Matthew 12:43-45 talks about the consequences of turning away from God. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it be with this wicked generation.”
When we enter into recovery or walk back into a religious institution, we more than likely are walking in with one, if not many unclean spirits. These unclean spirits are usually what have driven us into the rooms of recovery or through the doors of a church. What are these unclean spirits? Codependency, gambling, pornography, alcohol or drugs, just to mention a few. We are on the brink of losing everything and are desperate for help. Often times we expect a miracle that are life will automatically just change because we have changed our ways. But much works is to be done, action steps are required.
When we enter into the world of recovery, sobriety, or better living, and we give up our vises, or defects of character, this is only the first step. My mentor told me – “Randy, when we remove a defect, we must replace it with a new and positive asset. The first of which is to turn our will and our life over to the care of God if we are to remain sober, which in turn leads us to a life of recovery. So, what does all of this mean?
First, we must realign our priorities. My mentor told me what his priorities were in his life. Whatever he put in front of those priorities he would lose. Now my mentor has over twenty-five years of sobriety and his life has been and is really good, therefore I listened very carefully to everything he told me. His priorities were as follows in the order lived by:
- Personal Health
Now I know this sounds like a tall order and it is. However, without God there is no recovery. Without recovery there is no God. Without God and recovery there is no personal health. Without personal health there is no God or recovery. Without God recovery, and personal health, there is no family. Finally, without God, recovery, personal health, and family, why do we need to work? As tall of an order as this may seem, I have lived my life by these priorities for the past thirteen years and my life keeps getting better.
So here is the problem as I see it. I see many people that have cleaned up their life. Maybe they were addicted to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or were just extremely codependent. These hurts, hang-ups, habits, and addictions have had a grip on them for years, maybe decades. We start attending recovery meetings or attending church religiously. We do as the bible tells us to do or what the Big Book of AA tells us to do – we turn our life over to the care of God, Jesus Christ. We keep going to church and/or meetings and as we do our life keeps getting better and better. We recover things we have lost such as our family, jobs, friends, finances, and our sanity.
As people are restored and things lost are returned to them, often times ten-fold, they forgot where they came from and how they got back all that they had lost. They forget once again about God. Their priorities become twisted and they fall away from God, meetings, church, and the fellowship. Eventually they start putting people, places, and things in front of God. Many end up right back where they started, and sadly, many end up in a worse spot than where they started from.
When we accepted Christ into our life’s, when we turned our will and our life over to the care of God, we replaced our hurts, hang-ups, habits, and addictions with His presence. Our house was clean and uncluttered. We refurnished it with Gods love, grace, and forgiveness. However, what so many end up doing is inadvertently pushing God to the side and replacing Him with material things from the world. Thus, again leaving their house void of God.
During our time of restoration and connection with God, the unclean spirit will attempt to make its way back into our house only to find that it has been cleaned. God is dwelling in our
House. So, the unclean spirit will go out and return with seven new spirits, all worse than the first. Spirits such as pride, greed, selfishness, anger, resentments, envy, lust, etc…
Remember an unclean spirit does not care if your house has been swept clean and looks orderly. If your heart has become void of the love of God, they will enter back into your house. You will be far worse that you were before you started your journey of recovery. I urge you to heed these words. On my thirteen-year recovery journey I have seen this happen countless times.
Men and women who have crawled into a church or the rooms of recovery on their hands and knees at the end of their rope. They’re on the verge of losing everything, only to take the necessary action to have it all restored to them. Then in a matter of time, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, they take their life back into their own hands and lose not only all that they have gained back, but much more.
If we are filled with the love of Jesus, if we have turned our life and will over to the care of God and we are filled with the spirit of God, then we cannot be empty and therefore inhabited by unclean spirits. “Though he shakes his chain at us, he cannot fasten his fangs in us.” (Trapp)
“The devil has no objection to his house being swept and garnished; for a moralist may be as truly his slave as the man of debauched habits. So long as the heart is not occupied by his great foe, and he can use the man for his own purposes, the adversary of souls will let him reform as much as he pleases.” (Spurgeon)n
To learn ore about my Life Coaching Services click on the link at the top of this page.