Summary: Part 3 covers our decision to turn our lives over to God.
Twelve Steps To Recovery Part 3
So far in this series we have discussed the first two steps in the twelve step process. We began by admitting that we were powerless over our dependencies and that there was a God greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity. In this message we will examine step 3: “We made a decision to turn our lives over to the care of God.” In this step we make the decision to give up our rights to live however we want and choose to allow God the full control over us. At this point we are choosing to stop fighting against God because we know and understand that it is only He that can restore us to sanity and bring us to a point where we are addiction free. When we consciously choose to commit all of our lives to Christ care and control, we cease trying to do it all ourselves.
Have you ever considered what it is like to yield your control, your decision rights over to someone else? Let me approach this from a medical viewpoint. Until the time that a person turns 18 (in most cases) their parents have the say so as to what can and cannot be done for their care when they go to the doctor. There are exceptions to this, but I am talking in general here. Once a person turns 18, even though they may be on their parents’ insurance program, they now have the rights to make their decisions. I remember several years ago when my daughter turned 18 and our pharmacy benefit provider started calling for her. They would not even talk with Nikki without Clarissa’s approval. That represented a conflict for me because we were still responsible for the bills and her care and I wanted to be informed. I quickly found out that I can only be informed about what my then 18 year old daughter wanted me informed about – even though I was still responsible for paying the bill. She had come to the age of taking control of her rights. Let’s move forward to adulthood, specifically an elderly person. As it pertains to an elderly person’s medical care, there may come a time when they may have to have someone making decisions for them. This is normally done when a person is not able to make their decisions on their own and they put in place what is called a “medical power of attorney or living will.” The medical power of attorney gives someone else the power to make decisions about the person’s healthcare needs when they become unable to do so. This person has the authority, based on their understanding of the person’s desires, to make life and death decisions on their behalf. This is what we are doing when we come to step 3, we are choosing to give up our rights to decide what is best for our lives over to God. We still have our individual will and can make any decision that we choose, but we choose not to exercise it. In step 3 we relinquish our right to do what we want and choose to allow God to act as our Power of Attorney in ALL things pertaining to us.
I. Why Trust God?
In order for us to take the plunge of step 3, we must come to trust God. Saying we trust God and actually doing it are two different things. Or maybe I should say it this way; we may trust God with some things but not all things. In order for us to make the decision to release our will and allow God to completely care for us, we must trust Him in all things. It is not uncommon to link our perceptions about God to our childhood experiences with people who played powerful roles in our life. I have shared with you on a number of occasions that it is easier for someone to see God as a good, loving Father if they had a good loving father when they were a child. Likewise, the opposite is true. If they had a bad father it is easier for them to see God as this being waiting to destroy them the first chance He gets. If we have been victimized in the past by people who were abusive, distant, uncaring or incompetent, we may now anticipate these same qualities in God. Just because God is a power greater than we are and the people who victimized us represented a power greater than we were, we must not conclude that God will harm us if we entrust our life to Him. Although we may have learned in the past that putting confidence in people brings only pain and disappointment, we cannot let this keep us from trusting God and allowing Him full control over our lives. David said “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” Psalm 118:8-9