Acknowledging the need for help isn’t easy, but once we do, miraculously, the stage is set for the story of a lifetime to be told – and lived. Yours. Your journey is important but do you realize how important it can be to others? Because one day, your pain will bring someone else hope. It’s how God recycles the junk we go through and makes it a beautiful message. Some have coined the phrase, “God takes our mess and makes it a message.” Yep. That He does!
Once more, let’s recap the first two steps of recovery’s twelve:
Life takes a sudden pause, when we arrive at Step 1 – admitting something has GOT to give. And then we find that there is hope after all – a way out of the darkness, when we grab hold of Step 2’s realization too; Someone – your Higher Power (term from the original recovery program, Alcoholics Anonymous), God himself wants to guide you through the wreckage of addictions and dysfunctional living and into a life of healing & wholeness. Not perfection, but abundant life is Gods promise to those who trust their lives to Him.
Which brings us here; we arrive at the decision. To move forward, we’ll need to take the step that enacts real-life change. That is Step 3 (also being the third month on the calendar).
As I stated previously (and will likely again), these steps are in order for good reason. Step 3 won’t stick – or make sense if you’re struggling with the first two. If you’ve not read or committed to those yet, I suggest checking those out before Step 3.
Because this blog is based on my experiences, my strength (where it comes from), and my hope (same and strength), and because the Twelve Steps are grounded in basic, but life-changing biblical truth, the decision here is based on faith.
And because this is a blog based on Christian principles, I write about recovery as a Christian. I was early in my faith journey when I took my first journey through these steps, and I was blessed to connect with other faith-filled, sober people, in A.A. & Al-Anon that helped me tremendously.
Seventeen years into my sobriety walk, some fourteen years ago now, I found a Christ-centered recovery program, Celebrate Recovery. It was a missing piece of my recovery community journey at the time and God used it to change my life in some incredible ways.
A.A. = Alcoholics Anonymous, C.R. = Celebrate Recovery
A.A. Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
C.R. Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 NIV
C.R. Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
“Happy are the meek.” Matthew 5:5 NIV
If we are honest, anyone can have faith. We have faith that a bridge will hold up when we drive over it. We have faith that the food that we are eating will not make us sick. We have faith that the ceiling won’t fall down on our heads. These are just some of the examples of “walking in faith” that we participate in daily. Things we can’t necessarily control, but put our faith in anyway.
So why do I need to believe in any “being” outside of myself? Even the Big Book talks about this being a starting point, a beginning for those who have been wounded by life and maybe even religious institutions; the latter is actually part of my story. I can relate.
But an even more important question is: why do I need to believe in God? As in, THE God – The God of the Bible.
My friend, we can choose to believe our “Higher Power” is anything we would like it to be in A.A. or elsewhere. I found sobriety thanks to a moment of truth with God and my brothers & sisters in the family of A.A. and Al-Anon. Having faith in someone or something outside of ourselves can get our minds off of ourselves and position us to find the faith that impacts us like nothing else can. For me, and many others, this would be the most incredible intimate relationship – a personal relationship with a living God – Jesus Christ. He not only wants to help us find and stay in sobriety, but completely change us from the inside out. He promises life abundant. He assures us His unending presence. He secures our spot in eternity.
ONLY the Living God can change us from the inside out. ONLY the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts when we completely act on this step, choosing to turn around (the Bible calls this “repent”) and turn our lives & wills over to God. All other efforts are outside in – and that does not bring the life God offers us; His peace, His promises, His salvation. Jesus declared in John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NIV https://john.bible/john-14-6”
Are you ready to surrender? Are you ready for the peace that surpasses all understanding? Are you ready for the promises outlined in the Big Book of A.A.? Are you ready for the hundreds and hundreds of promises God offers us, as we see in His word, the Bible – and keeps?
I can’t, He can, I’ll let Him.
God, I know I have tried to make it on my own for far too long. I know I have made my a mess of this life you’ve given me. I know that I am unable to kick this (name the habit or addiction or destructive behavior) on my own. I’m tired of trying to be good. I’m just tired. I need Your help. I need You grace. I need Your mercy. I give you my heart, my soul, my mind – change me from the inside out. Thank you for loving me so much that you died for me to be free. I don’t yet understand how, or why, but I accept Your gift of life here and forever with you. Show me the path You have for me each day, as I seek to do Your will, one day at a time.
In Jesus’ name,
If you prayed that prayer. Welcome to the Family of God! Your new life has just begun and you have a Forever Family waiting to meet you!
My suggestion would be to find a Celebrate Recovery group to attend and let them know. You’ll find other Christians there on the road to recovery as well; not perfect – we’ll never be perfect in this world – but journeying together and will welcome you with open arms.
Your local church may already have a C.R. Group too.
Leave me a comment too! I would love to know that you have completed this life-changing step!
Surrender, as Step 3 requires, will make Steps 4-12 possible.
If you did not pray that prayer yet, God and I still love you! We all get freedom to choose His gift or not. I just happen to know what my life was like before I did, and what it’s like now. I pray you’ll reconsider and give Jesus a chance. He’s never let anyone down and He never will 💜.