"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."
Over 5 billion copies makes it by far and away the best-selling book of all time. But have you read it?
Many of us hadn't read the entire Bible, despite attending church our entire lives and thinking of ourselves as Christians.
Chances are you have at least one Bible in your house. Start with it tomorrow on Day 1. If it is an older translation like a King James Version (KJV) or New King James Version (NKJV) use it for now and keep it, but order a new translation now from your favourite bookstore. Don't move on to the next task until you do.
The Bible is our roadmap for life and God will speak to you powerfully through it during your recovery in ways that will surprise you.
We recommend getting a modern translation that will be easier to read and understand like the New International Version (NIV) or English Standard Version (ESV) or New Living Translation (NLT).
Finally, we strongly recommend getting and reading a hardcopy of the Bible - not a digital version (although those are good to have too). We are going to be spending less and less time staring at screens and that includes our "pocket idols" (aka smartphone).
"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm."
Remember that you were slaves. Once set free, God wanted the Israelites to remember. Moses recorded their journey of deliverance and they were told to remember and never forget what the Lord had done for them.
It is God's will that you be free from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3). It's what we've experienced and seen in many men who put their trust in him, taking radical steps to follow him and leave their past life behind. God told the Israelites to always remember that he had set them free of slavery - when they forgot they grew discouraged and rebellious.
You're preparing to embark on a journey - a new chapter of your life. Get a journal (a dollar store coil notebook with lines in it is just fine) and a few pens so that you can record what you experience and learn along the way.
Journalling is something we'll talk about more, but for now just get one and start writing in it every day and keep it somewhere private. It's just for you to record your thoughts, feelings, and insights as you walk this road to freedom.
If you stay on this path, years from now, you will have a stack of well worn journals filled with remembrance of the miracles and moments that God stepped into your life.
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."
If Jesus got up early to spend time with the Father, how much more do we need to make intentional time to be alone with God? This is true for all of us, even if you have young children.
Think of the thousands and thousands of hours we have wasted on our sin and addiction. It's time to set your alarm.
What time should you set your alarm for? We recommend being out of bed at least one hour before you normally would get up so you can spend that hour with the Lord (some call this "tithing our time" - the first waking hour belongs to the Lord). We'll talk in Week 1 (which you should jump right into next) about what you'll do with that hour.
If you're a "snoozer", be sure to get up earlier to account for that too. Some guys even buy an "old fashioned" alarm clock to wake them up so that they can keep their devices out of their bedrooms.
What if you get tired later in the day? No worries. Jesus was apparently ahead of the curve as usual with taking power naps and you can take a 15-20 minute power nap. He even slept through storms (Matthew 8:24).
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety."
The medical geniuses at Harvard endorse 7-9 hours of sleep per night on average. Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff explains "we've learned that during sleep, waste material is flushed out of our brains". How much sleep are you getting?
For some of us 4-5 hours per night or even less was common during our addiction. We stayed up late and acted out while our wives slept. Then woke up sleep deprived, cranky, anxious and defensive. Or woke up early, cutting our sleep short to pursue our "secret" sin.
As we covered above, you're going to be up earlier than normal (1 hour before when you usually get up to make time for being with God). Do the math and shoot for 8 hours of sleep. So if you usually get up at 7 am, tomorrow you're up at 6 am spending the first hour with the Lord. To get 8 hours of sleep, bedtime is 10 pm at the latest. This may take some getting used to. But your body will adjust. Physical exercise during the day will help immensely too with getting your sleep under control. If, after a couple weeks, sleep continues to be an issue, we recommend talking to your group, doctor and/or counsellor about it.
"Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon."
You're here because what you've been trying isn't working. We know. We tried too. Commit to doing something different - something that has worked for other guys just like you to finally get free. These are the first small steps on your road to freedom and a new life in Christ.
Get your hardcopy Bible out for tomorrow morning - use whatever version you have; order a modern translation now (e.g. ESV, NIV) if you don't have one.
Set your alarm so that you will be out of bed at least 1 hour before usual
Go to bed at least 7 hours before you set your alarm to wake you up
Bootcamp begins tomorrow, dark and early!
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