Summary: A series of sermons that have been used along side our Celebrate Recovery ministry.

Hebrews 11:6 “ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Did you read that story last week? Up in the North East with all the rain there was a portion of town was flooded, and a man named, Glenn lives down in one of these kind of low areas. The County Register sent a reporter out there and he found Joann, Glenn’s wife, sitting on the roof as things were floating by. He climbed up on the roof and the first thing he saw was a chicken coop floating by and then he saw this horse and then he saw this VW bug floating by. Then after a few minutes he saw this hat float by, but after it got about twenty feet past the house the hat started floating back upstream. Then it got about twenty feet on the other side of the house it started floating back down again. He watched this seven or eight times and finally he said, “Mrs.—Do you have any idea what that hat is?” She said, “That’s just my crazy husband, Glenn. He said he was going to mow the lawn come hell or high water.”

The problem we have today is that a lot of us are still focusing on the lawn, while the home is floating downstream.

Last week we said, all of us need recovery because none of us is perfect. The world is imperfect, we’ve all been hurt, we all have hang-ups, we all have habits we’d like to change. Everybody needs recovery. The steps are the same regardless of what your problem is whether it’s a hurt, a hang-up, or a habit. Pastor Ron spoke to us last week about the root cause of all this is our desire is to control things. The more insecure you are, the more you want to control things: you want to control your life, you want to control other people’s life, control your environment—You want to be God. You want to be at the center of your universe. When we try to control everything it ends up with fatigue, frustration, and failure.

How do you break out of that? How do you break out of those things?

You have to get past denial. Denial is what keeps us from moving into recovery. We excuse ourselves: “Really, it’s no problem … Really, I’m fine … It’s not a problem, I can handle it.” We excuse ourselves and we accuse others: “If my wife would just get her act together then our marriage would be just fine.” And we play the blame game. And we accuse and excuse and we’re very shortsighted.

Have you seen the Lost and Found AD in the paper? It illustrated denial. It said, “Lost, a three-legged dog. Blind in right eye. Left ear missing. Broken tail. Recently castrated. Answers to the name ‘Lucky.’” Now that’s what I call denial.

What makes me finally face up to my problems?

God’s antidote for denial is pain. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. We don’t change until our fear of change is exceeded by the pain. Most people never really move into recovery until they’re forced to move into it, because there is no other option.

God uses three denial busters, things to get your attention, to force you to move into recovery from things that have messed up your life.

1. Crisis. Illness, stress, lose your job.

2. Confrontation. Somebody cares enough to say, “You’re blowing it.” Somebody loves you enough to confront you in truth and love and say, “You are missing out. You’re about to lose your family. You’re about to lose your health. You’re about to lose your job.” Somebody confronts you.

Pain is like a fire alarm. It goes off, warning you something is wrong in your life. If you had a fire alarm go off in your house, what would you do? “Oh, that stupid fire alarm! Somebody throw a rock at it and make it stop.” No, you would do something about it. But often in our life when we hear the pain come out, the fire alarm of pain, instead of just dealing with the source, we just try to cover up the sound. We cover it up with food, alcohol, sex, many, many different things. But it doesn’t deal with it. God will use these things to get our attention.

3. Catastrophe. I hope He doesn’t have to use that in your life. When the bottom falls out, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationally—when the bottom falls out and you hit bottom, what happens is often that He just has to step back and let us feel the full impact of our own stupid decisions. “You want to be God? O.K.” And He’ll just step back and let you be God. And then you reap what you sow, and you feel the full impact that causes a catastrophe in your life.

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