Reflections on Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston – #BookReview

Live Love LeadLive, Love, Lead – by Brian Houston:

Ever since the time I started attending church in the fall of 1990, I have always been a part of a church that sang worship songs that came out of Hillsong Church in Australia. From the classic Jesus, Lover of My Soul and Shout to the Lord, to the more recent Cornerstone and What a Beautiful Name, these songs have been the anthems of my journey with Jesus.

I have just finished reading the book Live, Love, Lead – written by Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong Church. And although I don’t agree with everything he teaches, I definitely found great encouragement from this book during my current season of life and ministry.

Rather than give you a book review, I am going to share with you some of my favourite quotes from this book, with the occasional commentary and thoughts on how his writing impacted me. Enjoy…

“The Christian life is a life of unexpected adventure. It’s as exotic as the Australian outback and as everyday as a cup of coffee.”

“It is my firm belief that following Jesus is the only journey in life worth taking. After seeing the way God changes hearts, meets impossible needs, heals incurable diseases, and restores people, I am convinced beyond a doubt that God didn’t create us to live mediocre, settle-for-less lives.”

“Church is not called to be an enforcer of rules but an outpost of grace. You and I are called to be dispensers of God’s grace.”

“Jesus consistently sought out people on the fringe of society, the individuals others dismissed.”

“The greater problem may be when we get stuck in our pain, when we can’t seem to find the strength to get back on our feet and continue our journey. Life is a difficult path, but it keeps going. If we stop just because we’re in pain and can’t imagine how to continue, then we will miss out on what God wants to do in our lives…” 

“I found myself in a download slide toward depression, traumatized by the experience years earlier and internally declining as I tried to look after everyone but myself.”

“A number of years later, I found I could no longer get any restful sleep without taking a sleeping pill. My family noticed and began to ask me if I was okay. I told them I was and tried to keep going as long as I could, preaching and speaking, traveling and leading… However, the physical toll of this period of unrest began to manifest as my mind became scattered, and I wasn’t speaking with the same confidence I had experienced in ministry years earlier… those closest to me knew all was not well with my soul.”

“Then one day something collapsed within me. It was as if all the emotional strength in my tank had suddenly been drained. My ship was sinking, weighed down by excess baggage and other issues of life, and I found myself shattered on a great reef of jagged pain, fear and sorrow… Although my God is all-powerful, I am not. My body, mind and spirit have limits.”

Note – this chapter “A Difficult Path” was very encouraging for me, reading it right on the heels of the long dark-night-of-the-soul wilderness season that I have just come through. It was encouraging to see and know that I wasn’t the only pastor who went through seasons of depression and discouragement! All Christians, pastors, preachers and teachers go through difficult seasons, and it’s okay to not be okay all the time!

“Isn’t this how you want to live your life? Filled with passion and excitement, with the confident knowledge that you’re making a difference in the lives of others, contributing your efforts to God’s kingdom for his eternal purposes.”

One of the final chapters was also very encouraging for me – “Don’t Stop.” I could relate to this chapter because of the current season of life and ministry that I’m in. After 24 years of full time pastoral ministry, I am one year into a transitional season where I’m working at a Christian school as a guidance counsellor and (starting this fall) high school Bible teacher. Consider this:

“There are times in our life when our momentum comes to an abrupt end. A season ends and catches us by surprise, and we’re left wondering how to take the next step… If you’re currently in transition, facing the end of something, perhaps the beginning of something else, you must look at this crossroads as a battlefront.”

“When we face the end of one chapter of our lives and before we begin the next, it’s often the catalyst for a battle. You see, our enemy the devil often tries to wedge a foot in the door and catch us off guard during these times of transition. He’s hoping we’ll feel disoriented and uncertain, afraid and a bit wary… But this process can be so hard. When things come to an unexpected end, for so many people it can just build regret, disillusionment, and confusion.” 

This chapter encouraged me to keep my eyes on Jesus during this transition, to bloom where I’m planted, and continue allowing the Holy Spirit to do a deep work in my heart as I am being prepared for the next season the Lord has for me. I don’t know what it’s going to be yet, but I do believe that the best is yet to come!

