Overcomers Blog

Overcomers Blog – No Longer Paralyzed

Luke 5:18-25 – Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, Friend, your sins are forgiven. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, `Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…. He said to the paralyzed man, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.(NIV)

This scripture has had huge impact on my life. Late 2008, early 2009, God was working on me to finally deal with my porn addiction. This scripture jumped out at me, stopped me in my tracks. Christ was showing me that I was the paralyzed man. I have this scripture on a 3×5 card written as follows:

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to (Isaac) the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

Christ knew that I needed to admit that I was paralyzed. I had to admit that I was absolutely stuck. I was unable to get over my addiction by my own efforts. I was unable to get a new way of living; I was unable to defeat all the root causes of my addiction and insecurity. The only way I was going to be able to get free was to let some people carry me to Jesus. He had to heal me, then it would be up to me to get up and walk out my healing.

Some of you are paralyzed and need to admit it. You might be paralyzed with an addiction like I was. You might be paralyzed by fear. You might be paralyzed by guilt, or worry, or insecurity, or any number of things.

Search your hearts, and let Christ stop you in your tracks like He did for me. Put your name into the verse the way I did and realize that you are paralyzed, but you don’t have to stay that way! Christ WANTS to heal you. Like with the paralyzed man in this story, He wants to let you know that you are forgiven, (Friend, your sins are forgiven) and he wants to set you free.

Good chance you might need friends like the paralyzed man did to bring you to Jesus. I found those friends in my close friends, some of you guys, and my Overcomer’s in Christ group at church.

Christ delights in us being fully complete, completely secure, and absolutely sure of who we are in Him. There is nothing noble or humble in living less than what we’re called to which is  life to the full (John 10:10). So He rejoices when we stop the crazy train, and acknowledge our need and our paralysis, and let Him heal us. A few verses later Christ says another amazing thing which we can personalize:

 Jesus answered them, It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (us) to repentance. - Luke 5:31-32 (my parentheses)

When we are sick, Christ longs to restore us. But we have to let Him. 

Posted in Overcomers Blog | Leave a comment

Overcomers: The Next Right Choice

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live – Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

Recovery groups (like Overcomers) have lots of sayings and clichés, but you know what, most of them are actually true and that’s why they become clichés. My favourite one is “Make the next right choice.”

 A lot of people, Christian or otherwise might argue whether or not we actually have real free choice, but the simple fact that we are commanded to choose by God indicates that God thinks we have a free choice, and personally I’ll go with God’s opinion on this one. And knowing that God actually respects us enough to allow us a completely free choice humbles me because I  realize how much nobility and respect God has imbued on us.

And so this free choice is beautiful, but it also opens us up to being able to make bad choices. And if we’ve made a lot of bad choices, especially where we have an addiction or destructive habit, it can feel overwhelming trying to get out of it. The first thought is usually, “How can I  go the rest of my life without _____ (porn, drugs, relationships, etc)?” Most people feel so overwhelmed that they usually don’t even make an attempt. But what they miss is that they don’t have to go the rest of their lives without, they just have to go one day.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

All we have to do is live one day at a time, today. But even today, all we are responsible for is the next right choice. And Jesus teaches us to choose well through grace.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. – Titus 2:11-14

So make simple good choices and even if you’ve made a wrong choice, still make the next one a right one.

It is absolutely freeing to know that we are only responsible for one choice at a time, that God wants us to make good choices, and He helps us do just that.

 

Posted in Overcomers Blog | Leave a comment

Overcomers: Breaking the Addiction Cycle

Overcomers in Christ is pleased to bring you a presentation called, “Breaking the Addiction Cycle”.

This presentation explains how people can get trapped in a cycle of addiction or destructive habits, and how to break that cycle and begin a cycle of recovery. This teaching can be a great help for anyone struggling with an addiction or destructive habit, or their family and friends to help them understand how to help them more effectively.

Please enjoy the presentation below, and feel free to share it with people who might benefit.

 

Posted in Latest News and Events, Overcomers Blog | 3 Comments

Overcomers in Christ: Moving in the Right Direction

I first went to Overcomers in Christ a few years ago because I had nowhere else to go.  I had hit rock bottom.   My wife had left me.   I had no real friends or meaningful relationships with anyone, including God.  I had nowhere else to turn.

As a person I am far from perfect.  I have had a life-long struggle with pornography and a negative self image, among other things.  Because of this I had been ineffective in working for God’s kingdom here on earth because I doubted I was capable or worthy of doing anything.  I doubted that I was even a Christian.  I doubted that God could love someone like me.

One thing I have noticed about the people of Overcomers is that they have an incredible awareness of God’s love and grace.  And it shows: they exhibit God’s love in a way I had never before known or experienced.  They know they are far from perfect, they freely admit it, and they know that only God’s grace can save them.  There is nothing they can do to save themselves.  In Overcomers you learn that God wants us to change for the better, and that He (and only He) can help us do that.  You learn that willpower means your will and His power.  Overcomers is a place where God loves you through other people.

Overcomers is a place for anyone who wants to change but doesn’t know how to.  You learn that no matter what you habits are, no matter what behaviours you are engaged in, God loves you.   He wants to change you to become more like His Son.  He wants to help you change and He will if you let Him.  Overcomers is a place where God helps you to change.

This may sound scary to you. It did to me at first.  I had to step out of my comfort zone.  I had to get real; first with myself, and then with other people.  I had to admit my hurts, habits and hang-ups.  I had to face them.  I had to forgive them.  And I had to forget them. It hasn’t been easy: nothing worth doing in life ever is.  But the people in Overcomers support me and help me to do this.  They love and accept me as I am.  They support me and encourage me and help me to grow and change to be more like Jesus Christ.  I’m still far short of being the man God wants me to be but at least now, for the first time, I am moving in the right direction and making steady progress.  Overcomers is a place where you learn to rest in God’s forgiveness, grace and love.  You learn that He covers all things with His goodness, and that He makes a way when you’ve messed up the way.

No matter where you are at or how many times you may have tried and failed in the past to change, I encourage you to give Overcomers a try.  Many of us fall or stray at some point in our walk.  That doesn’t make you a failure.  You’re only a failure if you quit trying.  So, give Overcomers a try.   I did, and my life will never be the same.  Thank God.

Posted in Latest News and Events, Overcomers Blog | 3 Comments