Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.

Our topic for this morning is a few simple questions: What breathes life into you? What draws life from you? What is it that you are searching for?

We should start with the last question – What is it that you are searching for? At different stages of our lives we would probably answer this question in different ways, but I think that for me, overall, the answer is peace. I knew that something was wrong with me a long time ago. I thought that I was a good person, kind and generous, and I wanted to do good, but for some reason I kept doing things that made my life more unmanageable. I found myself eventually in a very dark spot and God reached into my self-created hell and pulled me out. I read something that I have shared before that sums up my problem, that another guy wrote about 1875 years ago or so: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. Oh, what a wretched creature am I! Who will rescue me from this? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:15-25)

I think that all of us know that something is wrong when we are not at peace. Thankfully, we have been given instructions on how to quiet our turmoil: “A wise king winnows out the wicked (behaviors): he drives a threshing wheel over them (to separate the wheat from the chaff).” (Proverbs 20:26) If we are able to separate out our problems, we have a chance to get better, by accepting a new way of life from “The Prince of Peace”, who tells us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I have shared a few times that I learned in recovery that our minds are like a great magnifying lens – whatever I focus on tends to grow and become larger and may tend to overwhelm me, for good or for bad. Paul even talks about this: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9)

So, if we know what we are searching for and we know how to get it, then we ask ourselves the first two questions. What breathes life into you and what draws life from you? With the answers to these questions, we can begin to adjust our lives to achieve our ultimate goal – HOW SIMPLE! — RIGHT?

If you are struggling and would like some advice on making changes that you feel are necessary, please come see me, Tanis, David, a Supervisor, Counselor or friend — don’t just hold it in and hope you can do it alone, we are here to help.

We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.

Tanis Jamar
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