Archive for January, 2013

Step 4 – Your A-Team

In life we need others to help us, no matter what we struggle with. Proverbs 24:11 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Men, bottom line, we have to have other men in our lives to help us. Same goes for the ladies, women you need other women in your life to help you. When dealing with any type of struggle we need to have accountability in our lives to help us. “Your A-Team” One of the things we do with Refuge is we encourage our men to put together accountability teams to help them with their struggle. Being accountable to someone is doing life on life with them. I want to share what your accountability team looks like and what your team does.
What the team looks like: Pray and ask God to give you a few men to be a part of your team. I would look at asking some older guys and some guys that are the same age as you. I would start looking at some of your closest guy friends. Your team members need to be men you can trust, are safe, men who love you, and guys you can share things with. When you think of someone you may want to be a part of your team, ask to speak with them and share with them that you are putting together a team of men to help you in your walk of purity. Ask them if they would be willing to be a part of your team and tell them what you want them to help you with. Different members of your team may have different roles. It’s your team, set it up how you need to and how it will best help you. What does your team do? Any member of your team can at any time ask you how you are doing in the area of your sexually purity. You are going to have to tell them to do this. If you sin, you have to confess that sin to someone on your team. Why do this? This keeps one from having secrets, and it goes back to the healing processes. James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Use your team to your advantage. You want to contact your team before you start to fall into sin. If you are starting to be tempted or you start to see red flags go up, contact your team so they can pray with you. If you cannot get in touch with them, leave them a message. It’s amazing how when one is being tempted to act out, and they reach out to a brother how fast the temptation leaves. Why is that, because you are allowing the Light to come into that dark situation. Your team is a lifelong team, and team members will come and go. Stay in touch with your team and they with you. Most of the time when I’ve had guys reach out to another guy for accountability, the guy they ask to enter into the accountability relationship is looking for the same thing. So now you have a two-way street, you get to help them and they get to help you. We cannot do life by ourselves, we need others and this is how God intend it. We need community and we need men in our lives and women need women in their lives to help us battle through life’s issues. Your accountability team is to be a helpful tool to help you, men to come along side of you and love you and to spur you on.

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Step 3 – Understanding the Healing Process

I would love to tell you that the healing process is fast, easy and painless. If I told you that I would be lying. To be completed honest with you, it’s long, it’s hard, and it hurts. I’ve been walking down the road of healing for a number of years, and when I get to the end of the road my next step will be walking up to the gates of Heaven. The healing process is a lifelong journey and is a road that you do not have to walk alone. There are others walking down the same path you are on, so willing to give a helping hand, because they know and understand the struggle. Also Jesus is on that path walking with you. In Refuge our formula for healing is simple. Receiving forgiveness from God, confess our sins to others, forgiving those who have wounded us, and asking forgiveness to those who we have hurt. Now a lot of people cannot do this right away, and that is ok. I couldn’t have done this right away when I started my healing journey. We want people to start thinking through these issues and encourage them to pray through these steps when they want to. We also encourage people to prayer through these things with another person they trust. Let’s look at them a little bit deeper. 1 John 1: 9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God’s grace rocks my world, all of my thinking. To be honest I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around God’s grace and the love that comes with it. God says to confess your sins, and He will forgive our sins and purify us. No strings attached. Confess and your sins are forgiven. Not only are they forgiving, God forgets about them. Isaiah 43:45 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” It’s amazing how God looks at our forgiven sin and how we look at our forgiven sin. I often take my eyes off the grace of God and just see my sins and my failures, and my brokenness. When God looks at me, He sees Christ’s blood, He sees His child standing there, holy, forgiven, clean. God’s grace is mind-blowing. When we confess our sins to God we don’t have to keep confessing them over and over. Once they are confessed they are forgiven no matter how will feel. When confessing our sexual brokenness to God get it all out. Confess every sexually sin you have committed to God that you can remember, and ask God to show you sins that you still needed to confess. We don’t want to leave anything in the dark. This is an ongoing process because God will start to bring up things we have done that we have forgotten about. James 5:16 says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you maybe heal.” Confessing our sins to another person is tied directly into are healing. Same thing as the first step, get it all out. Now do you need to call up someone every time you remember a past sin? No but to continue to walk through the healing process we don’t need to keep secrets. One way to not have secrets is to have accountability and we will talk about this in a later blog. We need to come to a place where we can forgive those who have hurt us. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This can take a long time and is not an easy place to get to at first, but I believe other time one can get to a place to forgive those who have hurt them. In order to do that we need to have a good understanding of what forgiveness is and is not, and we will talk about this in a later blog as well. If we don’t forgive those that have hurt us that hurt or wound will never truly heal. God has to bring us to a place in our lives where He has healed that wound then we need to forgive those that have put it there. Lastly, we need to be able to ask forgiveness of the ones we have hurt with our struggles. It could be our spouse, our kids, who ever. We need to be able to ask for their forgiveness, and they may not be able to forgive. God has to work in their hearts in that case, but you know you have come to a place where you are sorry for what you have done to them and are seeking their forgiveness. Once again, healing is a long road, and at times a very painful road, but to be healed we have to walk it.

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