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7 Ways to Prevent–and Reverse–Relapse (Part 2 of 2)

In last week’s post, I introduced three of the seven ways we can prevent—and reverse—relapse in our recovery journeys.

 

 

7 Ways to Prevent and Reverse Relapse

Let’s recap…
 

 

R is for Reflect.

E is for Expose your triggers and plan your escape strategies.

L is for Look up and re-learn scripture passages.

 

 

I hope you’re already putting those into practice. I know I am!

 

 

 

Today, we’ll complete the acronym “RELAPSE” with the letters A, P, S, and E.

 

 

Here goes…

 

4. Activate your accountability partners

Our enemy wants us to stay silent and pretend all is okay. He wants us to keep our struggles to ourselves. Remember: Silence comes with a cost.

 

When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. (Psalm 32:3)

 

Silence pains us physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually.

 

It’s better to have a partner than go it alone…. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble…. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

 

Accountability partners who struggle with similar issues can empathize with us, they can share what has worked for them, and they keep us on track with our recovery. They are there for us when we’re tempted to give in. Most importantly, they can pray for us.

 

If you haven’t talked to your accountability partner in a while, give him/her a call and catch up. If you don’t have an accountability partner, pray. Ask God to place someone on your heart and to lead you to the right person—someone of the same sex whom you can trust and share your struggles and victories—big and small.

 

 

5. Pray, pray, pray

We can do all of the above, and if we don’t pray to our Higher Power Jesus Christ, then we are still relying on our own power to get us through. Willpower will only get us so far. But listen to what prayer can do:

 

The Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don’t know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

 

“You will not succeed by your own power or strength. You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,” says the God-of-the-Angel-Armies. (Zechariah 4:6)

 

Preventing—and reversing—relapse isn’t only a physical battle. It’s a spiritual battle for our daily freedom and, in many instances, our very lives. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons—weapons that only come from praying and spending time with God.

 

We do live in the world, but we do not fight in the same way the world fights. We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

 

We can destroy those strong places—those habits we keep gravitating toward—when we capture every sinful thought with our prayers and make them give up and obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

 

6. Share your story

What is your recovery story so far? Have you shared it? We can prevent relapse—and reverse it—when we share what God has done in our lives. It grows our faith, gives us hope to keep going, and increases the faith of those around us.

 

Many times, the best opportunities to share our stories come when we serve others—when we step outside of our own situations and focus on how we can help those who are also struggling. Each time we share our story with others, we take one more step to freedom and we help others to do the same.

 

Faith comes from listening to this message of good news — the Good News about Christ. (Romans 10:17)

 

They overcame because the Lamb gave his life’s blood for them [and] by giving witness about Jesus to others. (Revelation 12:11)

 

 

7. Evaluate regularly

I would love to say that if we do these things, we will never misstep, dear ones. But the reality is that we will make mistakes. The key to preventing—and reversing—relapse is to continue in our recovery marathon and to be intentional about evaluating our progress on a routine basis.

 

Ask God to reveal the habits that have snuck in and taken up residence in the hidden places of your heart and mind. Ask Him to show you the things in your life that He doesn’t like—and to help you live in the way that is always right (Psalm 139:23-24).

 

Remember: We started this marathon. Let’s finish it!

 

Strip down, start running–and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-3)

 

 

Come alongside…What steps can you take today to prevent—or reverse—relapse?

 

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