Summary: Part 2 of this series focuses on our not only believing in God, but accepting the fact that He desires to help us.
Twelve Steps To Recovery Part 2
Last week I discussed the first step to recovery. The first step consisted of our admitting that we are powerless over our addictions and that our lives have come unmanageable. This first step requires us to be honest with ourselves. As long as we do not believe that we have addictions, we have absolutely no motivation to change. Those habits that have plagued us for years continue to be present in our lives. Those things that we have tried to change have now become so ingrained within us that it is easier to allow them to remain than to try to change. It is much easier for me to blame others for my problems than to be honest with myself and recognize that the problem is mine. If you have taken the first step and admitted to yourself that you are powerless when it comes to changing, you are now ready to take the second step.
I. Accepting and Believing In God
The second step consists of our coming to believe that a Power (God) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Everyone under the sound of my voice or is reading this via email have come to understand that God exists. You may also have moved further by accepting Him as the head of your life. However, there are a multitude of people who believe that God exists yet do not accept Him in their lives and those lost souls who do not believe that God exists at all and are left to handle their own issues based on their own limited knowledge. For this message, I only want to address those of us who believe that God exists, regardless of the religious denomination we are associated with.
In order to move towards to the second step, there must be a belief in a higher Power, whom we refer to as God, and an acceptance of Him. Why do I say there must be an acceptance of Him? If you look at the second part of step 2, you will find that once you believe in the higher Power, you must also believe that this higher Power could restore us to sanity. In order to believe that God is able to restore us, we must first accept Him which goes further than just believing in Him. Consider what James said in James 2:19-20. “You believe that God is one, you do well; the demons also believe and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” James was addressing a situation concerning the relationship between works and faith. Some believed that their works was enough while others believed that their faith was enough. In reference to our lesson this morning, I want you to consider if just believing (faith) in God is enough.
In the second part of verse nine James said “…the demons also believe and shudder.” Just believing in God is not enough; we must also come to the point of accepting Him. The demons know that God exists, yet they will end up in the burning fire. Knowing that God exists and accepting Him as the head of our lives are two separate things. To accept God is to believe in Him and His desire for our good. It extends beyond our belief that He exists. As far back as our history goes, man has believed that there was “something” out there that was greater than himself. Although our history started with Adam and Eve and their knowledge of God, as the years passed, man began to diverge from this belief to accept that there are many gods that were influencing what was happening around them. This shifting came about because there was this inward desire within man not to be controlled by anyone or anything, unless it was on their terms. So the God that created all things and had established guidelines for man as to how we should strive to live on earth became the “unpopular” God that was restraining their will to live freely. Although man was pulling away from God, God had a plan that for those who would eventually accept Him. Now understand this, God is not trying to prove to anyone that He exists. He has given us all of the evidence that we need and He has placed within us the knowledge that He exists. This is the only explanation why those with no knowledge of God made their own gods to worship. There was “something” within all of us that lets us know that there is a higher being. The fact and proof that God exists is so overwhelming that it takes more faith to believe that God does not exist than it does to accept that He does. We either accept that He is or we don’t, He is through trying to prove it. But once we believe that He exists, we must still come to the point of accepting Him.