By the time one reaches the end of their journey through Celebrate Recovery’s 12 Step program, participants have had many victories over their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Those who honestly work the program have made many positive changes in their lives. Emotional and spiritual healing, forgiveness, gratitude, and joy are some of the benefits of completing the 12 Steps.
Along the way, we become more aware of God’s involvement in our lives, maybe through little glimpses of hope, or through the healing of a life-long hurt. We make peace with the past and want to give back (Step 12).
The structure of the program, the discipline of attending regular meetings, and being immersed in the biblical principles and lessons keeps us grounded in His Word and actively seeking His will. However, as we move on to serve in other ministries or participate in other biblical studies, we still need to have a spiritual discipline that connects us regularly to God. From a recovery perspective, it helps prevent relapse.
But how do we keep growing in Christ and stay connected to the Holy Spirit beyond the CR program without that external structure?
Step 11 says, “We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.”
Prayer and meditation practices are not one-size fits all. Just like we have different relationships with our friends and family, our Heavenly Father has a different relationship with us as well. He wired us differently to connect with Him in a variety of ways.
One of the tools that I found helpful in my journey of spiritual growth and discerning God’s will was learning what my spiritual temperament was. By temperament I mean, how do I see, hear, or feel the presence of God best?
Just like taking a spiritual assessment helps us to determine the gifts God gave us, there is an assessment that helps to identify how we naturally express our relationship with God. The Spiritual Pathway assessment was developed by Gary Thomas in his book, Sacred Pathways.
He describes nine different pathways or spiritual temperaments: Activists, Ascetics, Caregivers, Contemplative, Enthusiasts, Intellectuals, Naturalists, Sensates, and Traditionalists. Sacred Pathways also explains each of the temperaments, and their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your temperament or pathway unlocks a greater ability to connect with God.
For instance, a naturalist sees God in nature and connects best when they are in places that remind them of the beauty of God’s creation. An intellectual embraces God when their mind is engaged in the Word of God. Activists are close to God when they are fighting for justice—hearing God’s heart for the poor and underprivileged. Contemplatives (like me) sense God when they are in a posture of quiet adoration. Finding this out about myself led to a deeper walk with the Lord and helped me to accept more of my God-created unique wiring.
The song, “Sound of Your Voice,” by Third Day beautifully captures the essence of what it is like to be in that sweet spot of conscious contact with God. Give it a listen while watching this video (below) filled with images of people worshipping God in a variety of ways.
Curious about your devotional style of relating to God? I encourage you to take the online Sacred Pathways assessment and determine how to become a better steward of your daily quiet time with God.
“Listen to the Lord. Hear what he is telling you.” Isaiah 1:10, TLB
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.