Addicts frequently live on a razor thin edge … and not just addicts. Many of us live stretched to a br
eaking point. When we live that way, it takes very little to throw us off the cliff. Life moves from very good to very bad in milliseconds.
I believe that all things work by spiritual authority. There are invisible spiritual forces at work continually shaping our choices and "forcing" outcomes that often seem to have no rational explanation. There seems to be no explanation because the forces at work are invisible. As a culture, we are largely unaware of the spiritual forces at work which leaves us confused by outcomes that should have been obvious if we had only understood spiritual authority.
The person pushing things to the edge often has a false sense of wellbeing. The job is getting done … perhaps even done well. There is strength to overcome the battle. Life is good.
When we are pressing the boundaries, we often feel good about ourselves, but there is the factor of spiritual authority. So many people who are in our program for addiction assume that they can leave the program and continue on just as they were in the program. False positive.
Spiritual authority is collective. A person in a program will share outcomes with those in the program. Families share outcomes. Even cities and nations share outcomes. Being “under authority” is a major spiritual authority factor. Children draw strength from parents … or receive abuse! There is a continual impact that is a transfer of life or death from those who sit in the place of influence.
When a person is doing well, he may be living off the glow of a church service. He may be pulling off a parent or a mentor. Way too often, people pull away from a place of strength and make the mistake of thinking they can continue on in the same pattern as before. False positive.
There are times when the spiritual impact of those around a person is negative and it is like trying to swim with a 100 pound weight attached. That person often feels like there is something wrong with him. False negative. Spiritual authority is collective and eliminating or changing connections tends to expose what spiritual strength was from self and what was from the connections.
One of the greatest tendencies of those who are doing well is “I’ve got this.” They separate from God or others who have been a strength, thinking it is right for them to start doing things on their own. “I’ve got this” is a form of pride and will push God out of the equation, even if the person thinks he is doing something for God. “I’ve got this” changes the spiritual dynamic in a way that sets a person up for a fall. It is the beginning of the ultimate false positive.
Spiritual authority operates best in healthy community. Strengths and weaknesses are supposed to intermingle in a way that is a tapestry—creating something much stronger and more beautiful than any single strand could ever be. When a single strand believes it can exist outside of healthy community even as it does inside of healthy community, it is a false positive.
In the addiction world, people are always wanting to be “fixed.” Especially because of the addiction, there generally is not the authority to live healthy apart from community. That is the real truth. That is not what people want to hear. They prefer the false positive of “fixed.” The uncomfortable truth is that it is not just addicts but all of us that need each other to be who God called us to be. We prefer the false positive of “I can do it by myself” and then settle for something short of what God would want.
Spiritual authority is real. The need for community is real. Are you living beyond the false positive of good enough? There are many who are depending in you to live in true strength … not just a false positive. Be a part of God’s tapestry!