The First Step is Recognizing Our Need for God
The Twelve Step program, developed by Alcoholics Anonymous to help people struggling with alcohol addiction, has been extended to address a wide range of destructive, compulsive behaviors. Key applications include drugs, food, sex, gambling, and smoking.
The Steps aptly apply to spiritual issues, too. Whatever the situation, be it a compulsion, a habit, a temptation, a struggle, a worry, or a distraction, the underlying premise of the 12 Steps provides the right focus. Essentially, it’s realizing we can’t deal with it on our own, and we need God’s help to see long-term victory.
Whatever we want to change about ourselves, there’s a limit to how much we can accomplish by our own will and strength.
While God has the power to immediately remove issues and struggles from our lives—and I’ve seen it happen—often it is a slower process. It takes time, one day at a time.
It is frustrating for God to not immediately remove something from our lives when we ask, but I wonder if the main point might just be the journey. Perhaps he wants us to learn something and mature as we move down our path to freedom. If he granted instant success, we would miss whatever lesson he has awaiting us.
Regardless if the resolution is immediate or a process, the beginning step is to realize it’s beyond us, and we need God’s help.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of manmade traditions and practices. Read more in his blog, books, and personal weekly email updates.
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