What a Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship:

Death could not hold You, The veil tore before You, You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, The praise of Your glory, For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal, Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is, What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

Pastor Chris Jordan

Posted in Book, book review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey: Step Seven: Humble Prayer

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Seven: Humble Prayer

Step 7

In our last step (#6), after having completed a fearless moral inventory of ourselves, and admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs, we were finally ready for God to remove our defects of character.

“The first six steps have prepared us for this time. Our hearts have been plowed and exposed. Now is the time for humble prayer.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps).

 “Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.”

Humility. That’s not a very popular word in today’s world. In a culture that celebrates power, achievement and success, pride is exalted, and humility is brushed aside. But on the journey towards freedom in Christ, we must learn to humble ourselves.

What is humility? J. Keith Miller says, “according to the Twelve and Twelve, humility is a clear recognition of who we are followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. (It) is seeing ourselves as we actually are, good and bad, strong and weak, and acting authentically on those truths.” (A Hunger for Healing).

My dad was an alcoholic who abandoned my mom, my two younger sisters and I, before I was even five years old. And so, as I grew up with a strong sense of rejection and abandonment, I became a people pleaser, doing whatever I could to get people to like me. Even if it meant putting on a mask and pretending to be better than I was. I wasn’t being real.

One of the greatest things I learned through Overcomers Outreach and the 12-step program is that spiritual growth isn’t about perfection, it’s about direction. It’s about accepting the fact that I don’t have it all together – and that’s okay – and one day at a time, doing my best to become a better person.

Today I admit that I still struggle with sin. I am weak. But the good news I have discovered is that in my weakness, God’s strength is made perfect. When I admit that I can’t do it on my own, He can come in and do what only He can do – to remove my shortcomings.

The Biblical basis for this step is found in Isaiah 66:2: “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.” The Bible clearly teaches in many different places that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. When we humble ourselves, and are not to proud to accept the handout of amazing grace, God comes and does wonderful things in our lives and removes our shortcomings one by one. He chips away at everything in us that doesn’t reflect His glory, until more and more of Jesus shines through.

Seventh Step Prayer:

“My Creator, I am willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

Posted in blog, Overcomers Outreach | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ordinary Heroes: Josiah – #SermonNotes

ORDINARY HEROES: JOSIAH 

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

This is a message I shared with our church family last Sunday morning… 

  • To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

Ordinary Heroes

INTRO TO TOPIC: If you were choosing a team, who would you pick? All stars. Not God! Look at the disciples and the heroes of faith. They were a bunch of nobodies, misfits and losers!

TEXT: “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.” (1 Cor. 1:27-28, NKJV).

JOSIAH: JUST AN ORDINARY YOUNG BOY:

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.” (2 Kings 22:1).

  • Josiah was a boy whose grandpa Manasseh was the most wicked King in Judah; who led the nation into idolatry, filled Jerusalem with the shed blood of innocents, sacrificed children, practiced fortune telling and witchcraft, did much evil, and angered the Lord.
  • Josiah’s dad Amon became king when Josiah was 6. He served the idols his father serviced, abandoned the Lord, and was so wicked he was assassinated two years later by his own servants.
  • Josiah was raised in hell, grew up without a father, didn’t have good examples in his life.
  • He should have been messed up but he refused to have a victim mentality.

“And (Josiah) did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” (2 Kings 22:2).

  • King David wasn’t his biological dad – David was his great, great, great, great (11 generations) grandfather, and Josiah chose him for a role-model.

I FOUND A BOOK!

“Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it… Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.” (2 Kings 22:8,10).

  • When Josiah got a hold of the Word of God, it changed Josiah’s life.
  • You don’t have to be just like your dad, or be bound by anything in your past!
  • If you read on in the story, you discover that not only was Josiah’s life changed – it resulted in a REVIVAL that changed the entire nation!  Do we want revival?

THE BIG IDEA: God delights to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. The starting point for that is to get in the Bible!

