by Bill Peters
Principle 3- Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
“Happy are the meek.” (Matthew 5:5)
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13)
Jesus begins His Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes that are a part of the eight principles of the Road to Recovery for Celebrate Recovery. He closes the Sermon on the Mount with some warnings for me and you concerning the difference between living on the narrow recovery road versus traveling on a broad road in which we could be ladened down with the sinful issues in our lives.
The road to recovery has two distinguishing characteristics – one it “leads to life”: and two it’s “narrow” and only a few find it. It is the way of Christ and it is not possible for me to travel by myself but it is possible only with the Lord. It’s narrow in that it requires my acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, acceptance of His teachings and for me to fully surrender my life to Christ’s care and control. It is my acceptance of the third principle of Celebrate Recovery which is the fork in the road between me choosing the narrow road of healing with Celebrate Recovery versus continuing on a path of sadness, hurt and destruction of the broad way of the world.
Staying on the “broad” road, leads to a “wide” gate, to accept any number of worldly, philosophical, moral and ethical teachings as a rule of my life. If I follow this path I can live with a view to drink it up, sex it up, drug it up, gamble it up and spend it up. These are worldly habits and are bad habits with bad results. These bad habits will never satisfy my longings. They help me medicate my feelings temporarily which includes a cycle of despair and regret. They are bad clothes to wear and impossible to take off without the help of Jesus when they become addictions. Anger, fear, control of others, loneliness, dishonesty and doubt are in my luggage on this broad road. They never offer anything profitable and destroy my relationships with others. Past un-forgiveness to those who have hurt me and a hard-heart towards those I have hurt are two of my one hundred pound shoulder bags I carry down the broad road. All of these things lead me to a destination of destruction. This road is amazingly wide and accommodates me and all of my baggage and new stuff too. I can bring anything and everything with me. I won’t be crowded out! I can find a lot of people there carrying their load of issues also. The only thing I won’t find their is Jesus walking along side of me continuing and encouraging me to stay on the worldly road. The broad road is a bad choice in my view.
As a Ministry Leader of CR I am seeking and advocating all should choose the narrow road of Celebrate Recovery and the healing that “leads to life”. In choosing the narrow road, I off-load my hurts, habits and hangups to Jesus. I surrender them to get on the narrow path with Him. It becomes imperative that I pray for and accept the will of God daily. It’s through His daily guidance of His Word and the breath of the Holy Spirit that I find my way on the narrow road. It is about the eight principles and the twelve steps of CR. It is about time with my sponsor who has walked the road already and where I receive guidance. My accountability partners offer to me constant accountability to stay on the narrow road. The regular Monday night Celebrate Recovery meetings offer me fellowship, worship to my Lord, useful testimonies and teaching and a place to confidentially and safely share about my progress on the narrow road. I find the step studies and periodic self inventory as benefits for keeping me on the path. I am thankful today that Jesus is on the narrow road with me every hour and every day and I am thankful for choosing the narrow road of Celebrate Recovery.