RECOVERY PRINCIPLE 6: WILLINGNESS
What does willingness mean to you? Recovery Principle 6: Willingness, by definition, is promptness to act or respond; accepted and done of choice or without reluctance. First, recall the lengths you went to, the insanity of your ways, the risks you took and the things you were willing to do to feed your addiction or fill the bottomless chasms and voids of past brokenness. Are you (RU) becoming willing to do whatever it takes to allow for true healing and recovery to take place? Recovery Principle 6: Willingness, “We readied ourselves to no longer be an obstacle so that God may remove these defects of character.“ We became what? WILLING! To get out of God’s way and allow Him to do that work in our lives.
As is true of each Principle, special attention should be made towards what is required of you: “readied” ourselves. In part, this means, to be in prayer. Prayer for what? Willingness. Why Willingness? Due to significant insecurity issues, you’ve looked to control, albeit a very false sense of control. Your issues related to control have been instrumental in perpetuating the state of brokenness from which you look to be restored. Recovery Principle 6: Willingness, directly confronts the defect of character, control, and continues the process of surrender. To remove our defects of character until He granted our request. Wow! This is in direct conflict with the agenda of your sinful nature and insecurities and their insatiable appetite for quick fix and instant gratification. The hallmark of a life becoming restored is the turning over of the care of your very life to God and allowing His way in His time to provide radical change.
What makes willingness difficult for you? Look, giving up control and letting go and letting God is going to hurt, especially early on in your recovery. It’s all you’ve known and have trained yourself to be adept at for years, for some, decades. Your biggest obstacle to becoming willing will be denying that you have control issues. No lie! You’ve become a master of deception,which includes masking your control issues. Bringing these very same issues out into the light will be met with a least some resistance. Before you go any further, take out a pen and paper, get honest with yourself and list what makes putting down the control such a threat to you.
In turning to scripture, God does not force human beings against their own will (willingness). Throughout the word of God, He leaves the choices up to the individual as to whether or not they will comply with His truth. You know what the “next right thing” to do is. The reason you so often choose just the opposite is due to the issue of willingness. You’ve become comfortable in your insanity. You have operated so long in the guise of your defects that it seems overwhelming or too late or terrifying to try a new or different way of living. You’ve become resigned to being comfortably uncomfortable. Willingness says, for the ultimate sacrifice that was made for your salvation and towards maximizing your God potential, you are willing to confront this comfort that you’ve settled for. Willing to feel and see it for what it truly is and seek to become comfortable as you are being transformed into a godly and Christ-like person.
God has “called” you into a relationship with Him and has shaped you for eternity, and deep within you, you sense it. Although you’ve become lost in believing that heaven is comfort in thickly padded bank accounts, real estate, the perfect relationship, spring catalogs and vacation brochures, you can not escape the hunger you long for the eternal kingdom. You are dissatisfied, obsess and compromise each day of your life to produce what you believe the ideal life is to be. You consistently fall way short and miss the “fruit of the spirit” which is deep within your heart compelling you to cultivate a kingdom-minded life.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” speaks to the earthly nature and it’s agenda are too strong for humans, on their own, to overcome.” -Colossians 3:5, NIV
Recovery Principle 6: Willingness, is the key to acceptance in allowing God to do what you could not, would not do for yourself.
Homework assignment: Apply Recovery Principle 6: Willingness to your life this week.
Visualize two warehouses: One contains those you have harmed throughout your life and the other those who have harmed you. When you change your ways towards becoming godly and Christ-like, you begin to have expectations for those you have harmed to grant you almost immediate forgiveness and mercy. And when they do not respond according to your expectations and in your time, you have become frustrated, bitter and resentful. You’re convinced, family, loved ones and those of your past, should see the changes as eternal and worthy of them wiping the slate clean. That same forgiveness you ask for and often expect others to grant as you have changed your ways is how willing you should be to give to those in the warehouse of those who have harmed you. The act of forgiveness is for you, not for them. To release and free yourself of the burden associated of having been done wrong. Continuing to carry the “weight” and self destructive nature of resentments and bitterness only harms YOU. The tattered security blanket, called control, you put on each day to protect and distance yourself from others can now be sacrificed and left behind.
Each instance of conflict this week you will have a choice to make. To hold onto the resentment or give it to God. Take yourself out of the equation and practice forgiveness. Their wrongs are not against you but against God. Take yourself out of the equation. Forgive another as you would want to be forgiven and pray for that person.
Daily Prayer: Dear God, Please help me to be willing. Amen.
Join me next time for my own personal story of recovery.