I use the Priscilla Shirer YouTube video entitled “Who’s Your Daddy” (link below) with our Titus 2 ladies as we talk about the attributes and character of God and what each one knows about God. A significant goal for our program is to enlarge each student’s awareness, understanding and personal experience of God in order to foster greater trust in God. We also use a YouTube video entitled “Jesus in Every Book of the Bible” (link below) and a handout from the “Experiencing God” curriculum by Henry Blackaby that lists over 500 attributes/titles of God and the scripture references. God is continually revealing himself through his Word, by his Spirit, through his people, and in the circumstances of our lives! Once we are able to recognize God’s presence and purpose in our own lives, the lives of others, and in the world, each day becomes a closer hand-in-hand journey with the Lord. It brings more daily joy, better decision making, less worry, and easier obedience to the Lord.
We also use a You Tube video entitled “Jesus in Every Book of the Bible”.
When students first arrive, they generally have a very limited view of God, one that is often defined by a somewhat limited personal experience or what they have observed of someone else’s experience like that of a grandparent, teacher, or other model for godliness. It is not an “owned” faith that has arisen out of a process of searching and knowing what one truly believes. Through our discipleship program, we take them through a process of discovery- what they believe about the Lord, what they value, what they want out of life, what patterns they need to break, what new practices they need to embrace, and more.
If an individual has suffered consequences that are sufficiently painful as a result of faulty or unexamined beliefs, she is generally open to considering another way of looking at life. Even so, one does not necessarily wholeheartedly embrace a new worldview and behavior immediately. It takes time to “test” an alternate belief system and to learn new practices. Also, it takes time for one’s emotions to conform and move from anxiety and fear of the unknown to safety and comfort with the new paradigm. This is why a long term residential program based on value propositions, character development, and the virtues and principles of Christian living can have a profound and lasting impact, not only on the individual who experiences it, but also on those in her family who may have been living similarly unexamined lives.
I was talking to a friend this week who has undergone her own transformational growth experience, though not in the context of addiction or residential recovery. She likened it to “finding her anchor.” I have used the analogy in my own life of being “tethered” to the solid, real foundation of Christ. With each analogy, the common factor is that there is a limit in place, only so far one can wander. God is the ultimate boundary-setter and boundary respecter. When we discover God’s boundaries, accept the reality that boundaries are necessary and helpful, submit ourselves to God’s authority, and learn to walk it out day by day, life’s challenges become much easier to negotiate. Living “in Christ” becomes something that is imminently do-able! It doesn’t insulate one from difficulty. It doesn’t make wise decisions automatic. It doesn’t assure that one won’t experience failures. What it does is provide the confidence that God is present, that God will guide one through whatever comes, and solidifies one’s concept of God’s steadfast love, grace and sovereignty! It’s a good thing.