A Healthy Heart and Soul (The Spiritual Disciplines of the 12 Steps)

This past year at Gateway Church, we tackled brokenness head on. With series like Unchained, Confessions (of Our Pastors), Realm, and The Exchange among others, we really emphasized authenticity and healing in our relationship with God and with others. The introduction of Next Steps connected with each message was also a big win in helping us apply the Scriptures to our lives and experience transformation.

One takeaway from last year has been my own pursuit going through the 12 Steps with a couple of great friends. We are working on overcoming anxiety, a short temper, and connecting our head and heart in all of our relationships. The book we’ve been using is called 12 Steps – A Spiritual Journey.

Here is a way to summarize the 12 Steps which are spiritual disciplines found in the Scriptures:

Peace with God – Confession, Repentance, and Receiving Forgiveness 

Romans 7:17
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.Romans 12:1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Lamentations 3:40
Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Peace with Yourself – Walking in the Spirit and Identity in Christ

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

John 15:1-7
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:13-14,22-26
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Peace with Others – Making Things Right > Being Right and Forgiving

Matthew 5:23-24
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 18:15-20
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Luke 6:31
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Ephesians 5

Keeping The Peace – Repeat The Process

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Matthew 5-7

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