“And now I will show you
The Most Excellent Way ...”
Pastor Rick taught and recorded a three-part video series on the “Four Stages of Sobriety.” During his many years of ministering (and from his own spiritual growth experiences), he has observed certain patterns of behavior of new believers that keep them from living the joyful, fruitful Christian life.
His insights are helpful for ministering to those who seem to be stuck in one stage or another — struggling to transition from the natural man into the spiritual man. When we are able to recognize how we keep repeating the same old patterns of behavior, we begin to make changes in our walk with the Spirit.
“Take My yoke upon you,
and learn of Me;
for I am meek and lowly
in heart, and you shall
find rest unto your souls.
For My yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29-30 KJV
“Four Stages of Sobriety”
Presented by Pastor Rick McClung
#1 ... The Trouble Stage
#2 ... The Happy Stage
#3 ... The Determined Stage
#4 ... The Reality Stage
“Therefore gird up the loins
of your mind, be sober,
and rest your hope fully
upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
as obedient children,
not conforming yourselves
to the former lusts,
as in your ignorance;
but as He who called you
is holy, you also be holy
in all your conduct,
because it is written,
’Be holy, for I am holy.’”
1 Peter 1:13-16 NKJV
We recommend that you print the PDF outline and read along while viewing the videos. The outline has space for personal notes, and you will probably want to highlight portions as you read along with Rick's video presentation. His candid humor offers many memorable “one liners.”
“Dry Christians” who are “born again” by the Spirit of God have been given all the power necessary to begin new life in Christ Jesus. Their “spiritual awakening” has purpose, promises and power - but they deny the power. Or they avoid the power. The old drunkard nature still rules. given all the power necessary to begin new life in Christ Jesus. Their “spiritual awakening” has purpose, promises and power - but they deny the power. Or they avoid the power. The old drunkard nature still rules.
Their God may seem just as illusive as the dry drunk’s god. Their lives are just as unmanageable. They continue to seek to satisfy the lust of their flesh, and cling to the pride of life. It’s not until they have exhausted all their efforts to regain what they lost because of their addiction, that they realize the old ways just don't cut it.
The “dry Christian’s” struggle is just as difficult as the “dry drunk’s” ... maybe worse. They tasted the goodness of God at conversion, but failed to pursue God's narrow path ... walking in the Spirit. Most finally surrender to the call God has on their lives. After all, they were sealed for God’s purpose by the Holy Spirit. (Those who don’t surrender, were probably never “born again.”)
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves,
that Jesus Christ is in you?
—unless indeed you are disqualified.”
~2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit ,
and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
and these are contrary to one another,
so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
~Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good
and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
~Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
It is only by determined self-will-power they are able to main-tain sobriety and travel the endless road of “recovery.” Out of necessity, they transfer their substance addiction to things of the world to fill the emptiness that remains. They give no thought to their eternal destiny. Being sober was their goal, but they are disappointed. “Is this all there is?”
“If anyone thirsts,
let him come to
Me and drink.
He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture has
said, out of his heart
will flow rivers
John 7:37-38 NKJV
What's the Difference
Between a “Dry Drunk” and a “Dry Christian”?
Both have not progressed to being sober-minded. They are stuck in their old habits and patterns of living. Being clean and sober just isn't enough to guarantee a happy life.
“Dry Drunk” can be described as “a condition of remaining in one's old alcoholic/drugged thinking and behavior without actually taking a drink.” Or as one old drunk put it, “if a horse thief goes into A.A. what you can end up with is a sober horse thief.” (You can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!)
They can be seen in the 12-step rooms ... they've been in the program for years and years and their lives seem to be a constant unmanageable struggle. All those years and they have no more of a "spiritual awakening" than they did the first time they walked into the room. They're trusting in an “awakening” based on man's philosophies ... their god is a concoction of their imagination. Their god is powerless and unknowable.
The Most Excellent Way Christian Fellowship ~ 19361 Brookhurst St, S161 ~ Huntington Beach, CA 92646 ~ 800-548-8854 ~ www.tmewcf.org
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
And Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
~John 6:35 NKJV
“... whoever drinks of the water that I shall
give him will never thirst.
But the water that I shall give him will become
in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” ~John 4:14 NKJV