You may not even realize some of the beliefs you have upon which your desires are based. Until someone begins to ask you questions like, What does God think of you? Where is God right now? you might not even realize where your feelings toward Him are being cultivated.
If you believe God is evil and doesn’t love you, but hates you, that is certainly going to shape what you do next. Those lies about God in your thoughts are shaping every action you take.
When you believe that He doesn’t want good for you, you will live your life in a way that reflects those beliefs about God. You will struggle. Life will be hard for you.
I want you to know God as He has revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ and the Word of God. This is where you will have stability and wise living… when you have truth upon which to base your decisions and desires.
What do you believe about God? How do you know who He is and what His character is like?
In order to “be transformed” from addiction (or what is commonly understood as “being recovered from addiction,” or “in recovery”) the power of your belief system is vital. If you are trying to “beat an addiction” as they say, you need to find the people to be around who are going to point you to God and His Word.
Not man’s best ideas.
Not the Big Book which is just stories.
I’m pointing you to another book that is without error or bias. You may have heard it referred to as the Good Book.
I’m referring to the Bible.
The Holy Bible,
the Word of God,
the Scriptures which are the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Today, in this post specifically, I’m pointing you to the truth of the book of Proverbs, which is a divinely inspired collection of wise sayings in the Bible. The Proverbs were written to young men as its primary audience (Not to say that women cannot find wisdom in it, of course).
The Proverbs are not to be read as promises from God or as predictions from God. They are to be read as they were intended: as principles for living wisely.
Being wise is not just having a lot of knowledge. Wisdom is the “doing” of God’s Word. I want to emphasize the ACTION part of living life wisely.
Everyone today wants knowledge about diseases, and about Mars, and about ourselves. More and more knowledge! The endless pursuit.
We really need to emphasize the ACTION part of knowledge… applying what we know to be true into action.
The fountain of our belief system
Verse 19 of this 23rd Proverb in the Bible tells us to direct our hearts.
Our desires bubble out of the fountain of our belief system.
The pressure that pushes the water out is our belief system.
You will follow what you desire.
But YOU are responsible for directing your heart in the right way.
You have to start reading and studying the Word of God and change what you believe based upon the truths that God tells us.
You need an instructor to help you: God’s Holy Spirit is the perfect instructor, the only One who can illuminate your understanding, and He uses other people to teach us the Word of God more accurately.
The end result of drunkenness and gluttony
In verse 20, God tells us clearly:
“Don’t be among drunkards and gluttonous eaters of meat”
We should not hang around those who are excessive in their pleasure-seeking, who are led by their passions and desires instead of directing their hearts.
God reveals to us 2 things:
- Who we are
- Who He is
Excessive eaters and drinkers will be lazy, tired, unproductive, and so much so that these things characterize them… a very sad picture indeed. You will see them wearing slumber, fatigue, laziness.. wearing them like garments that have been worn out.
When something doesn’t satisfy, you will become worn out and you will come to despair. That’s the end of this pursuit. God is loving us (by warning us!) from going down this path. Don’t mistake his loving warning of wisdom for hatred. He doesn’t hate you. He loves you.
I challenge you to get back into church community
We need people in our lives who point us to God’s Word. We need people who:
- Correct us when we need correcting
- Encourage us when we need encouraging
Small groups are where that is found within the local church body. By local, I mean in-person, not social media or internet. Don’t settle for substitutes for real community because you are afraid the local church near you isn’t perfect. No local church is perfect.
Also don’t settle for “The Unchurch” version of church which is self help or twelve step groups.
Not any God will do, only Jesus Christ will do.
Not any community will do, only the local body of believers who follow Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God will point you to ultimate truth of eternal significance. Your source of truth matters. And your beliefs are constantly being shaped and formed by the company you keep.
The community you choose affects your daily actions
Let’s end where we started: with the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be deceived; bad company ruins good morals.” (ESV)
“Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” (ESV)