by ProfDave, ©2021
(Sep. 1, 2021) — The classic Twelve Steps of AA have been the core of just about every successful recovery support program since when. It was mildly secularized to be unbeliever-friendly – neutered, perhaps – but Celebrate Recovery put the engine back in the truck by specifying the Higher Power and making the biblical foundations explicit. Do you want God-as-I-understand him or God as He really is? The original point of Bill W and Dr. Bob was that an addicted person did not have to subscribe to a creed or join a church in order to connect with the Almighty and find deliverance.
The first three steps, as used in CR, are:
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step Two: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three: We made a decision to turn our lives and wills over to the care of God. Romans 12:1: “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.”
In Step One, we admit we have “issues.” In Step Two we find hope! What are we going to do about it? In Step Three we make a decision.
Notice: nobody is asking you to fix yourself. The Twelve Steps are not a self-help program. In Step One you admitted that you couldn’t help yourselves, but in Step Two you believed that God could. Never mind all the philosophical debate about free will and determinism. Even half way down the water slide, you can still say “yes” or “no.” Step Three asks you to say the big “Yes.”
Our decision is not to clean up our act, but to dump the whole mess in God’s hands. You drop by your mechanic and admit you need a muffler (he can hear it!). You know he can fix it. Are you going to just drive away (roaring) or are you going to get out and hand him the keys? Decision time!
Turn it all over “to the care of God.” Not just the broken part, but the whole body goes up on the lift. Don’t drive off with the new muffler in your back seat. It all must be connected, your life: your past, your present, your future. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If you know who Jesus is, you know you have nothing to lose but your chains.
Yes, your life. You don’t want to let go of your broken life? You don’t want to have the Power that raised Christ from the dead at work in you? To be born into eternal life?
It is your will. This is a willing choice of existential significance. Fully and freely you rest your whole being on the One who gave you being, choosing unconditionally to will what He wills. As we come to know Whom we believe, we learn to rest upon His grace and aid more and more. And the other nine Steps become possible and productive. Miracles can begin.
Principle Three of Rick Warren’s 8 Principles (C in ReCovery) says: “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.” Matthew 5:5: “Happy are the meek.”
This is also the C in the ABC’s of encountering God. “Call on the Lord to save you.” He has done everything necessary to reconcile you to God. He leaves it to you only to open the door and receive him. Receive him, won’t you?
Congratulations! If you complete this step, you will be born again! A new, eternal, life will be yours! If you are already a genuine follower of Jesus, you will enter a new level of commitment and freedom! As you “will one thing” (Kierkegaard), your heart will become pure, even though your life and psyche may still need a lot of work. The process of recovery begins!