start to experience a change in your life, and if it seems scary or threatening to your control, remember to walk in faith. Walking in faith means that you trust God even though you are not in control, to the point where you are confident that only goodness is in your future. Even though you cannot see it, you have assurance about what you can't see coming your way.

Where does this confidence and assurance come from? From testimonies of others, from sharing in open share and 12 step groups, from having a growing relationship with Christ.

So when you see changes happening to a positive end, accept the changes and thank God for them, don't try to take control back.

Do Replace Your Character Defects

Matthew 12:43–45 (GNB): “When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest. If it can’t find one, it says to itself, ‘I will go back to my house.’ So it goes back and finds the house empty, … then it goes out and brings along seven other spirits even worse than itself, and they come to live there.”

So when change begins to happen in your life, maybe you are finding the power to resist sin and evil, maybe you are recognizing Jesus's presence in your life more, or maybe you are becoming a “Jesus freak”, what is next?

It is very important that as your life begins to go through change, you replace what you used to do with something new. If you used to go hang out with friends at the bar, start hanging out with healthy friends you have met at CR, at CR and outside CR. Get together for game nights with Christian friends. Volunteer at church, CR or in the community. Do more stuff with the kids. Find ways to spend the same amount of time doing something different than you used to.

If you just stop doing what you were doing, and don't fill the time with something new, there is a good chance of falling back into old habits if you don't find new habits.

I made the choice to do this. When I was recovering from drug use, I made a determination to make different friends. I sought out Christians to be friends with. I forced myself to do this, so that I would be able to change who I was with and what I was doing. I also got plugged into a church and surrounded myself with godly people. If I had not done this, I'm sure I would have made friends with those who would have dragged me back to the sorry state I was in previously.

Yield to the Growth

The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning, because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him—he has been born again” (1 John 3:9, TLB).

The last letter in ready is the Y: Yield to the growth.

Inside of each born again person is both God's nature and our sin nature. We get to choose to whom we will give control to.

When John says that we can't keep sinning, he is pointing out that our divine nature, which is God's life in us, cannot sin, and that sin arises from our own sin nature. Our challenge is to grant God's divine nature in us the greater control, and to lessen the control of our sin nature. Paul completes this thought by personifying sin:

Rom 7:15-17 I don't understand what I do. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. (16) I do what I don't want to do. So I agree that the law is good. (17) As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.

Saying that “we” don't sin but the sin in us does, does not present us with an excuse, but gives us understanding and power to overcome. We recognize that sin is a foreign entity, one that can be grabbed a hold of and thrown out.

Whether we are under the control of God's divine nature inside of us, or our sin nature is completely up to us. We have been given the power and means to be freed from the power of sin.

Rom 6:5-6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- (7) because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

To be crucified with Him and die to sin simply means that we make that choice to set aside our sin nature, and allow God's Holy Spirit within us to bring transformation and renewal, or recovery.

You have the power to choose life, and yield to growth.


The question is, “Are you entirely ready to voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in your life?”

Dear God, thank You for taking me this far in my recovery journey. Now I pray for Your help in making me be entirely ready to change all my shortcomings. Give me the strength to deal with all of my character defects that I have turned over to You. Allow me to accept all the changes that You want to make in me. Help me be the person that You want me to be. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

Monday, February 12, 2024

An Overview of Israel and Their Land

by Stan Feldsine (

The promise of God to give Israel land was not given in the Mosaic Covenant, rather, the land promises were given in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Gen 12:7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

There were no conditions on the promise of the land in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Gen 15:17-18 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. (18) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, ....

The "conditions" that were later brought into play in the Mosaic and the Covenant at Moab governed the Israelites "use" of the land, not their ownership of the land.

Deu 29:1 These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.

If they are obedient:

Lev 26:40-42 "'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors--their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, (41) which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies--then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, (42) I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.

If they are rebellious:

Deu 29:23-25 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur--nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. (24) All the nations will ask: "Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?" (25) And the answer will be: "It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt.

The promise of the ownership of the land is everlasting through the Abrahamic Covenant, which was unconditional. Conditions came into play regarding their blessing in and use of this land.

Psa 105:8-11 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, (9) the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. (10) He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: (11) "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit."

God declared an oath when He gave the Israelites this land, and He did so to show His immutable nature.

Heb 6:17-18 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. (18) God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.

God MUST return Israel to their land and bless them because if He does not then it directly and negatively affects His name. He will bring the Israelites back to the land, not for anything good in them, but for His names sake.

Eze 36:22-24 "Therefore say to the Israelites, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. (23) I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. (24) "'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

Even as Israel is disobedient, they are loved. God's gifts and call on Israel are everlasting. They will yet receive God's mercy. There is no expiration date on Israel's receipt of the blessings.

Rom 11:28-31 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, (29) for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. (30) Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, (31) so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you.

They have not permanently lost their Kingdom and promises, for they will yet be saved. Salvation will come to the nation when the religious and secular leadership repents and turns the nation back to God by accepting the sacrificial atonement of Christ. All those living when this happens will be saved, the whole nation. Their hard hearts will only last until the full number of Gentiles come in. Israel's sins will be taken away.

Rom 11:25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, (26) and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (27) And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."

After that time, when all Israel is saved, then the promised Messianic Kingdom will come.

Isa 2:1-5 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: (2) In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (3) Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (4) He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (5) Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.

And when Jesus comes, His Millennial reign will begin:

Rev 11:15-17 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." (16) And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

He will reign over a physical kingdom from David's throne in Jerusalem.

Zec 2:10-11 "Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. (11) "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

Zec 8:3 This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

Zec 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Ezekiel makes it clear that Jesus's throne is a place for the "soles of His feet", a physical reference, which other passages clearly identify as earthly Jerusalem.

Eze 43:7 He said: "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The people of Israel will never again defile my holy name--neither they nor their kings--by their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings at their death.

The saints will rule and reign with Jesus here on earth.

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

When the Kingdom is established, from that point on Israel will never again lose the use of their land:

Amo 9:13-15 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, (14) and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. "They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. (15) I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God.