We would like to update you on our Total Living Center here in Boone. Our desire has always been to offer a place where folks could come and stay and learn to live from the ground up, so to speak. People who have come to the end of the dismal road of self-effort can come live among those who have discovered another answer-that Another lives their lives. A lecture may pass on information, but hands-on living with and around others in community seems to be the best way to see the wrong way-who Satan convinced us we were-and desire to replace it with the right way-who we really are in fact.
Currently there are several folks who have come here for varying periods of time for just this reason. They came here despearte for help because their lives didn’t work Here they are involved in the daily routine of life, learning what body life and, in a sense, family life- is all about. We have found that many people live in self-contained, narrow orbits and don’t know how to relate and communicate with others. These skills are modeled in our families of origin. But many of us came out of these families with a distorted view of ourselves. Satan deceived us about our true identity and convinced us we were "just" a such-andsuch kind of person. So part of the job of our spiritual family is to help us replace the false view with the true one.
This is not always easy, as Satan has had an ironclad grip on us through our unbelief. Page 570 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that a spiritual experience is the essence of recovery and that the three indispensable elements of such an experience are "willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness’the acronym WHO. In 12-Step meetings the order of these words is generally "honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness,"–how. But God is not giving us a method (how to) but a who, a Person–Jesus Christ. To experience the reality of Him as our life, however, we must first come to see the misuse that has blocked us from "the sunlight of the spirit," as the Big Book says. Then we can see and actually be the person we were created to be-a vessel for Him.
Without these three essentials, how-ever, it is impossible to be receptive to the unsparing light of God which must shine into and expose the sin which has blocked the free flow of God’s Spirit. As Norman says in The Law of Faith, page 31, "It seems that God’s Spirit has to take every forward-moving soul through a drastic process of self-exposure. That undiscovered self-principle lurking in the depths, that root of sin, has to be looked in the face. Its presumptuous claim to be a sufficient source of wisdom and ability has to be exposed in its falsity. Its save-yourself attitude has to recognized and rejected. And such knowledge can only come through failure, through humiliation, through despair. Then, and then only, is the soul ripe for that inner leap of faith: the dying of the old, the rising of the new, the full and final enthronement of its proper Lord."
It is thrilling and a privilege to be part of helping people through this process, and to see them emerging into themselves, the selves God intended. What a joy to actually see God "lead captivity captive" as he sets people free to be in total bondage to Him.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 1
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Weekend in New York 1995
- The Letter to the Romans
- The Mailbox
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- Questions & Answers
- The Walk Through The Bible
- God’s Wonderful Plan
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- Excerpt from After C.T. Studd
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By