  • Husband and wife not getting along? Children out of control? FIND THE BOOK!
  • Struggling in relationships? Unemployed or struggling in your job? FIND THE BOOK!
  • No joy? No peace? Depressed? Sick in your body? FIND THE BOOK!
  • Once you find your book – read the book, obey the book!

MY TESTIMONY: A LOOK AT MY HEART AND LIFE:

  • I can relate to Josiah. I come from a dysfunctional background as well.
  • My dad was an alcoholic who left our family. That’s the road I was heading down.
  • If I hadn’t become a Christian when I did, I know I would have destroyed my life.
  • I’ve gone through a very challenging season in the past few years. Hurt and wounded.
  • I have recently gone through an intense depression where I felt like giving up my life.
  • BUT GOD… as I have reconnected with Him in His Word and prayer, He has given me a joy and a peace and a hope to carry on. I have met with Pastor Steve who has prayed for and helped me through this wilderness. I will not be a victim any longer! I am free!

SO WHAT? PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

  • How was Josiah able to overcome and be an ordinary hero who did extraordinary things?
  1. JOSIAH WAS TRANSFORMED BY THE BIBLE:

“When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.” (2 Kings 22:11).

  • The tearing of his clothes symbolized the tearing of his heart – broken!
  • If we want to be an ordinary hero who does extraordinary things, it starts with the Bible:
  • “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).
  • The word brings faith, joy, peace, hope and revival in our lives!
  • What happens when you start to see yourself the way God sees you? 1 John 4:4 (greater is He who is in us); Romans 8:31 (if God is for us), 8:37 (more than conquerors), 8:39 (nothing separates us from love of God); Eph. 3:20 (exceeding abundantly more…).
  • The Bible was so important to Josiah that he gathered all the people together, read them the Bible, and encouraged them to obey God’s Word, too (see 2 Kings 23).

2. JOSIAH PRAYED AND SOUGHT GOD’S FACE:

“Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found.” (2 Kings 22:13).

  • Josiah wasn’t content to just be a hearer of the Word. We need to seek God’s face!
  • Jeremiah 29:13 – if we seek Him we will find Him; James 4:8 – draw near to God…
  • v.19 says he also sought the Lord with weeping. Passionate prayers!
  • This is more than just saying your prayers, it’s meeting Jesus in the secret place!
  • JESUS is the one who makes our ordinary, natural lives extraordinary and supernatural!

3. JOSIAH HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE THE LORD:

“because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord… and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.” (2 Kings 22:19).

  • To humble yourself means you admit you can’t do it on your own: you need God!
  • Overcomers Outreach Christian Ministry: First of the 12 Steps: “We admitted we were powerless over (our sin or addiction) – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
  • It starts by getting rid of pride and caring what other people think about you.
  • Morton Kelsey said, “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”
  • Jesus Himself said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do.” (Matt. 9:12).
  • It’s time to humble ourselves and start being open, honest and transparent in the church!

4. JOSIAH REPENTED:

“Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might.” (2 Kings 23:25).

  • In Second Kings 23, Josiah went and undid all of the evil his dad and grandpa had done: removed the false idols they had set up, removed idolatrous priests, tore down idols, got rid of the mediums, spiritists and fortune tellers, etc.

JOSIAH MODELED THE FORMULA FOR REVIVAL:

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

CONCLUSION:

  • Encouragement: to those in pain – God can turn your mess into a message.
    • If you seek Jesus through His Word, prayer, and humility, you will find Him.
    • Jesus is the answer – the hope, joy and peace you need in your life.
  • Challenge: be a hero in your world! You don’t have to be perfect, just available.
    • God cares more about your availability, than your ability. Just show up!
  • The Gospel: an opportunity to respond to Jesus and be saved and forgiven.
    • ALTAR CALL.

Listen to or download other sermons by Chris Jordan HERE.

