Stalled Recovery

Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 1Premium Content

by Dale & Juanita Ryan
See: Part 2 | Part 3

The God of the Bible is a God who saves and heals. The Bible is clear about this: He will deliver the needy who cry out, he will rescue them from oppression and violence. Psalm 72: 12,14) When we see our need, acknowledge our inability to save ourselves, and cry out, God delivers us. God rescues us from oppression and violence. Whether it is the oppression and violence of our compulsions and addictions or the oppression and violence of abuse and neglect, God delivers us and heals us. God is powerful enough and loving enough to deliver us from all of the oppression and violence we face.

This is the good news proclaimed in Scripture. And it is the basis for our hope on the recovery journey. We cannot save ourselves. Or heal ourselves. But God can. And God will.

Sound simple? It turns out to be anything but simple. There are several reasons for this. First, we find it hard to believe that God is

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Relapse Warning SignsPremium Content

Read the following lists of relapse warning signs. Place a check mark next to any that have happened to you. Place a question mark next to any that you do not understand. Underline any words that cause you to have strong thoughts or feelings, make you want to do something.

Phase I: Internal Warning Signs

  • ___ Trouble thinking clearly: Sometimes I cannot understand what is going on. At times, it is hard to think, or I can only think about the same thing over and over. At times I cannot think at all, or when I do, I make mistakes that I usually would not make.

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I trust in Jesus for my salvation, but why do I still struggle with sin?

I trust in Jesus for my salvation, but why do I still struggle with sin?

After receiving e-mails from thousands of people over the years, we've concluded that all believers have to struggle to maintain their faith. Some folks have to struggle more than others, but generally everyone has some level of difficulty.

It's the people who have no guilt or realization of their eternal state who make the Christian walk seem all the more difficult. Show me a believer who says, "I never have to worry about backsliding," and I will show you someone who is already deep into apostasy. We're all running in a race, and God doesn't care how many times we stumble. The only thing He cares about is who makes it to the finish line.

Teeter Totter ThinkingPremium Content


When I was a kid, I loved the teeter totter. Because of my weight issues, however, I was acutely aware of how my weight differed from most kids. The teeter totter was the scale; whoever was the heavier had the strength to hold the other occupant stranded in mid- air for however long he/she desired.

And usually that person was me, much to my dismay. After all, I wanted to be the dainty princess of sugar and spice and everything nice; I didn't want to be a bruiser or a brute.

I had a completely distorted and unhealthy perspective. And one incident, in particular, captured it.

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How is it working for you? Is Jesus not enough?Premium Content

How is it working for you?

Is Jesus not enough? Does what He accomplished on Calvary fall short? Can we add anything to our salvation? Can we study enough to figure a strategic path to wholeness? Does doctrinal purity overcome sin and fleshly appetites? Does the Magnificent Love of God fall short in wooing us into pure inner motives? Is the Great Grace of Jesus a 'nice' and 'sweet' ideology? God forbid!

"Because helping people control their flesh through human effort and adherence to rules is not only a thankless but never ending task, most leaders employ any strategy that promises even a measure of success. Guilt, shame, condemnation, and threats in God's name are presented by the enemy as viable options. The church has swallowed this lie hook, line and sinker!" (Pg. 106 Pure Grace: The Life Changing Power of Uncontaminated Grace)

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What dynamic transforms us into the image of Christ?Premium Content

I think not! God forbid! May it never be!

    "I suggest that there is no other conclusion which can be drawn from those who teach versions of legalism? They say if you can make sin look grotesque enough, believers will stop sinning. How is that working for you? I have a Greek word for that philosophy -- baloney!" (Clark Whitten)


Either we choose to rest in the dynamic of Christ's finished work, or we will foolishly seek ways to finish it ourselves and continue in a hopeless journey of defeat after defeat! The following passages from Galatians could not be clearer as to what Our Father in Christ is offering to us!

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How to Control Your BehaviorPremium Content

You can't!!! Do yourself a favor; quit trying! And stop acquiescing to other's attempts at controlling what you "do?" or "don't?" do! Yes, I'm referring to all authority figures in your life. There is no one in your life (including yourself) that has the power to change your behavior or even your (quote-unquote) "want to?"!

Christianity (Authentic or the fake Political Christendom) is not behavior modification.
Even if they were compatible; behavior modification does not change behavior-it only gives the behavioral theorists' something to do-keep bureaucratic statistics. However they manipulate the stats; have they/you checked with the individuals who are yet struggling that they pronounced changed? I have and it's rather troubling!

Helping people control their fleshly appetites through human effort and adherence to rules is not only thankless but a never-ending task. Religious leaders tend to employ any strategy that promises even a measure of success, whether it is guilt, shame, condemnation, or threats in God's name as viable options.

Let's look at what God's Word has to say about behavioral modification:

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Wandering in the Wilderness? Keep a Proper Perspective

We all wander in the wilderness to some extent. No one on earth has "arrived." Anxieties, fears, worries, depression, pain afflict us all.

Just because someone is saved does not mean that bad things no longer happen or that we cease to be confused at times. The difference is Who we choose to carry us when we can no longer carry ourselves.

We all have a choice to make. Are you going to be the Lord of your own life and insist on going it alone? Will you look to other people, places and things to carry you? (This is
idolatry). Or will you look to God?

Organizing the Addiction Counseling Process Index

I wrote a series of articles appeared in five consecutive issues of RESCUE, the journal of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. The focus was to give counselors some guidance that would help them more effectively work with homeless addicts.

Here are the five articles:

Organizing the Addiction Counseling Process – Part 1

Need Strength? Our Sure Resource!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble! Psalm 46:1

God intended Himself to be the great fountain of supply to His creatures. All are to be dependent on Him--and to look for their supplies from Him. Just so, the believer is to apply to God for all. Ample provision is made--but it is only in Jesus. Promises are given--but they are to be fulfilled by Jesus. He possesses all fullness, and as such He presents Himself to us as His needy dependent creatures--and says, "Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other!" Isaiah 45:22

This is the business of faith and prayer--to look to Jesus, and apply to Jesus for all that we need. Let us consider these words as spoken unto us every day--as calling us away from dependence on the creature, and as directing us how to act under all circumstances. It is Jesus who speaks. Jesus, as God. Jesus, as the Savior. Jesus, full of sympathy and power. Let us therefore listen to--and act upon His Word.

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