Heeding God’s Instruction

We have all needed guidance or direction at some point in our lives, but how we accepted this advice and what we did with it often made all the difference in the ultimate outcome. If one were to be totally honest, the truth of this would be readily apparent in how they conduct themselves in their day-to-day actions as a LEOs as well as in their day-to-day journey towards recovery.

Many a young trainee has heard the voice of their PTO/FTO repeating advice and reinforcing the teachings for various techniques and yet, even with the instructions and admonitions still ringing in their ears, they take their own counsel. Acting in this manner, based solely upon one’s own limited knowledge and/or experience, can often have tragic results. Likewise, recovering addicts will often refuse to accept the advice, or just plain ignore the pleadings, of those around them who want them to get help and break free from their addictions.

These human advisors/counselors are reminiscent of how the Great Counselor deals with us as the Bible tells us: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left,” (Isaiah 30:21, NKJV). Here we see God’s promise to try to help us in our daily walk through providing us with guidance and warnings (be they through His Word, the words of others, or through our own conscience) if he sees that we are beginning to stray from the path towards living a fully devoted Christian life while en route to our recovery. As fallible humans, we are prone to miss our way, straying to the right or the left of where we should be travelling as the tempter works to lure us to the wrong paths. It is gratifying if, by the counsels of a faithful friend or the checks of conscience and the strivings of God’s Spirit, we are able to return to the correct path rather than straying down ones that could be potentially deadly.

Key to this, however, is our willingness to listen when that voice calls out to us in our darkness. We must be like young Samuel who, in 1 Samuel 3:10, acknowledged God’s call by saying, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” But even this willingness to hear is not enough; it is not even the most important part. One can easily be willing and able to hear the warnings as they are presented to them and still continue on their own way to their own destruction. In order to truly be effective, these warnings must be acted upon, much like James’ admonition in James 1:22 where he tells his readers to, “…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We can be certain of victory if, in our recovery and daily lives, we are willing to listen to, and take action on, the warnings and advice of the Bible and those who are trying to keep us from turning back to our sinful ways. Keep in mind John’s declaration that, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7).

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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