Posted in Sermon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – on being exhausted

It’s been a while since I’ve posted regularly to this blog, but I hope to remedy that in the weeks to come this summer! So here are some deep thoughts with Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin & Hobbes - Miller Time

What do you do when you have a bad day, a hard day, a long day, or an exhausting day? It’s easy in today’s fast-paced world to get overwhelmed, stressed out, frustrated, even to the point of depression and discouragement! The answer is not to go grab a ‘cold one’ from the fridge. No, there is a better place you can go to find joy, peace and hope.

His name is JESUS.

The Bible says, “But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).

Isaiah 40-31

So if you’re getting weary and feel like giving up, chances are you’ve neglected waiting on the Lord. Spending time with Jesus in the secret place of prayer. Meditating on His Word. Being in His presence.

So hear the gentle voice of Jesus calling you to come back to Him, to get alone in your prayer closet until you’re not alone any more, and abide in His love. In His presence there is fullness of joy and a peace that passes all understanding. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).

Take a moment and listen to the words to this song by Chris Tomlin and may they encourage you to rise…

 

Posted in comic, videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Six: Readiness

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Six: Readiness

Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

Step 6

We have finally reached the halfway point of our spiritual journey through the Twelve Steps. Before we look at Step #6, let’s review the first five:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our sin or addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

So far we have said, “I can’t, but God can, so I will – surrender my life to Him!” We then made an inventory (a list of all of our wrongs), then confessed them to God, ourselves, and someone else. Now we come to step #6:

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

It’s one thing to become aware of all of our sins, mistakes and failures. And it’s another thing still to share that with another human being. But now we must also be ready and willing to allow God to get rid of all that junk that’s inside of us. The Biblical basis for this step is found in James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Notice however that we’re not talking about trying to lift ourselves up. We are humbling ourselves before the Lord, and as we take that small step, He will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. “To expect action in Step Six is a mistake. Step Six purposely calls for no action on our part. It is a time for an internal change of heart and mind.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

This truth is so clearly laid out in this Scripture: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2, NLT). Step Six is such a great example of this Bible verse in action! It is about recognizing that I can’t change myself, but God can transform me as I allow Him to change my thinking.

One of the best ways of doing this is by reading the Bible. God’s Word will help us to renew our minds. It will help us to discover how much God loves us, and teach us more about the good plans and purposes that He has for our lives! If you haven’t started reading the Bible for yourself, I want to encourage you to begin to do so today.

Sixth Step Prayer:

“Dear God, I am ready for your help in removing from me the defects of character that I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself and guide me toward spiritual and mental health.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

Visit www.overcomersoutreach.ca for more information.

Posted in Overcomers Outreach | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Jesus Stopped – #SermonNotes

WHEN JESUS STOPPED: FOR ZACCHAEUS   

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

When Jesus Stopped Title

INTRO TO TOPIC:

QUOTE: Leonard Ravenhill: “There was a time when people came to church to meet with God. Now they come to church to sing songs and hear stories about Him.”

Do we believe that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever? (Hebrews 13:8).

“1 A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1-5).

  • One of the most amazing things from the life of the story is the time He took to stop and encounter people. Whenever Jesus met someone, their lives were transformed.
  • Today we’re going to see how Jesus responded to an outcast who was far from Him.

1. ZACCHAEUS SOUGHT TO SEE JESUS:

“1Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” (Luke 19:1-3, NKJV).

  • Who was Zacchaeus? He was a rich tax collector, a thief, and a sinner.
  • Zacchaeus had heard how wonderful Jesus was, and sought to see Him. That’s great!
  • Sought = zeteo which means to search with a passion, a craving and an intense desire.
    • Then the Greeks came to Philip, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (John 12:21). I want to stir up your appetite to seek after Him today!
  • There are many precious promises in the Bible:
    • “And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
    • “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8),
    • But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • HOWEVER – there was an obstacle: The crowd. He wanted to, but he couldn’t.
  • Sometimes there are things in our lives that can hinder us from seeking and seeing Jesus.
  • What are some roadblocks in your life? The Crowd (people’s opinions or unbelief), Busyness (too distracted to hear God’s voice), Sin (will keep you from the Bible).
  • We need to overcome those roadblocks and do whatever it takes to see Jesus.

