Lesson 1 - Introduction

  

The purpose of taking this class is to gain a perspective on recovery which is different from that offered in the secular realm of treatment. God’s Word stresses that you are made into a new creation from the moment you receive Him into your heart or return to Him with all of your heart and receive from Him forgiveness from a backslidden condition. He promises to remove all of your unrighteousness and to cleanse you of all your sins.

One major difference between the philosophies of secular treatment of chemical addiction and Christianity is that secular beliefs and models state that all of these maladies are diseases and have a lifetime sentence. When you allow yourself to identify these sins in this way, you cause yourself to shift blame and keep yourself from taking responsibility for your actions. God’s Word states in Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” God’s Word also states that these maladies and behaviors are sin and can be wiped away by exercising faith in Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that temptations will always be removed from your life completely and instantaneously. Nor does it mean that you won’t suffer from the consequences of what you have done or sown during the periods of time you spent practicing your various behaviors or sins. Through grace, trust, and learning to rest in Christ, you are given the strength to overcome, conquer, and obtain victory in these sometimes very difficult and lifelong struggles.

The hope and prayer is that you will gain a new perspective about recovery and the process you need to begin to practice. You will start to live out the promises of God that you learn while going through this workbook. Before you begin with the 12 principles and their purposes, there are several areas to discuss: denial, definitions, anniversary periods, dreams, and the six R’s of recovery. You must be made aware of and sensitive to these areas so that you can begin to practice recognizing the warnings and past behavior patterns that have occurred or reoccurred and have kept you from the promises God has for you. By putting into practice what you learn from this workbook, you hopefully will begin to allow God to bring about effective change in your heart and life. Hopefully, you also will begin helping those that presently surround you, as well as those who may be in a similar set of circumstances and situations in the future.

Let’s begin with probably the most difficult and stealth-like area to confront or understand—denial. Denial is caused by the intrinsic nature of the fallen heart. It is the self-deceived need for defense. It manifests in the refusal to admit obvious circumstances or situations that have occurred in the breakdown of a healthy life.

Flesh, when used in the scriptures, usually means the sinful or carnal nature of man. Scripture declares the condition of the heart of man in its unregenerate state in, Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” If this is the natural condition of your heart before Christ enters your life and heart, it is no wonder you are unable to make a righteous and balanced decision that promotes abundance in all areas of life. It also points out a greater truth. All mankind has turned away from God, and you really don’t look for Him as many of you proclaim. (Ephesians 4:17-19, Romans 1:18; 2:11-16; 3:10-28).