Have you ever wondered, “Okay God, I know what I’m recovering from, here—but what am I recovering to?” Ever felt like, in a sense, recovery needs you more than you need recovery (in such a formal, programmatic way)? Well, if so, I say “HALLELUJAH!” The truth is, you are pondering one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of recovery: Vision!
I want to give you a way of thinking about Vision that will pull your recovery from sexual addictions into the future. My heart is to share a few ideas about areas where you can pay attention and with following-through, enrich the process of recovery with greater meaning, radical redemption, and down-right Kingdom authority. I also want to warn you about some common challenges to Vision to help you anticipate how the enemy will try and take you off your God-ordained course.
The bible is clear: “Without a Vision, people will perish!” God wants us to be forward thinkers as a body and as individuals. He has given us each dreams, gifts, talents and passions and He expects a return on His heavenly investment, yes? Well, why is it that so many of us in recovery can’t see past the edge of our 12 steps workbooks? The bottom line is it’s not that we can’t—we often just don’t or simply won’t. But that can change and is changing for many. In fact, men all over the world who are getting ‘sexually saved’ are partnering with God to minister redemption in three key areas: Family, Community, and Culture.
Let’s talk about several ways Family Vision can take place. Maybe you have a wife that needs a recovery process of her own. She needs you to work hard on your own stuff first, but eventually, as a result, will be more likely to respond when invited to look at her own issues. (INVITED, being the key word, here fellas!) Perhaps you have kids—they need their father’s shepherding around their sexuality more than any other time. How about other family or extended kinship? Couldn’t they benefit from your openness regarding the process and victory you’re experiencing? You better believe it!
I have a client in Tennessee who shared openly with his family about his past struggle, recovery program and healing—as a result, his adult children have entered their own healing partnerships with the Lord and a recovery community of their own. In fact, his daughter wrote a compelling story of faith, openness and purity featuring her dad’s ability to say no to a bunch of peers who wanted him to join them in a visit to a strip club while visiting Las Vegas! Talk about inspiring. Do you think he sleeps easier at night knowing how he’s overcome the enemy’s lies of condemnation and disqualification? I know I do!
What about our Community Vision? How many times have you recognized an individual you work, attend church with or live near may be struggling? Will you allow God to minister through you to those co-workers, fellow congregants, and neighbors? I know one guy in Reno who was gifted athletically and also suffered from Juvenile Diabetes. When he found out a local girl had the same condition and couldn’t afford treatment, he used his extra time, talent and treasure (which used to be wasted acting-out) to swim across the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe. He raised thousands for her care in the process. Can anybody get excited about that kind of self-sacrifice? It blows me away!
And then there is Vision regarding Culture. Needless to ask, but can you see where the problem of sexual sin has caused erosion and destitution? My partner on The Blazing Grace Show, Mike Genung sure has—he’s on a mission to put billboards reaching out to the sexually broken in all major cities across the land! Then there’s my client in Ohio who writes and does web-development and served his local sexual integrity ministry by building a much-needed website. Do you get the sense that these guys get excitement and fulfillment form these involvements? Trust me, they’re alive and plugged-in to the Vision they asked the Lord to share with them!
I meet with a Vision and Leadership group for an hour every other week and we discuss these things, challenge one another and take risks. We also anticipate the things that would want to prevent a redemptive partnership with Christ: selfishness, laziness, lack of commitment to our own recovery, being ‘driven’ rather than ‘called,’ pride, arrogance. Listen, these will kill you and steal your dreams so look at them, men! Lay them at the cross, pick up your sword and let’s take back the land!
What are your ideas? I mean, I’m not saying you have to go out and save the world tomorrow—focus on getting better, by all means. But don’t neglect the mandate being given here: “seek the Lord while He may be found,” find out what He means when He says “I have plans to prosper you…to give you a hope and a future,” and “they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” Ask Him to begin showing you your unique, custom-tailored Vision of redemption and then slowly move into that Vision, one step at a time.
– By Jayson Graves, M.MFT