2. JESUS STOPPED FOR ZACCHAEUS:

“4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” (Luke 19:4-6, NKJV).

  • There’s so much we can learn about Jesus from His encounter with Zacchaeus!
    • Jesus sees YOU. He knows what you’re going through! If you’re going through a storm, battling a sickness, depression, He wants to bring you His peace.
    • Jesus loves YOU. It was His love that motivated Him to stop for Zacchaeus.
    • Jesus knows YOUR NAME. He created you! He knows everything about you.
    • Jesus calls us too to MAKE HASTE. Don’t delay! Seek Jesus today.
  • How did Zach respond to Jesus? He made haste and came down.
  • What was the result of His encounter with Jesus? JOY!
    • In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11).
  • Jesus wants to come to YOUR house today – will you open your heart and let Him in?

3. HE CROWD COMPLAINED:

“But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (Luke 19:7).

  • Jesus was called a friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). The religious leaders didn’t like that.
  • “9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:9-12).
  • “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”
  • Are you a sinner? Then know that Jesus has come for you!

4. ZACCHAEUS’ LIFE WAS TRANSFORMED:

“8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:8-10, NKJV).

  • The fruit of salvation in Zacchaeus’ life = good works.
    • We are not saved by our works, but faith without works is dead.
    • Two things in Zach’s life: generosity and willingness to make restitution.
  • See how much Jesus cares about family: “Salvation has come to this HOUSE.”
    • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31).
    • If you’re the only one in your family who is saved, pray for your parents / kids!
  • What is this salvation? Sozo = more than just going to heaven when you die. Psalm 103!
  • At the beginning of this story, we saw Zacchaeus seeking Jesus. But long before that, Jesus had already been seeking Zacchaeus! Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

CLOSING CHALLENGE: JESUS IS SEEKING YOU TODAY:

  • Are you like the crowd, hindering others from finding Jesus? Repent.
  • Are you like Zacchaeus? Overwhelmed by your sins? Seek Jesus today.
  • Have you been running from Jesus? Make haste and run TO Jesus today.

Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

Posted in Sermon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey: Step Five: Confession

The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Five: Confession

Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.

step five

In the previous step, we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our lives, which has helped us to more clearly see the darkness inside of us. But now we must take the next step of confessing those wrongs if we want to truly experience freedom, healing and wholeness in Christ. Step #5 says:

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Someone said once that you cannot heal or change what you don’t acknowledge. If you’re not willing to admit your character defects first to God, secondly to yourself, and finally to another person, then you will never be able to free from the trap of that sin.

“Step Five directs us to share the exact nature of our wrongs with another human being. This action requires courage because of our fear of rejection and disapproval, but if we trust the program’s wisdom here, this act of confession promises new release and healing. In telling another soul, we release the power of hidden sin and we remove the power of self-condemnation.” (Meditations for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

So what’s involved in step five?*

The first thing you must do is choose a person that you are going to share your inventory with. You need to choose this person very carefully! When I went through this step, I looked for someone who I trusted to keep confidential what I shared, someone who I knew was loving, accepting and forgiving.

The second thing you must do is to set up a time and a place to meet with that person. Take a written copy of your list with you, and don’t hold anything back. It’s those mistakes and failures that you are most ashamed of that will bring the most healing if you bring them to the light. And then finally, listen to any feedback from your listener. As this person shares their love and acceptance of you, it can be a real boost for your self-acceptance and a new beginning for you.

The Biblical basis for this step is found in James 5:16: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (NLT). As we confess our sins to God, ourselves, and another person, there is an amazing joy, peace and freedom that we can experience.

Fifth Step Prayer:

“Higher Power, My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for your help in admitting my wrongs to another person and to you. Assure me, and be with me in this step, for without this step I cannot progress in my recovery. With your help, I can do this, and I will do it.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).

*Note: A Hunger for Healing by J. Keith Miller is an excellent resource with a practical section in his book about “Choosing the Human Being to Hear Step Five.” This book can be ordered online from Overcomers Outreach Canada at www.overcomersoutreach.ca.

Posted in Overcomers Outreach | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment