Step 11

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out

Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV)

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
4:2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
4:3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
4:4 But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple
4:6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
4:7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
4:9 And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."
4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"
4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Comments:

In this portion of scripture, we read about how Jesus used fasting to grow in His consecration to the will of God. This passage also shows how oftentimes when we grow in our consecration, then there is an opposition from the evil one and a time of temptation.

John 15:4-11 (ESV)

15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
15:6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. Comments:

This passage in the gospel of John is so rich for the believer in Christ. It tells us plainly that we have our power, our peace and our joy from abiding in Christ. In our recovery process, this is a key concept. If we are working a 12 step program as a Christian, by the 11th step we should be consistent in our walk with God. In order to maintain this consistency we need to continue to abide in Christ, keeping His commandments, abiding in His love and His joy, having His words abide in us. There is a warning here also that those who do not abide in Christ will be cast out. If we have gone through the recovery process to the 11th step, we should know that going backwards is not an option, that it is only filled with pain, misery and spiritual death. So we continue to grow in God's ways and abide in Christ and find the peace and joy that is in Christ and a full recovery from our addiction.

Philippians 4:5-9 (ESV)

4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Comments:

We are encouraged here to rest in and be content in the ways of God. The apostle Paul points out that we do this through a life of moderation, prayer, thinking about the good things of God and living out the things that we have learned from the scriptures and good examples. This is what is talked about in step 11, to continue to grow in our walk with God. In doing so, we can grow in that great reward of the peace of God which passes all understanding. If we were to try to live this life when we were just getting out of our addiction, then we might find it boring or difficult or unrewarding. But by going through the previous steps, we learn how valuable these things are in our life - more valuable than any of the false and shallow "rewards" that we got from our addictive behavior. We realize by now how God has worked so beautifully in our lives and we want to live more of that.

1 Peter 4:1-8 (ESV)

4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
4:2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
4:3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
4:4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;
4:5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Comments:

Here the apostle Peter reminds us of our past life, when we walked in licentiousness, lust, excess of wine, reveling, carousing and abominable idolatries, and the fact that many still walk in these ways and think it strange when we do not. But just as for us, there was a time of judgment, a time of hitting bottom so that we might know that it was the grace of God that could pull us out, there also will be a time of judgment for others who walk in these ways. God is just. And the response in our lives should be to do the will of God. It is to be sober minded, spending time in prayer and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ fervently. In this way we can avoid the roaring lion that would seek to devour even more of our lives and the good fruit of the Spirit that God wants to bear in us.