Search me O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
I am so grateful that you are working through your inventory. I am going to share another brief portion of my past. I know this can be difficult and I want to be transparent with my inventory in hopes that something will resonate with you or to just give you a better understanding how to inventory your past and present circumstances.
Your inventory may be different, but I had a lot of specific memories as it related to individuals in my past, but also God would give me visions and these visions usually revealed an instance that I would not have remembered, but they had a huge impact on my outward behavior. So what I am about to share was a vision.
I was very young and I was in the kitchen with my mother — I witnessed her telling a lie to someone and then she turned around towards me and she said that I had lied to her and she spanked me.
Now that was a very brief snapshot of my past. When I got this vision, I suddenly remembered some things that my mother did. I remember that she would purchase clothes and shoes and put them in the trunk of her car so that my father would not know that she had spent money, or how much money and on what. I also remember that my mother did that in her second marriage and even carried it to the point that she got a P.O Box and would have all her credit card bills mailed to this PO box…OR she would run frantically to her own mailbox everyday before her husband came home and she would possibly beat him to the mailbox. Looking back, because of her actions, she must have been filled with unnecessary anxiety everyday trying to hide her actions. It’s a lot of work covering up our sin. Are you creating unnecessary anxiety by trying to hide something?
What impact did this have on me? First of all, God was showing me that she taught me to lie by her words and her actions. However, if she caught me in a lie she would severely punish me. How confused I must have been to hear and watch her lie and deceive, but yet punish me for the same thing. The other effects it had on me is that I operated in a curse of lying and I have repeated the same patterns of purchasing clothes and hiding them when I was married. I even did this same thing in some relationships I had. The damage it caused was for me and for my partner… it presented me as someone who was not trustworthy whoever I was in relationship with. Which in turn would affect our intimacy. My part was carrying out what I was taught and I have hurt myself and others I have been in relationship with. I would have never realized that unless God revealed it. The same is true for you. God knows everything about us and he understands what is behind our thoughts and actions. That is why I so love this process, please submit to God and take time and quiet the phone, and tv and anything else that would compete for this precious time with God…..your healing depends on it.
I am going to give you some additional questions to help you continue the process of your inventory.
1. Since accepting Christ as your Higher Power, how has God transformed your mind? What worldly standards have you given up?
2. How have you used denial to attempt to guard your mind?
3. Have you filled or are you filling your mind with hurtful and unhealthy movies, television programs, internet sites or books?
4. How have you failed to concentrate on the positive truths of the Bible?
5. What past activities or habits caused you harm to your physical health?
6. In what ways have you mistreated your body?
7. If you have abused alcohol, drugs, foods, or sex, how did they negatively affect your body?
8. What have you done to restore God’s temple (your body)?
9. Have you mistreated anyone in your family verbally, emotionally or physically?
10. Who in your family do you hold a resentment against? Why?
11. Can you think of anyone to whom you owe amends? Why?
12. What is the family secret that you have kept denying?
13. How can you improve relationships because of your recovery?
14. Prior to recovery, what was your main reason for going to church?
15. How has your commitment to church increased since starting recovery?
16. How would you rate your past participation in church?
very involved, semi-active, sideline member, attender, went on holidays, never attended.
I am so grateful for this program and I get the privilege of taking it to the world. God has commissioned me to get it into prisons to help those individuals cope in society better once they are released. I have also been recruited by a local church to help them roll the program out for their congregation. So far this is what I hear that is very common. Most everyone says that they cannot ever see their life changing, or being without whatever unmanageable behavior they have been struggling with. They are almost convicted by my faith also. Here is what I remind everyone that I speak with. Even I had a starting point, and I was where they were at one time……. I am, and have overcome things that I have struggled with for years. The same is true for you — your life will be different if you commit and cooperate with God and spend time on your recovery — shut out all the things that compete for your time. It’s a sacrifice and we can all think of something better that we would rather be doing…. BUT, sacrifice, which is short term pain, WILL produce long term gain !!!! I love you and so does God !