“I tried to do everything I had been taught in order to live the successful Christian life. What was the result of all This? My wife and children didn’t respect me because in my zeal to make them be good Christians, I became legalistic, harsh and unloving. My marriage was a mess and my personal life was a shambles. I came to the realization that everything I had learned about living the Christian life just was not working for me.”
Why didn’t any of this work?
1. Consistent Quiet Time
2. Bible Study
4. Visitation Evangelism
5. Christian Twelve Step Program
6. Accountability group
7. Hundreds Of AA meetings And Five Different Sponsors
8. Christian Counselors
9. Christian Psychiatrist
10. Secular Psychiatrist
11. Christian Psychologist
12. Secular Psychologist
13. Addictions Counselor
14. Flew To New Jersey And Spent Three days With an Addictions Specialist
15. Secular Treatment Center
16. Christian Treatment Center
17. Read Every Book On Addiction I Could Find
18. Healing Of Memories Session
19. Baptism Of The Spirit Session
20. Casting Out Of Demons Session (Twice)
21. Public Confession
22. Group Therapy
23. Took The Drug Antabuse
24. Disciplined By My Church
25. Rigid Schedule With Every Minute Planned
26. Hundreds Of Hours Studying Scriptural Principles
27. Memorized Chapters Of Scripture
28. Discipleship Groups
30. Promises To God And My Wife
Why didn’t any of this work?
To read of the rest of Mike Quarles Story follow this link.
To discover more Grace Walk Recovery Ministry visit www.freedfromaddiction.org
The Ministry of Freedom in Christ is focused on helping Christians maintain a healthy relationship with Jesus. Like physical sickness, even those who have been born again spiritually, can develop conditions that block the flow of the Spirit from reaching their hearts.
Your pastor may suggest that you participate in the Freedom in Christ Course – sometimes simply referred to as “Freedom” — to check for signs of a spiritual blockage. Freedom uses a 10-week course to help diagnose and resolve the source of any spiritual or emotional obstructions.
The course itself is safe and gentle. Many people participate in the course, due to the following symptoms:
- Negative Thoughts
- Irrational Feelings
- Difficulty Praying
- Habitual Sins (Often Secretively)
If you are struggling with any of these symptoms you should consider taking the course.
How should I prepare to participate in Freedom?
Simplify – You will want to prioritize this time in your life to be able to clearly hear from the LORD. A schedule packed full of activities (even church related) can make the test results difficult to read. Say “No” to all distractions and “Yes” to seeking the LORD during this time.
Get Back to Basic – A simple approach to daily reading your bible and journaling should be at the core of a healthy biblical spirituality. This time should focus on “being” in the LORD’s presence, not “doing” things to earn his blessing.
Watch Your Intake – Resist the temptation to self-diagnose. Stay away from endless striving on your digital device or computer attempting to figure out what is wrong in your life. Participate weekly in the course meetings and give the Lord time to reveal to you the root cause of your issues.
Take Care of Your Body – Believe it or not symptoms in your life may not only have a spiritual root, (sarcasm) but also a physical one as well. In this case you should consider making small positive changes in your diet & exercise while participating in the course. Any reduction in caffeine and/or sugar could have a significant impact to your spiritual and emotional wellbeing. In addition, a 20 to 30 minute walk a few days each week can help clear your mind and allow you to focus on the voice of God.
The Freedom In Christ approach to becoming a fruitful disciple of Jesus has three essential elements:
Truth is foundational biblical teaching about our identity in Christ and the nature of the spiritual battle we’re in. (See Neil Anderson’s works)
Turning is about repentance and this is where The Steps To Freedom In Christ come in – we take back any ground we have given to the enemy through past sin so that he can’t hold us back any more.
Transformation is about the ongoing renewing of our mind (see Romans 12:2) – we teach a powerful process (“Stronghold-Busting”) to help people replace lies they have believed (sometimes for years) with truth of God’s word.
People often get the impression that Freedom in Christ is about just one of these things – for example, the Steps To Freedom in Christ or “just another course at church”. But actually we need ALL of these things if we want to resolve the effects of the past and become fruitful disciples.
The great news is that there is absolutely no one, who cannot do this. But often people need the help of a loving community around them. That is why as a ministry our focus is on equipping leaders in the local church with our methodology so that many, many people can ultimately be helped.
Adapted from Steve Goss
2 Peter 1:3-15
Who are we now that we are in Christ? This sermon was preached at Turning Point Church in Petal on November 12th, 2017.
THE CHOICE- By Max Lucado
It’s Quiet. It’s early. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the days demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
I choose love…
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness, I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy…
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace…
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience…
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness…
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness…
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse.
I choose faithfulness…
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I choose gentleness…
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control…
I am a spiritual being, After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I will choose self-control.
Love, joy, peach patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this
Day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
Max Lucado-From the book, “When God Whispers Your Name” (p.73).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:31–34
If there was another way, we would choose it. Pain gets our attention, it causes us to focus. It gets difficult to bear so we look for a way out. We will do anything to get rid of it. We seek to change our circumstances: a new job, a new house, a new spouse. If these circumstances were different, then maybe we would be pain free, maybe we would have peace in the absence of the present pain.
The problem is the pain follows us. It follows us into the next job, the next house, the next spouse. So we try to numb it; we get busy, really busy. We hurry and rush, so we don’t have to stop and feel… feel all that pain.
We stuff it in our backpacks, only to carry the heavy load for a few more years. Then yet again we will be forced to unpack it and try to figure out what to do with it.
This path of brokenness places us so close to getting the thing that we need. The very thing that God is trying to work into our character is through brokenness. In refusing to face the pain, we just keep going; going our own way.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”